DALLAS — Joe Pavelski scored on a power play at 3:18 into overtime and the Dallas Stars staved off a win in the Western Conference Finals with a 3-2 win over the Vegas Golden Knights on Thursday night.
Jason Robertson scored twice for his first career multi-goal playoff game for Dallas, which he played without suspended captain Jamie Benn. Jake Oettinger made 37 saves, two nights after trailing 7:10 in Game 3 after allowing three goals on five shots.
Benn was suspended two games Wednesday by the NHL for his cross-check with his cane that landed near the neck of Las Vegas captain Mark Stone in the first two minutes of Game 3 Tuesday night. Benn will also miss Race 5 on Saturday night in Las Vegas.
William Karlsson and Jonathan Marchessault scored for Las Vegas. Adin Hill ended his five game hitting streak. Lui had 39 shots, including a game save with his left leg extended with about two minutes left in regulation on rookie Fredrik Olofsson’s try in his first career playoff game.
Karlsson and Marchessault are among six original Vegas players still on the team from the inaugural 2017-18 season that ended with the Knights playing for the Stanley Cup, though they lost in five games to the Washington Capitals after winning the first match.
Vegas missed a chance to complete a sweep, one night after the Florida Panthers finished off a sweep of the Carolina Hurricanes in the Eastern Conference Finals.
Vegas took a 2-1 lead midway through the second period when Marchessault, after hitting his stick on the back of Ryan Suter in front of the net, scored on a pass between the legs of Brayden McNabb’s star defender, a another original Golden Knight.
Robertson’s equalizing goal at the end of that period came on a rebound off the backboard seconds after another shot hit the post. This was his fourth goal of this streak and sixth in the playoffs, after he became the first Dallas player with a 100-point season this regular season.
With former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson and wrestling great Ric Flair both in the building wearing Stars jerseys, Dallas avoided being swept in the playoffs for the first time since 2001 against St. Louis in the second round. This was the Stars’ 21st playoff series since.
The Golden Knights again scored first, though not as an early three goals on five shots in the first 7:10 of Game 3 led to Oettinger’s first outing ever.
Karlsson pushed the puck and skated in front of the net after passing to Nicolas Roy, whose pass in traffic went off a Dallas stick before Reilly Smith – also with Vegas starting – caught it just inside the right circle and shot. Karlsson’s deflection off Oettinger just 4:17 into the game was his eighth goal this postseason.
Dallas tied it 1-1 on a power play with 4:18 left in the first period after a deft maneuver by Robertson, who deflected Miro Heiskanen’s shot into the air from just inside the blue line. As Hill was trying to secure the puck in his glove, Robertson freed it and then reached down and ran the puck into the net with his stick parallel to the ice.
Hill, coming off his first career playoff shutout, had stopped 60 straight shots in a span that included overtime in Game 2 after stopping all 10 shots he tackled in the third period.