Golden Knights defeat Stars 4-0, go up 3-0 in Western Conference Finals


Nicholas Roy, Ivan Barbashev, William Karlsson, and Alex Pietrangelo celebrate a Vegas goal.

The Vegas Golden Knights defeated the Dallas Stars 4-0 on Tuesday night and have pushed them to the brink. The Golden Knights hold a commanding three game to none lead in the series and can advance to their second Stanley Cup Finals in franchise history with a win on Thursday. Of the 204 teams to go up three games to none in a series in NHL history, only four teams have come back to win the series, most recently the 2014 Los Angeles Kings.

Early in the first, the puck was deep in the Dallas zone. Eichel centered a cross ice feed to Jonathan Marcessault who ripped a one timer home to open the scoring. 42 seconds later, Stars captain Jamie Benn got tangled up with Vegas captain Mark Stone along the boards. As Stone was falling, Benn cross checked him in the face. He received a five minute major and game misconduct. On the ensuing powerplay, Nicholas Roy passed it cross ice to Ivan Barbashev who scored to double the Vegas lead. Minutes later, William Carrier scored on a backhander to go up 3-0 just 7:10 into the game. The Stars pulled goalie Jake Oettinger, who had allowed three goals on five shots. Alex Pietrangelo scored midway through the second period to go up 4-0. 

“We did it by playing the way we want to play and that’s the encouraging part,” Golden Knights coach Bruce Cassidy said. 

“I think we had a really good effort for 60 minutes,” Roy said. He had two assists in the game. Ivan Barbashev had a goal and two assists and Teddy Blueger, Jack Eichel, and Keegan Kolesar all had assists. Adin Hill stopped all 34 shots he faced for his first career postseason shutout. Since coming in midway through game three in the second round, he is 6-1. 

“I guess everything was hitting me tonight,” Hill said.

Vegas was better in the offensive zone and shut down the Stars. They limited their chances and were able to control large parts of the game. The Stars were slower and were unable to overcome that horrendous start. Dallas had twice as many shots as Vegas, outshooting them 34-16. Scott Wedgewood came into the game and made ten saves on eleven shots. The Stars were playing without two of their top players after Benn was thrown out early in the game and forward Evgenii Dadonov left the game with a lower body injury. 

“I’m not sure you could script it much worse,” Dallas head coach Peter Deboer said. 

Many of the Stars players weren’t upset with Benn’s actions as many supported him after the game. 

“He was tied up and engaged and went for a little extra. Emotions get the best of all of us at some point,” Joe Pavelski said. 

 “Jamie’s one of the, if not the, best captain in this league and top leader. Collectively, we lost as a group,” Tyler Seguin said.

DeBoer said Benn “made a mistake.”

Game four will be in Dallas on Thursday with the Stars fighting to keep their postseason alive. Vegas has a huge lead in the series and are playing with confidence and swagger while Dallas has their backs against the wall. The status for Dadonov and Benn for game four are yet to be determined, as Benn will most likely receive a hearing from the league.