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Survival: Golden Knights Lose To Stars in Shootout, on Brink of Elimination



Jake Oettinger save on Jack Eichel Vegas Golden Knights Dallas Stars (Photo- Vegas Golden Knights via Twitter)

The Dallas Stars (45-30-5, 95 points) have all but put the Vegas Golden Knights (42-31-7, 91 points) hopes to bed as they defeated the VGK in the shootout 3-2. The Golden Knights are now four points back of the Stars for the second Wild Card spot in the Western Conference with two games remaining.

Since the Golden Knights got a point for forcing overtime, technically they could still make the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs. However, that would require the Golden Knights to win out and the Dallas Stars to lose both of their remaining games in regulation against the Anaheim Ducks and Arizona Coyotes.

Stay tuned for the postgame report where we will take one final look at the playoff odds for the Golden Knights. The Nashville Predators and Edmonton Oilers both collected points Tuesday night as well.

Robin Lehner and Keegan Kolesar missed the game with injuries. Lehner is to have season-ending shoulder surgery and Kolesar is out week-to-week with a lower-body injury. The Golden Knights went with 11 forwards and 7 defensemen Tuesday night as a result. But Dylan Coghlan did not play shift.

From the start of the game, the Stars and Golden Knights competed in a tight-checking playoff-style game. There were little whistles, and when they came, both teams exhaled sighs of relief.

The Golden Knights started the game off on the wrong foot as Nicolas Roy hooked Joe Pavelski. The Stars were unable to score on their powerplay but controlled pressure in the early stages of the first period.

Offense from the Golden Knights came from the reunited line of Mark Stone, Max Pacioretty, and Chandler Stephenson, who lugged a lot of ice time Tuesday night. The Stars were led by their superstar line of Pavelski, Roope Hintz, and Jason Robertson.

Both goaltenders in Logan Thompson and Jake Oettinger had to be on their game Tuesday night.

The Golden Knights got the hugely-important first goal of the game late in the first period. This snaps their six-game streak of allowing the first goal. William Carrier scored his second goal in as many games since returning from injury.

His ninth goal of the season came off an attempting centering pass to Stephenson that hit Luke Glendening and went in.

The chess match resumed in the second with 20 more minutes of nitty-gritty hockey. Little space was given to either team but the Golden Knights got a couple of grade-A chances after John Klingberg blew a tire and Evgenii Dadonov and Jack Eichel went in on the rush.

The Stars were able to tie the game up with their top line once again finding the scoresheet. Robertson cut into the slot around Brayden McNabb with a backhand/forehand move and scored.

The line of Hintz, Robertson, and Pavelski attribute for 45% of the Stars’ goals this season. This goal marked Robertson’s 39th goal of the season.

The Golden Knights took to the powerplay late in the frame with Glendening going off for a hook. With just two seconds left in the second period, Stephenson scored the go-ahead goal for the Golden Knights.

The play was a quick passing play by the Golden Knights powerplay and resulted in Stephenson’s fourth goal in as many games. Stone also was credited for an assist and finally scored his first point since coming back from injury.

The Stars came back and tied things in the third period with Robertson getting another goal. A battle was won in the corner by Pavelski who passed the puck over to Klingberg. His shot pass was deflected in by Robertson for his 40th goal.

Shots were 8-1 Stars through the first half of the third period. Radek Faksa had a trio of chances on Thompson.

Evgenii Dadonov and William Karlsson missed on a 2-on-1 as Oettinger made a huge sprawling save. Oettinger also made a huge glove save on a slap shot one-timer from Shea Theodore.

Tied after sixty minutes, the game went to overtime where little to nothing happened. Only two shots were fired in the five-minute frame and both came from the Stars. For the second-straight game, the shootout was required.

After seven rounds of no scoring, Miro Heiskanen finally scored the first goal of the shootout. Karlsson had a chance to keep the Golden Knights alive but Oettinger stopped him. The Golden Knights lost the game in the shootout 3-2 and dropped another important point in the standings.

The Golden Knights play the Chicago Blackhawks Wednesday night on the road at 5:30 pm.

VHN’s Player of the Game: William Carrier