Vegas fails to close out series in Dallas

The Dallas Stars defeated the Vegas Golden Knights 3-2 in overtime Thursday night in Game 4, and avoided the sweep.

The ol’ Peter DeBoer-Joe Pavelski-Power Play triumvirate strikes again.

You remember in San Jose, in 2019, when a major penalty on Pavelski resulted in a five-minute major power play for the Sharks, who rallied from down 3-0 in the third period to take the lead with four goals in 4:01 while with a man advantage, and won 5-4 in overtime to capture the series in seven games?

It also completed a comeback from a 3-1 series deficit the Golden Knights had.

San Jose’s coach back then? DeBoer.

Thursday night in Dallas, the DeBoer-coached Stars denied a series sweep by the Golden Knights when Pavelski scored on a power play at 3:18 of overtime to deliver a 3-2 win.

“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 … so we’ll see where this goes.”

It was Pavelski’s ninth goal in 12 games this postseason, and 73rd career postseason goal – the most among U.S.-born players and highest among all active players.

Jason Robertson scored twice for the Stars, who were without suspended captain Jamie Benn.

Jake Oettinger had 37 saves just two nights after DeBoer pulled him 7:10 into Game 3 after surrendering three goals on five shots.

William Karlsson and Jonathan Marchessault scored for Vegas, and Adin Hill made 39 saves.

It was the third time in four games the teams went to overtime, as Games 1 and 2 needed extra time in Las Vegas, where Game 5 is scheduled for Saturday.

It would behoove Vegas to get back to playing the type of defense that led to a 4-0 shutout in Game 3, and even in earlier games. Anything to thwart the Stars, who showed signs of life they never had on Tuesday.

“Their desperation was a little higher than ours,” Marchessault said. “At this time of year, it’s not about X’s and O’s. It’s about who wants it more, and I thought they wanted it more than us.”

Nothing will change on Saturday, as the Stars will be even hungrier, playing with confidence after staving off elimination and knowing a victory will send the series back to Dallas with just one more needed to force a decisive Game 7.

It’s the type of comeback DeBoer and Pavelski know all about.

“Closing series it’s probably the hardest game of the series,” Marchessault added.