Whereas they each wanted seven video games to get so far — regardless of being up Three-1 of their respective collection — these groups had been broadly anticipated to be within the Western Convention finals.
Dallas wanted time beyond regulation and an unlikely hero towards the Avalanche to make its first convention ultimate look since 2008. That workforce, by the way in which, had Corridor of Famers Mike Modano and Sergei Zubov in its ranks. Sport 7 belonged to rookie Joel Kiviranta — a 24-year-old who had solely performed 11 NHL common season video games and two bubble video games — and his hat trick.
“We had a secret Finnish weapon over right here,” stated Stars captain Jamie Benn relating to Kiviranta subsequent to him throughout a video information convention with reporters.
Stars vs. Avalanche Sport 7: Joel Kiviranta completes hat trick in OT, sends Dallas to WCF
Oh, and by the way in which, don’t fret Joel, head coach Rick Bowness confirmed you will be within the lineup for Sport 1.
As for the Golden Knights, issues had been tight of their Sport 7 with the Canucks — on the scoreboard at the very least. Vegas dominated play all through however Thatcher Demko was as soon as once more masterful in web. He stymied the Vegas offense till virtually 14 minutes into the third interval when Shea Theodore lastly broke via on the facility play.
Canucks vs. Golden Knights Sport 7: Robin Lehner posts third shutout of collection, Vegas strikes on to WCF
“I want a drink after the final three video games earlier than I take into consideration Dallas,” head coach Pete DeBoer stated after his workforce moved on.
Properly, there isn’t any time like the current.
(1) Vegas Golden Knights vs. (Three) Dallas Stars: Schedule, breakdown, prediction
Solar., Sept. 6
NBC, fuboTV, SN, CBC, TVAS
Common season collection
Again when these groups met in the course of the common season, which seems like 100 years in the past, that they had completely different head coaches and completely different goalies in web (Malcolm Subban for Vegas previous to his commerce to Chicago and Ben Bishop for Dallas, who has been unfit to play for many of the postseason).
Bishop did play the spherical robin sport but it surely was Robin Lehner in between the pipes for the Golden Knights. Lehner has been masterful within the postseason and is coming off three shutouts in six begins — together with Sport 7 — towards the Canucks.
In that lone August assembly earlier than the Stanley Cup playoffs formally started, Vegas roared again from a Three-1 deficit after two intervals to win.
“We actually did not have anyone who was superb within the first 40 minutes,” DeBoer stated after his workforce scored 4 within the ultimate body.
“I believe we simply allow them to come at us,” famous Stars ahead Jason Dickinson stated. “We did not take possession of the sport, and it was clearly an embarrassing third interval that we do not need to repeat. But it surely’s one thing we are able to be taught from.”
VGK, Three-2 (OT)
Spherical robin sport
Each groups convey some offensive fireplace energy to the ice however Vegas has been operating rampant offensively because the postseason started (first and second rounds). In keeping with Pure Stat Trick, they’ve posted NHL-bests at 5v5 in Corsi For share (61.09), Fenwick For share (63.07) and Scoring Possibilities share (62.45). By comparability, Dallas has a 49.45 CF%, 50.89 FF% and 51.57 SCF%.
However here is the factor: Dallas has scored Three.77 GF/GP whereas Vegas has scored 2.83 within the first two rounds; clearly, the one huge distinction is the targets towards however we’ll get to that in a second. Additionally a key for Dallas: the workforce was solely averaging 2.58 GF/GP and had been 29th with simply 179 targets within the common season, in order that’s an enormous distinction.
The large query for Dallas is, can they get common season level chief Tyler Seguin going? He and captain Jamie Benn sat for lengthy stretches in Sport 7 and Seguin solely has two targets and 5 assists in 13 video games. On the flip aspect, the one factor head coach Rick Bowness has been getting is balanced scoring as defenseman Miro Heiskanen (17 factors), second-line winger Denis Gurianov (15 factors, 10 at even power) and first-line winger Alexander Radulov who scored two of his seven targets in Sport 7.
Vegas has additionally seen scoring up and down its lineup as defenseman Shea Theodore leads the workforce in scoring with 12 factors (eight at even power) adopted by Reilly Smith (11 factors) and Mark Stone (10 factors). Max Pacioretty and Alex Tuch each have potted 5 targets apiece. Of observe, Tuch solely tucked in eight targets in 42 common season video games.
Vegas’ protection has been very good, and that is clearly due largely to the goaltending of Robin Lehner. As beforehand said, he shutout the Canucks 3 times in six begins. They did present high quality probabilities to Vancouver, particularly because the workforce mounted their comeback and thru two rounds, the workforce has the third-worst Excessive-Hazard Save Proportion (78.33). It is one thing to keep watch over, though let’s be trustworthy, Lehner has been spectacular.
And Mark Stone is a defensive genius.
Here is a full spotlight reel of Mark Stone simply straight up taking the puck from individuals and stick lifting the hell out of everybody this postseason. What an impressive maniac he’s pic.twitter.com/GYQPqmd0zP
— Dimitri Filipovic (@DimFilipovic) September 5, 2020
As for Dallas, nicely they actually allowed an entire lotta targets to the Avalanche — and 56 (NHL tops) within the postseason. Whereas they gained a bunch of video games 1-Zero or 2-1 in the course of the common season, this can be a completely different workforce now. They allowed Four.14 GA/GP, which will not work towards a Vegas workforce that solely allowed 2.00 GA/GP to the Canucks and a simply 35 targets throughout the postseason.
Have we talked about but how incredible Robin Lehner has been between the pipes for Vegas? He is been so masterful in web that he is stored three-time Marc-Andre Fleury totally on the sidelines.
In 10 begins between the Blackhawks and Canucks collection’, he is posted a .922 save share, 1.80 goals-against common and three shutouts whereas stopping 213 of 231 pictures.
Throughout the ice, No. 1 netminder Ben Bishop has been “unfit to play” for almost all of the collection and postseason. Anton Khudobin, who posted a .930 save share in the course of the common season, began six of the seven video games towards Colorado however was on the bench to begin Sport 5 (with the Stars up Three-1).
“Yesterday, he appeared actually sharp,” stated head coach Rick Bowness after the 6-Three loss as to why he began Bishop. “He felt good. He felt he was able to go.”
Khudobin was again in web for Sport 6 and Sport 7 and ought to be the man to go within the Western Convention finals. He is posted a .907 save share in 12 video games (11 begins) however has a .855 HDSV%, which is not nice towards a Vegas workforce that likes to swarm the web.
Edge: Lehner, er, Vegas.
Dallas’ particular groups confirmed up within the second spherical towards the Avalanche. They held the high-powered Colorado offense to only 12.5 % effectivity with the person benefit whereas additionally posting 39.1 % on the facility play.
By comparability, Vegas’ penalty kill was barely larger with 88.9 % penalty kill however solely mustered 21.7 % on the facility play towards the Canucks.
Key gamers to observe
Robin Lehner (VGK): Fairly simple for this one. Lehner has been a star after attending to Vegas in late February and has continued to roll within the postseason.
Alexander Radulov (DAL): The feisty winger has been a sure-thing for the Stars within the postseason as he has seven targets in 16 video games (together with spherical robin) together with two big-time tying targets (Sport 2 vs Flames and Sport 7 vs Avs) and three game-winners.
Scoring the winner for a third time within the @DallasStars final 5 video games (although he did not ever see it go in!), Alexander Radulov put forth one other superb outing on Monday to tie for third on this record of Dallas gamers to take action at the very least Three occasions in a single #StanleyCup Playoff 12 months pic.twitter.com/OiNCgveFo8
— StatsCentre (@StatsCentre) August 25, 2020
Golden Knights vs. Stars playoff historical past
That is the first-ever assembly between the 2 franchises within the postseason.
Final 5 playoff appearances
Vegas Golden Knights
Misplaced in first spherical to SJ in seven video games
Misplaced in Stanley Cup Closing to WSH in 5 video games
Misplaced in second spherical to STL in seven video games
Misplaced in second spherical to STL in seven video games
Misplaced in first spherical to ANA in six video games
Misplaced in convention finals to DET in six video games
Misplaced in convention quarterfinals to VAN in seven video games
(1) Golden Knights vs. (Three) Stars prediction
The best way Robin Lehner and the Vegas offensive goes, plan on the Golden Knights heading to their second Stanley Cup Closing within the franchise’s first three seasons.
Prediction: Golden Knights in 6