EDMONTON, Alberta (CBSDFW.COM/AP) – Denis Gurianov scored a goal a few minutes into overtime and the Stars won Game 5 3-2 and win the Western Conference Finals 4-1 against the Vegas Golden Knights.
The Stars advanced to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 2000.READ MORE: The Pandemic Closed Them, But On Monday Apple Reopened All 270 Of Its US Stores
— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) September 15, 2020
The Stars forced overtime in Game 5 of the Western Conference final with two goals in the final 10:06 of regulation. They closed it out after Zach Whitecloud was sent off for delay of game for knocking the puck out of play.
Anton Khudobin had 34 saves for Dallas, facing only one shot in overtime. Captain Jamie Benn and Joel Kiviranta, a rookie like Gurianov, got the Stars even with goals in the third period.
The Stars are 5-0 in overtime this postseason. They also won 3-2 in Game 3 against Vegas, when Alexander Radulov scored 31 seconds into OT.
Chandler Stephenson and Reilly Smith scored for Vegas, and Robin Lehner had 23 saves.
Smith made it 2-0 just 15 seconds into the third, scoring his first goal in 11 games. His wrist shot from the top of the right circle came at the end of an odd-man rush that followed Lehner’s kick save at the other end on a shot by Tyler Seguin.
Dallas finally got on the board when Benn scored for the third game in a row. Esa Lindell had the puck behind the net after Benn won a faceoff, then pushed it out front off Radulov’s stick before Benn turned and knocked it in.READ MORE: Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price Gets 1st COVID-19 Vaccine Dose: 'I'm Trying To Show Leadership And Show The Way'
Seguin had a one-timer from the middle of the left circle with the Stars on a power play with just over five minutes left. Lehner secured the puck, not allowing a rebound chance for Benn, who was just in front of him.
Skating with the man advantage in OT, Kiviranta converted a quick backhander off a loose puck after defenseman John Klingberg’s long shot into traffic. It was the first point for Kiviranta since his hat trick with the overtime winner in the Game 7 against Colorado in the second round.
The Stars had entered the game with a 3-1 series lead – like they did in the second round against the Avalanche before getting extended to seven games.
After the Golden Knights failed to score on three power-play opportunities in the second period, they took a two-goal lead when Khudobin was unable to stop an another quick shot by Vegas – like he had in each of the first two periods.
Stephenson got the lead for Vegas 8:14 into the first, using a forehand-backhand move to get the puck under and through Khudobin’s legs. Stephenson was on the break in front of the Stars defense after a nice pass from Shea Theodore.
After Stephenson scored, the Golden Knights had some of their biggest hits in the series. Ryan Reaves took down Blake Comeau midway through the first, and a few minutes later slammed Esa Lindell hard into the boards.
In between those jarring hits, Vegas came close to getting their second goal. Alec Martinez tried a wraparound shot to Khudobin’s left and Mark Stone had a rebound that led to another one – but Lindell knocked down Max Pacioretty could get his stick on the puck.
Paul Stastny took a shot right at the start of the second period for Vegas, but Khudobin was able to put his glove down. In the opening seconds of the game, Nate Schmidt’s one-timer was gloved by Khudobin, who was partially screened and still made the save.
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