May 30th, 2024

Noah Hanifin breaks late tie, Golden Knights beat Stars 2-0 to force Game 7

By Mark Anderson, The Associated Press on May 3, 2024.

LAS VEGAS (AP) – Noah Hanifin broke a scoreless tie at 9:54 of the third period, Adin Hill stopped 23 shots and the defending champion Vegas Golden Knights kept alive their season by beating the Dallas Stars 2-0 on Friday night to force Game 7.

The deciding game in the first-round series is Sunday in Dallas.

Mark Stone also scored on a empty-netter from near his own goal line.

This was a classic goalie duel, with Hill getting his first shutout since having two in three games in early November.

On the other side, Jake Oettinger made 28 saves and entered the game without giving up a goal in this series in the third period or overtime. Hanifin goal ended Oettinger’s streak at 60 saves.

There are numbers that favor either side.

Vegas took a 2-0 lead in this series, and the Knights are 4-0 when holding such an advantage. The Stars have never overcome such a deficit in the nine previous tries since moving to Dallas. NHL teams overall are 351-55 when given that early lead.

But no team has been able to solve Stars coach Pete DeBoer in a seventh game. He is 7-0.

This game had electricity from the beginning, both team missing major scoring opportunities with the tension building as the game progressed. The Golden Knights added some star touch with recording artist Shania Twain cranking the horn before the game and James Holzhauer is Jeopardy fame doing it before the third.

The Golden Knights, as expected given the circumstances, came out flying, living in the Stars’ offensive zone early on. Dallas didn’t get its first shot on goal until 7:45 into the game, but the Knights failed to cash in on several chances, including a point-blank opportunity by Nicolas Roy and a shot from Keegan Kolesar that went off the post to keep the game scoreless in the first period.

The game remained that way through the second period, but it wasn’t for a lack of action. Hill made three spectacular saves in a row, including denying Seguin on a breakaway. Hill later received an assist from Mark Stone, who cleared the puck from the goal line. Logan Stankoven missed an open net for the Stars, and Vegas’ Jonathan Marchessault had a shot from the left circle that the crowd thought went into the net.

Hanifin finally broke through, with his unassisted wrister from the right circle.

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AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/nhl

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