Vegas leads 3-1 in games heading into Saturday’s fifth meeting in Las Vegas.
– Not much to cry about. Three of the games have gone to overtime, Dallas is a good team and tonight their stars stepped up and were sharp, Vegas coach Bruce Cassidy said afterward.
Dallas was forced to play without suspended team captain Jamie Benn. They also missed Yevgenij Dadonov, who was injured in Tuesday’s third meeting between the teams.
Pavelski became a sudden hero
The Stars were down 0-1 and 1-2 last night, but got up and managed to take home the “win-or-lose-match” of the night.
Jason Robertson scored both 1-1 and 2-2 and then Pavelski stepped forward and decided the event after 3.18 minutes of extra time.
The Stars got a power play after Vegas guard Brayden McNab went out for a high stick play just over two minutes into overtime.
Pavelski positioned himself in the left drawing circle and cut in with a direct shot as the pass came from Miro Heiskanen.
To his delight, he and his teammates could see the puck fly into the far post.
– A wonderful feeling. There is nothing better than deciding a playoff game in overtime. We found a way to win tonight and it’s a start for us in the quest for survival in this semi-final series. Now it’s about us continuing with another win in Las Vegas on Saturday, Pavelski said in a televised interview with ESPN right after the final whistle.
“Smart player – high hockey IQ”
The Golden Knights got off to a dream start with an early 1-0 goal by William Karlsson, 30. The Swedish attacking star stood diagonally in front of the box and headed in a shot pass from Reilly Smith.
It was Karlsson’s 8th goal in this year’s playoffs. He is, along with Jonathan Marchessault, Vegas’ top scorer in the playoffs so far.
Jason Robertson equalized before the end of the first period. The teams followed each other with a goal in the middle period and then came a goalless third period.
– It is no coincidence that Pavelski decides the match. He is a smart player with a high hockey IQ and an important leader in Dallas, not least now that team captain Jamie Benn was missing, NHL legend Mark Messier said on the expert panel at ESPN.
Stars coach Peter DeBoer praised Fredrik Olofsson afterwards.
– We were forced to play without two of our best six forwards, but the substitutes filled the gaps very well. Not least Olofsson, he contributed with a strong effort. It’s so important to have that breadth in the squad, DeBoer said.
Olofsson with a good effort
Olofsson had to make 17 substitutions and was responsible for five shots on goal, which was the second most of anyone in the team.
He was drafted by Chicago in the fourth round in 2014, but never got the chance with the Blackhawks. Olofsson signed a contract with the Dallas Stars on May 18, 2022.
He made 21 regular season appearances in a Dallas jersey and recorded 4 points, 1 goal and 3 assists.