Stars beat Golden Knights 3-2 to avoid smashing the West

Joe Pavelski admits he probably appreciates big playoff goals the later he gets in his career. But they’re all still doing equally well, and his last player saved the season for the Dallas Stars.

“Just living in the moment,” Pavelski said. “It’s an incredible feeling and I’m glad we can play one more game and then try to extend it.”

The 38-year-old Pavelski scored a powerplay at 3:18 of overtime — a shot from the middle of the left circle to the far post — and the Stars avoided a Western Conference Finals debacle with a 3-2 victory over the Vegas Golden Knights on Thursday night.

Jason Robertson scored twice in his first multi-goal playoff game for Dallas without suspended captain Jamie Benn.

“We’re looking for goals and that’s kind of a responsibility that I put on myself,” said Robertson. “I know these playoffs have been tough. … I was able to get the rebounds we needed tonight.”

Jake Oettinger made 37 saves, two nights after the 24-year-old Stars goaltender went into Game 3 at 7-10, conceding three goals on five shots.

The Stars had the lead in overtime after Briden McNabb hit a high stick penalty on Ty Dellandrea. In the 50th second of the power play, Pavelski scored a pass from Miro Heiskanen. They won their first five OT games this postseason – Vegas won the first two games of the series outside of the rules.

It was only the second Vegas penalty in the game, both high stick calls against McNabb. His penalty to Pavelski at the end of the first period set off the powerplay as Robertson scored his first goal with a dainty stick.

Pavelski, in his 15th NHL season and still aiming for his first Stanley Cup, scored his ninth goal in 12 games this playoff, but the first in five games. He has 73 goals in the postseason, the most of any U.S.-born player and the most of any active player.

“He’s ageless. … I’ve seen this movie over and over again. Never gets old,” Stars coach Pete DeBoer said.

On Wednesday, Benn was suspended for two games by the NHL after his stick landed near the neck of Vegas captain Mark Stone in the first two minutes of game three on Tuesday night. Benn will also miss Game 5 on Saturday night in Las Vegas.

William Karlsson and Jonathan Marchessault scored for Vegas. Adin Hill ended his five-game winning streak. He made 39 saves, including a save with an outstretched left foot two minutes left in regulation after rookie Fredrik Olofsson’s attempted kick in his first career playoff game.

“Our efforts were not good enough. The closing of the series is probably the hardest game in the series, right, so our group is not good enough,” Marchesseau said. “It was a game with one goal in overtime. It was right for us.”

Karlsson and Marchessault are among the six original Vegas players remaining with the team from the inaugural 2017-18 season, which ended with the Knights playing for the Stanley Cup, although they lost to the Washington Capitals in five games after winning the first. game.

Vegas missed the chance to complete the sweep overnight after the Florida Panthers completed a sweep of the Carolina Hurricanes in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Vegas took a 2-1 lead in the middle of the second period when Marchesseau, with a club on Ryan Suter’s back in front of the net, slammed a pass between the legs of a Stars defenseman from McNabb, another original Golden Knight.

Robertson’s tied goal at the end of that period ricocheted off the backboard just seconds after he landed another shot into the post. It was the fourth goal of the series and the sixth in the playoffs, after that regular season he became the first Dallas player to score 100 points in a season.

After scoring his first goal at the end of the 1-1 equalizer in the first leg, Robertson deflected Heiskanen’s shot right out of the blue line and into the air. As Hill tried to secure the puck in his glove, Robertson cleared it out and then reached out and hit the puck into the net with his stick parallel to the ice.

With former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson and wrestling great Ric Flair both in the building wearing Stars jerseys, Dallas avoided a playoff spot for the first time since 2001 against St. Louis. Louis in the second round. It has been the Stars’ 21st playoff series since then.

The Golden Knights scored first again, though not quite as well as those three quick goals in Game 3 that led to Oettinger’s earliest departure.

Karlsson pushed the puck up and rolled towards the net after a pass to Nicholas Roy, whose pass through traffic went wide of Dallas’s stick before Reilly Smith hit the right circle and hit. Karlsson’s deflection past Oettinger at just 4:17 was his eighth goal this postseason.

“There were a lot of chances in the rush,” said Smith, also a Vegas player from the start. “I don’t think we’ve done a good enough job to make things difficult for them. So we have another opportunity in two days.”

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