For the first time in 20 years, the Dallas Stars reached the Stanley Cup Final. This time around, the Stars needed to rally back from a 2-0 third-period deficit to beat the Golden Knights 3-2 in OT in Game 5.
Denis Gurianov ended up scoring in overtime to win the series for the Stars.
From here, the Stars await the winner of the 2020 Eastern Conference Final, which the Lightning currently lead 3-1 against the Islanders.
As the source of much (probably too much) of the Golden Knights’ offense lately, it shouldn’t be too shocking that Shea Theodore factored into a big goal. His nice pass opened the door for Chandler Stephenson to make a great move on Anton Khudobin and give Vegas an early 1-0 lead:
If you’ve followed the 2020 Western Conference Final, you may know the drill for the second period. The Golden Knights hammered a high volume of shots and shot attempts, controlling much of the play. But they could only get so much going as far as high-danger scoring chances were concerned, and when they did, Khudobin was usually ready to make tough stops.
But there were also reminders that the Golden Knights can burn you badly if you blink.
After Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn tried to make something happen to start the third period, Reilly Smith beat Khudobin up high for a significant 2-0 goal. You can practically feel the relief from Smith and his Golden Knights teammates after that goal, as many top Vegas players (not named Shea Theodore) have been snakebitten.
That relief would be short-lived.
The setback on the 2-0 goal wouldn’t keep Benn from making an impact once again during this series. The Stars’ towering captain made plenty of plays during the third period, banging home a rebound to cut Vegas’ lead to 2-1.
Following an ill-advised penalty by Alex Tuch, Joel Kiviranta scored yet another big goal for the Stars, sending things to overtime with a 2-2 power-play tally.
The Stars didn’t find much success on the power play during this series, but they made it happen in Game 5. That Kiviranta PPG sent it to overtime, and then a booming Denis Gurianov one-timer punched the Stars’ ticket to the 2020 Stanley Cup Final.
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