The Dallas Stars weren’t ready to pack up their gear, so they will pack their suitcases instead.
The Stars stayed alive in the Western Conference finals when Joe Pavelski scored a power-play goal at 3:18 of overtime to give them a 3-2 win against the visiting Vegas Golden Knights in Game 4 on Thursday night.
The Golden Knights still hold a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series heading to Game 5 in Las Vegas on Saturday.
Vegas won the first two games of the series in overtime at home before rolling to a 4-0 win in Game 3 in Dallas.
“It’s a start for us,” Pavelski said. “We know our situation, and that’s how (Vegas) got it going, with an overtime win.”
Dallas defenseman Brayden McNabb was in the penalty box serving his second high-sticking penalty of the game when Pavelski, 38, scored with the one-timer from the left circle.
“These overtime games, they’re a lot of fun,” Pavelski said. “They’re a lot better when you win them, that’s for sure.”
Jason Robertson scored two goals and Jake Oettinger made 37 saves for the Stars, who had been 0-4 in overtime in the 2023 playoffs. Dallas’ Miro Heiskanen and Roope Hintz contributed two assists apiece.
William Karlsson and Jonathan Marchessault scored and Adin Hill made 39 saves for Vegas, which had won five in a row.
Karlsson tipped in Reilly Smith’s shot off the rush to give the Golden Knights a 1-0 lead at 4:17 of the first period.
Robertson scored on a power play to tie it 1-1 at 15:42 of the opening period. Robertson’s redirection went off Hill and caromed in the air. Hill tried to glove the puck, but Robertson knocked it away with his blade and then batted the puck into the net from waist level.
Hill had stopped 58 consecutive shots dating back to the second period of Game 2.
Golden Knights forward Jack Eichel was stopped on a breakaway with just over 10 minutes left in the second period, but Vegas scored 34 seconds later to take a 2-1 lead. McNabb was just above the goal line when he centered the puck through the crease to Marchessault, who redirected it into the net at 10:23.
Eichel also received an assist on the play, his third of the series.
“He’s one of those guys who’s easy to play with,” Marchessault said of his linemate. “He’s a fast, explosive skater. He’s great with the puck. He’s amazing in the D-zone, and he’s one of those guys that’s really gifted, so just trying to find him with the puck and get open for him.”
Robertson, who took a career-high 11 shots on goal, scored again at 17:21 of the second period to tie it 2-2.
Esa Lindell’s point shot was wide of the net, but the rebound banked off the end boards to Robertson, and he backhanded the puck into the open side of net.
Dallas played without team captain Jamie Benn, who was suspended two games for cross-checking Mark Stone in the face after the Vegas forward fell on his back early in Game 3.
The Stars also were without forward Evgenii Dadonov, who sustained a lower-body injury early in the first period of Game 3. Benn and Dadonov had combined for 21 points (seven goals, 14 assists) in the 15 games before Game 3.
“It’s such a fine line this time of year,” Pavelski said. “You just have to keep putting your game out there and having the belief you can buy more time.”
–Field Level Media