EDMONTON, CANADA (KTRE) - The Dallas Stars are headed back to the Stanley Cup for the first time since 2000.
The Stars won in overtime Monday night 3-2 against the Las Vegas Golden Knights. The stars won the Western Conference Finals 4 games to 1.
Earlier in the third period it looked like there would be a game 6 on Wednesday with the Knights up 2-0. Vegas struck first in the first period with a Chandler Stephenson goal. Neither team would score in the second period. Dallas had a great opportunity to score in the first minute of the third only for Vegas to score in transition from the same seconds later with credit going to Reily Smith.
Dallas would then go to work. The Stars captain Jamie Benn cut the lead in half with a goal 9 minutes into the period. It would be Benn’s eighth playoff goal. With just under three minutes to go in the game, Joel Kiviranta tied the game for Dallas and the two teams would go to overtime for the second time this series.
Three and a half minutes into OT, Denis Gurianov would get a power play goal to win the series for Dallas. It moved Dallas to a 5-0 record in overtime games this playoff season.
Anton Khudobin would stop 36 of the 38 shots Vegas took. Dallas now waits for the winner of the East between the New York Islanders and the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Dallas is the surprise team in all of this. Early on this season they made a coaching change. In December the team fired then head coach Jim Montgomery for “unprofessional conduct inconsistent with the core values and beliefs of the Dallas Stars and the National Hockey League.” Rick Bowness was named the interim head coach.
Before the COVID shutdown Dallas went 0-4-2 in the final 6 games. Now the team is four wins away from lifting Lord Stanley’s Cup for the second time in franchise history. In 2000, the Stars lost to the New Jersey Devils in the finals. A year prior Mike Modano, Brett Hull and Joe Nieuwendyk led the team to a triple overtime win in game 6 to clinch the cup. It was the first tie a team in the southern United States won a championship.
Before moving to Dallas the Stars made the Cup Finals twice in Minnesota. The first in 1981 against the New York Islanders and in 1991 against the Pittsburgh Penguins. They lost both times.