Golden Knights on verge of elimination after Game 5 loss in Dallas

The Golden Knights are on the brink of elimination from the playoffs after Wednesday night's 3-2 loss to the Stars in Game 5.

It’s been a season defined by turbulence for the Golden Knights, and there’s no better evidence of that than what is occurring in their first round playoff series. 

After taking a 2-0 series lead in Dallas and seemingly setting themselves up for another long playoff run, the Knights have lost three games in a row following Wednesday’s 3-2 loss, leaving themselves on the verge of elimination. 

“I still think these last two games that we were right there, and in the second period, late again, (it) got away from us (with) puck management and discipline and allowed them to get going,” coach Bruce Cassidy. “So, we’ll hang our hat on the other stuff.

“We feel we’re playing a pretty good game when we manage the puck and make the plays that are in front of us. They’re quick. They’re a team that gets on you. We obviously have to make a few adjustments on them leaving the zone early, how we can manage that better.”

Goaltender Adin Hill started for the Knights, making his postseason debut for the year after being sat behind Logan Thompson for the first three games. It was just last year that Hill’s goaltending was a big storyline in the Stanley Cup Final.

Mark Stone opened the scoring for the Golden Knights just four minutes into the game with an eerily similar power-play goal to the one that opened the series in Game 1. But the early momentum was short lived as former Knight Evgenii Dadonov scored just over a minute later to forge a 1-1 tie.

Stars winger Matt Duchene added a power-play goal eight minutes into the first period, but this time it was the Knights’ turn for a quick response as they tied the game, 2-2, four minutes later on William Carrier’s goal.

The second period was a grind for both sides and the Stars were the ones who broke through. Perennial all-star Jason Robertson scored the Stars’ second power-play goal of the game and in what was a showcase for the offensive special teams.

That past is significant because the Stars power-play coach is Steve Spott, who was an assistant coach under former Knights coach and current Stars coach Pete DeBoer.

The Stars held onto their lead thanks to a handful of timely saves from Stars goalie Jake Oettinger. As great as Logan Thompson was for Vegas in the first three games, Oettinger has been every bit as good for Dallas with even a bit more consistency to boot.

The Golden Knights pulled their goalie with less than two minutes remaining and they made a few brilliant stops to prevent an empty-net goals that would have stretched the Stars margin to two goals.  The issue was, the extra man wasn’t enough of a difference on the offensive end to score a game-tying goal. 

The Knights will host the Stars in Game 6 on Friday at T-Mobile Arena, with their season on the line. Should they win, they’ll have to head back to Dallas for Game 7 on Sunday.