VEGAS 2 DALLAS 3 (OT) (Stars lead series 2-1)
Dallas took a 2-1 series lead in the Western Conference Final on Thursday night thanks in large part to the play of Jamie Benn, Anton Khudobin and Alexander Radulov. Benn posted one goal and one assist in the contest, while Khudobin stopped 38 shots and Radulov scored the game winner just 31 seconds into the first overtime period.
Jamie Oleksiak opened the scoring at the 19:43 mark of the second period to end Robin Lehner’s shutout streak at 171:27. Miro Heiskanen, who assisted on the goal, and John Klingberg have received plenty of well-deserved praise this postseason, but Oleksiak has been superb as well while contributing four goals and seven points in 19 games since the restart.
There was a small goal explosion in what has been a low-scoring series during the third period when Shea Theodore, who has also reached another level during the postseason, scored his seventh marker 3:49 into the third period on a Vegas power play to tie the game at 1-1. Mark Stone, who had gone four consecutive games without a point, and Jonathan Marchessault earned assists. Theodore has amassed 18 points in 18 matches this postseason.
Benn potted his sixth goal of the postseason shortly later at the 7:35 mark. Tyler Seguin ended his six-game pointless skid with an assist on Benn’s goal, while Joel Hanley picked up his first career playoff point on the secondary helper. Benn, who was also credited with six shots and five hits in the win, has 12 points in his past 10 outings.
Stone evened the score at the 12:46 mark when Alex Tuch's shot bounced off him when he went to the net. Dallas challenged it for goaltender interference, but the call was upheld. William Karlsson also picked up an assist on the play.
Joe Pavelski and Benn combined to set up Radulov’s winner. Radulov had a frustrating Game 2, but he bounced back on Thursday while seeing most of his playing time alongside Benn and Seguin.
Khudobin made some spectacular saves, especially in the third period when the Stars were outshot by an 18-4 margin, to earn the victory. He appeared to hurt himself when he stretched out for one of those stops, but insisted after the match that he was fine. Robin Lehner, who made 20 saves in the defeat, also said he was fine after he took a puck to the “wrong area” just before the final horn of the third period.
Dallas won the hit battle 55-42 on Thursday, making it three straight games that the team with the most credited body collisions has won the match. Jason Dickinson had a game-high eight hits in the contest.
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Tampa Bay’s Alex Killorn was handed a one-game suspension on Thursday for boarding Brock Nelson of the New York Islanders in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Final. The Lightning could be down another forward in Game 3 if Brayden Point is unavailable. He left Wednesday’s contest due to an injury.