May 29th, 2024

Wyatt Johnston scores in OT, Stars beat Golden Knights 3-2 to cut series deficit to 2-1

By W.g. Ramirez, The Associated Press on April 28, 2024.

LAS VEGAS (AP) – Wyatt Johnston scored his second goal of the game in overtime to give the Dallas Stars a 3-2 victory over Vegas on Saturday night, cutting the defending champion Golden Knights’ series lead to 2-1.

Johnston, who had a team-high eight shots, dragged the puck down the left side to the goal line, drawing goalie Logan Thompson into a low position, and beating him with a high shot 16:23 into the extra period.

Miro Heiskanen also scored for the Stars, and Jake Oettinger made 32 saves. The Stars had lost six straight against Vegas.

Brayden McNabb and Jack Eichel scored for Vegas, and Thompson stopped a career-high 43 shots. Dallas, which averaged 31.5 shots per game during the regular season, held a whopping advantage of high-danger shots, 27-4.

Game 4 is Monday night in Las Vegas.

Johnston opened the scoring midway through the first period when he backhanded a loose puck off a rebound through Thompson’s pads.

Without the stellar play of Thompson in the first period, during which Dallas outshot Vegas 18-8, the Golden Knights could’ve faced a much larger deficit. It marked the first time the Western Conference’s top seed led at the end of a period.

The Stars made it 2-0 at 5:25 of the second when they caught the Golden Knights in transition and ended up with a 3-on-2 rush. Former Golden Knight Evgeni Dadonov fed Tyler Seguin, who found a wide-open Heiskanen for the finish.

After tempers began flared midway through the second with Vegas’ physical fourth line, and two roughing penalties resulted in a 4 on 4, McNabb skated to the high slot and fired a wrist shot past Oettinger to pull Dallas within one.

Shortly thereafter, Eichel skated into the zone with William Karlsson on a 2 on 1, kept it for himself and buried a shot from the right circle to tie it.

___

AP NHL playoffs: https://apnews.com/hub/stanley-cup and https://www.ap)news.com/hub/NHL

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