Throughout the Stanley Cup playoffs we’ll be keeping track of all the action around the league, and bringing you all of the results in one place.
No. 1 Vegas Golden Knights vs. No. 3 Dallas Stars
It was Game 5 out West last night, and the Golden Knights were looking to stave off elimination and keep their hopes of returning to the Cup Final alive. And they got off to a good start in this one, as they looked to have the early jump and were able to use that to pick up the first goal of the game, care of Chandler Stephenson just past the right minute mark. Vegas was able to carry that momentum with them through much of the second period, and while it didn’t result in them putting up any more goals, it seemed to be building for them. That feeling was pretty well confirmed as they came out for the third period hot, and just 15 seconds into the period (after having a nearly identical chance in the second that was stopped), Reilly Smith picked a corner on the rush and put the Golden Knights up by two.
But the rest of the third period saw things get a little dodgy for the Golden Knights, as they tried to go into “preserve the lead” mode, and really just ended up opening up space for Dallas to get to work, and get to work they did. The Stars picked up momentum as the period went on, and in some ways it felt like we could see it coming a mile away when just before the midpoint of the period, Jamie Benn got the Stars on the board. They kept things rolling, and they would be virtually handed a great chance to tie things up on a silver platter, when with 5:24 to go, Alex Tuch was whistled for tripping, and the Stars would go to the power play. The Golden Knights were just barely holding on, and this considered, what came next didn’t feel like much of a surprise either—the Stars tied things up on the power play, as Joel Kiviranta (ever clutch in these playoffs), picked up a second chance rebound chance and pushed it past Robin Lehner. It was a tie game late in the third period, and as we held on to that, we would hit overtime in an elimination game again. How exciting!
And again it would be a costly Vegas mistake that would give the Stars a great opportunity, this time it was when, just 2:15 into the overtime period, Zach Whitecloud was called for delay of game and Dallas went to the power play. They had a bit of good cycling going in their attempt, and really looked to be knocking on the door. And while it took them until later in the power play, that good work would pay dividends, and in the end it was Denis Gurianov who beat Robin Lehner, and sent the Stars to the Cup Final.