Chandler Stephenson scored on a rebound 1:12 into overtime to give the Vegas Golden Knights a 3-2 victory over the Dallas Stars in Game 2 of the Western Conference finals on Sunday afternoon in Las Vegas.
Stephenson’s seventh goal of the playoffs came after Shea Theodore fired a shot from the right circle that Dallas goaltender Jake Oettinger made a pad save on. However, the rebound went to the left side of the crease where Stephenson shoveled it into an open net for the game-winner.
Despite losing back-to-back games in overtime to start the series, the Dallas Stars aren’t ready to throw in the towel quite yet — not with Game 3 on Tuesday and Game 4 on Thursday both back in Texas.
“Now we have to take care of business and win two games at home,” defenseman Miro Heiskanen said afterward.
“We could have won both games,” Dallas coach Peter DeBoer added. “They held serve at home. We’ve got to do the same thing.”
Jonathan Marchessault scored with 2:22 left in regulation to force the overtime for Vegas, which managed just 10 shots on goal over the first 44 minutes of action but still managed to rally for the win.
Mark Stone, Marchessault and Stephenson each finished with a goal and an assist for the Golden Knights, who improved to 3-0 in overtime games in the playoffs. Adin Hill made 26 saves to improve to 5-1-0 in playoffs.
“Pretty excited,” Stephenson said. “(My) first overtime goal in the playoffs. Pretty cool. Obviously, to get two wins, that’s the goal. Win as many as you can. It’s obviously good to be going there up 2-0.”
Jack Eichel set up Marchessault’s tying goal with a nifty backhand pass from the end boards.
“You always want to take advantage of home ice,” Eichel said. “We know they’re going to come out hard and try to do the same in their home rink. So we’re going to have to be ready to play.”
Jason Robertson and Miro Heiskanen scored goals and Ryan Suter had two assists for Dallas, which fell to 0-4 in overtime games in this postseason. Oettinger finished with 21 saves.
Dallas jumped out to a 1-0 lead at the 2:47 mark of the first period when Heiskanen fired a wrist shot from the top of the right circle that caromed high off the stick of Vegas defenseman Theodore and up and over the right shoulder of Hill into the net for his first goal of the postseason.
Vegas tied it midway through the period with a 5-on-3 power-play goal by Stone after Joel Hanley was called for interference and Thomas Harley picked up a tripping penalty on Jack Eichel on the same play.
The goal came when Stephenson’s crossing pass from the bottom of the right circle ricocheted off the skate of Esa Lindell to Stone alone in front of the crease. Stone then slid the puck between Oettinger’s pads for his sixth goal of the playoffs.
Dallas regained the lead 2-1 at the 9:21 mark of the second period on a power-play goal by Robertson, who tapped in a rebound of an Evgenii Dadonov point shot into the top left corner of the net. It was Robertson’s fourth goal of this playoff run.
Vegas tied it at the 17:38 mark of the third period when Ivan Barbashev intercepted a Suter clearing pass along the left boards and then passed to Eichel behind the net. Eichel backhanded a pass to Marchessault cutting down the slot, where he fired a wrist shot into the top right corner of the net for his sixth goal of the playoffs and set the stage for Stephenson’s overtime winner.
“I think the positive piece is that we played a much better game tonight,” DeBoer said. “And if we play that type of game, then we’ve got a chance when we go home here.”
–Field Level Media