The Dallas Stars are Stanley Cup Finals Bound, Defeat Golden Knights in Five Games
BarnBurner Sports Writer
Monday, September 14, 2020
Denis Gurianov’s overtime winner sent the Dallas Stars to 2020 Stanley Cup Finals Monday night, as they defeated the Vegas Golden Knights 3-2, winning the Western Conference Finals in five games.
Golden Knights defenseman Zach Whitecloud took a delay of the game penalty only two minutes into the overtime frame, setting up the Stars to score the power play goal that would send them to their first Stanley Cup Finals since 2000.
The Golden Knights saw its 2-0 lead evaporate in the third period, as Stars forward Joel Kiviranta’s tying goal at 16:13 of the frame sent the game to overtime.
Alex Tuch’s tripping penalty with just over five minutes remaining in the third set up the Stars with an opportunity to tie the game, after playing half the period trailing by two.
It was on the power play where Dallas tied the game, with Kiviranta being the goal scorer.
Kiviranta was the hero in game seven in the second round against Colorado, when he scored a hatrick including the overtime winner to send Dallas to the Conference Finals.
Vegas owned the game’s momentum through two periods, but in the third, the Stars made the case for why they are Stanley Cup Finals bound.
Game five marked the second time where a game in the series has gone to overtime.
Chandler Stephenson opened the scoring at 8:14 of the first period on a partial breakaway, after receiving an outlet pass from Shea Theodore.
With the assist, Theodore recorded his team-leading 19th point of the playoffs.
Reilly Smith scored his fifth of the playoffs only 15 seconds into the third period.
The goal is Smith’s first goal in the last 11 games.
While giving Vegas a 2-0 lead, Smith also scored the Golden Knights 23rd third-period goal of the playoffs, good enough for second best in the league.
Jamie Benn cut the Vegas lead to 2-1 halfway through the third, beating Lehner to score Dallas’ first goal of the game on its 18th shot on goal.
The Stars found themselves in penalty trouble throughout the second period--three penalties taken, including one by captain Jamie Benn. Vegas failed to capitalize on all three power play opportunities, but still managed to keep the momentum and possession during the ensuing stretches of five on five play.
Scoring has been at a premium all series long, and Monday night’s game five was no different.
The Stars have not won a Stanley Cup since 1999, when Brett Hull scored the infamous overtime winner against the Buffalo Sabres in game six of the series.
In 2020, Texas’ team will look to capture the franchise’s second Stanley Cup.
Dallas will play one of the Tampa Bay Lightning or New York Islanders in the finals.