Knights shut out Stars, move one win from Cup Final

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Adin Hill made sure the Vegas Golden Knights didn’t need to work overtime on Tuesday night.

Hill made 34 saves for his first career postseason shutout and the visiting Vegas Golden Knights took a commanding lead in the Western Conference finals with a 4-0 win against the Dallas Stars in Game 3.

“I guess everything was just hitting me tonight,” Hill said.

After winning the first two games of the series in overtime, Vegas seized control of Game 3 from the outset, paving the way for its fifth straight victory and a 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven series. Game 4 will be played on Thursday in Dallas.

Ivan Barbashev had a goal and two assists, Jonathan Marchessault, William Carrier and Alex Pietrangelo also scored and Nicolas Roy had two assists for the Golden Knights.

Vegas chased Dallas goalie Jake Oettinger with three goals in the first 7:10. Oettinger made two saves before he was replaced by Scott Wedgewood, who stopped 10 of the 11 shots he faced the rest of the way.

“This isn’t anything like I pictured it,” Dallas coach Peter DeBoer said. “I thought we were ready to have a great game.”

Stars captain Jamie Benn was ejected less than two minutes into the game for cross-checking Golden Knights captain Mark Stone.

Dallas outshot Vegas 34-16.

Marchessault, who scored the tying goal with 2:22 left in regulation in Game 2 on Sunday as Vegas won 3-2 for its second straight overtime win, gave the Golden Knights a 1-0 lead just 1:11 into Game 3.

Jack Eichel spotted Marchessault skating to an open area in front of the Dallas net and sent him a cross-ice pass. Marchessault stopped the puck as he skated backward into the left circle and scored with a quick wrist shot.

Less than a minute later, Benn was called for a five-minute major penalty and assessed a game misconduct for cross-checking Stone in the face while the Vegas forward was on his back on the ice.

“Made a mistake, knows that he did,” DeBoer said. “I’m not going to pile on him. Fortunately, Mark Stone is OK.”

The Stars held Vegas to one shot through the first four minutes of the subsequent power play and nearly scored on a two-on-one, but the Golden Knights went the other direction after Hill’s save and Barbashev scored off the rush for a 2-0 lead at 5:57.

“We get a call that gives us a chance to make them pay, and we did,” Vegas coach Bruce Cassidy said. “We’re going to keep trying to play hard between the whistles.”

Carrier scored up high with a backhand to give Vegas a 3-0 lead at 7:10, and Oettinger had his night end early for the third time in the 2023 playoffs.

Pietrangelo scored one second after the Golden Knights’ second power play expired, hitting the net with a wrist shot from above the right circle for a 4-0 lead at 8:28 of the second period.

The Stars also lost forward Evgenii Dadonov to a lower-body injury early in the first period and were down to nine forwards after Max Domi received a 10-minute misconduct with 22 seconds left in the second period.

The second period was stopped after Domi’s penalty and intermission began because fans had thrown debris onto the ice.

“Everybody in the building was frustrated tonight,” DeBoer said.

One more Vegas win would send the Golden Knights to the second Stanley Cup Final in their six-year existence. In its initial season, Vegas lost in the 2018 finals to the Washington Capitals.

–Field Level Media

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