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DALLAS STARS 3 VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 2 (DAL 2-1) – OT

Recap: The Golden Knights began Game 3 of the Western Conference finals looking to take a 2-1 series lead over the Dallas Stars.

The opening period was tight with Robin Lehner and Anton Kuhdobin both comimg up with big saves to keep it a scoreless tie heading into the first intermission.

Lehner continued to play strong frustrating Dallas into the first two periods. However, the Stars would finally get one by the Vegas goaltender with :17 seconds left in the period.

Vegas’ offense broke out of their slump when Shea Theodore scored his 7th goal of the postseason tying the game 1-1. Dallas regained the lead 2-1 a few minutes later but Vegas wore down the Stars and eventually Alex Tuch tied the game with his 9th goal of the playoffs.

Dallas didn’t take long to win the game 3-2 in overtime. The Stars found an opening :31 into OT scoring their third on Lehner.

With their 3-2 OT loss, the Golden Knights trail the Stars 2-1 in their best-of-seven series. Game 4 of the Western Conference finals between Vegas and Dallas is set for Saturday night. Puck drop is scheduled for 5:00 PM. (Recap by Jason)

Analysis: The Golden Knights took too long to get to their game and then couldn’t stick with it long enough through the first two periods. Because of it, they found themselves in a hole. The 3rd period was exactly what Vegas wants the games to look like, but it was happening while behind for the most part. There’s a growing concern that Dallas’ style has been able to keep Vegas away from theirs. In the end, a problem that has plagued them through three games cropped back up and it was an open neutral zone that led to the game-winning OT goal. Tough loss and VGK need a massive response on Saturday.  (Analysis by Ken)


Upcoming stories from Game 3 of the Vegas Golden Knights vs Dallas Stars in the Western Conference Final at Rogers Place in the NHL Bubble.

  • High event vs low event play; VGK seems to benefit from the former against Dallas
  • Neutral zone openness has hurt VGK and completely burned them in OT

Ken’s Three VGK Stars
*** Reilly Smith
** William Karlsson
* Shea Theodore

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20 Comments

  1. Well so much for our be all to end all goalie – 3 goals allowed on 20 shots vs 2 goals on 40 shots for Dallas goalie. Guess there is no question who is the better of the two. Maybe that explains why the other teams Lehner has played with got rid of him. Oh I know his luck just ran out this evening it was a fluke – BS. And I think someone said they signed him to a contract. As for our energy superstar and game changer???? Reaves that everyone thinks is so wonderful, he may as well stay home. We will see if they have what it takes to come back and win Saturday night. Dallas bounced they all over the ice from original face -off. Glad Dallas didn’t shot any more often or the score would have been in the double digits – yes A slight exaggeration but not much. Kind a sad testimonial to loose 30 seconds into OT.

    • Julie

      Hey, HD! That was tough to watch last night. I had hoped I was right about winning the next 3 games and that Dallas’ energy would not be sustainable. Certainly, I was wrong on that first point and if Dallas subsided in energy, it wasn’t by much. Every time I think Lehner is doing slightly better, something stupid happens. Where did you see Lehner signed a contract? Just curious. I saw several recent opinion pieces that he should get one, but not that he had. Seems like they should woo Demko if management is hell-bent on sidelining Fleury with 5-6 million dollar “backup”. Oscar Dansk has similar stats, might as well get him in there if not Fleury. I did see more of Stone, but was that his goal or Tuch’s? The “experts” on Sportsnet couldn’t agree. Much like how there is never any constructive criticism of Lehner, which would help people understand how some goals get through, not put him down. Wait, I remember Ron showed a Lehner clip looking away from the puck battle near him 3x (same skirmish), after saying the number 1 goalie rule is to keep your eye on the puck, but never explained if that was a mistake or something valuable. So, no help there.

      Game 4 will be very very interesting. Not just who PDB has in the net, but how VGK will tighten up and unleash a little whoop-a$$. And that a$$-kicking needs to start Game 4.

      • Good morning Julie – Lehner – I think I saw it posted somewhere on this site but can’t remember what day or from who and looked back to find it without any luck. I would have thought it would be big news but maybe they are keeping it hidden for now – who knows. Just like we will probably never know the true story concerning, Galant, Fluery etc. Personal matters are confidential and people don’t want to get sued. I notice things are pretty quite on this site today – it is difficult to believe we don’t have all those – blame the other guy stories. I did notice Daryl understands the game probably better than some others who normally criticize his opinion and point of view. As for energy it looks to me that Dallas dug deep and now with the win their attitude will be a big factor for Vegas to overcome – I hate to think that way and wish I was more confident. They could comeback but they will have to do some things differently that’s for sure. I noticed last night announcers made a number of comments re: Vegas not screening their goalie ( I wonder why??) despite the Tuck goal where Stone was involved. I wish I could bring myself to believe Stone is worth 3 mill per year more than some of the others who appear to me to be much more involved in the game. Sure Stone makes some plays but 3 mill worth more than the others I don’t think so. I am sure if anyone reads this beside you it will gander some negative responses. Yes some a$$ – kicking needs to swing into high gear – that said it always doesn’t result in the way desired. Here’s to better days a win in game 4 would help otherwise they will be packing their bags and heading wherever sooner than they anticipated.

        • Julie interesting conversation on tv about Lehner and how it should never have been brought up at this time. As they said they don’t need any more drama in the locker room and l couldn’t agree more. All are wondering how this got leaked out and in very poor taste. One of the more intelligent things l have heard them say. They went on to say how disruptive this is as focus needs to be on the task at hand. Profound!!!! They did say a 5 yr extension not signed that anyone knows. Stupid stupid timing whoever leaked info almost as stupid as the MAF sword thing. That seems to be Vegas thing to take the heat off where it really belongs starting with George and Kelly.

    • Daryl

      HD…. couldn’t have said it better myself!

    • Julie

      HD, I see some info about a 5 yr extension for $25m with annual cap hit of 5M, agreed upon prior to the RTP. Hasn’t been signed yet. Funny, it was sorted out in June. VGK paying 12m a year for goalies does not seem likely and The Fourth Period thinks Fleury will go. He has a 10 team trade protection, but he may be pushing to leave if management signs “Boom or Bust” Lehner and try to keep him as a backup.

      I bet the conference will definitely determine if VGK signs, if Fleury stays, if Lehner goes, and the Stanley Cup is just a side thing, because no one, i.e., Stone or Lehner, took any responsibility or showed they really want the Cup in the post game interview last night. Sad.

      • Julie that’s exacy what l mean concerning attitude. Attitude makes up for a lot of short comings that is one of the main reasons l question the logic of Stone for captain. What is bothersome is the fact that many people on this site don’t see that.
        Love the boom or bust description you missed your calling.

        • Julie

          100%, HD. Except, in complete honesty, I stole the ‘boom or bust’ from the write up on Rotowire. 🙂 I just agree with it so much. Side note, ESPN says Lehner says there is no agreement with VGK and that the Atlantic and Fourth Period are making things up. Of course, he may have to say that. Who knows anymore, ha ha. I think I have to agree too with a comment Tim made as well that McCrimmon and McPhee might be livid right now. I also will go out on a limb that NY will win tonight and VGK will win tomorrow, possibly with Fleury.

  2. Peter Turner

    Ken, not wanting to beat this dead horse but since you keep bringing it up, this is how logic works. Your claim is that Reaves doesn’t make a difference. Ok, let’s follow that thought. Logic dictates that if you are right, Reaves playing less minutes on ice would lead to VGK still having more hits against Dallas, giving us more possession of the puck since Dallas will turn it over to us and thus VGK gets more scoring chances especially in the 3rd period right?

    Great, so he plays less. VGK get’s outhit by Dallas 55 to 42 and we gave away possession 12 times vs Dallas’s 10 and we lose the game. Well, that clearly proves Reaves playing less time makes no difference to the team. Welcome to opposite land where up is down and whatever Ken says must be true.

    VGK played well in the 3rd period? Are you insane? We were playing from behind in the 3rd period. It took 2 stupid back to back penalties by Dallas for us to equalize. We couldn’t even eke 1 single goal during the 5 on 3, but I guess if Ken says so, it must be true.

    The difference in this game is that Nosek got hurt and as the coach said, we couldn’t roll out the 4th line as much as we wanted. So we were rolling 3 lines most of the game. Guess what, Dallas is rolling on all 4s. Jamie Benn was doing his best Reavo impersonation and hitting everything in sight. He was man handling VGK and he got to set the tone because he knew Reavo wasn’t going to have time to hit them back.

    I don’t blame Panda. That was a heckuva shot by Radulov. The game could have gone either way during OT but usually it would have favored VGK but not this time. Once again, it’s just 1 game. We’ve been here before, we can overcome this. Better coaching, more practice on elevating the puck, less panicking in front of the net, better play recognition, work on deflecting the puck in, work on scrambling in front of the goalie, work on set plays, keep winning face offs and most importantly, set the tone take back ownership of the ice and we should be good.

    Go Knights Go!

    • Daryl

      Thats some logic there Peter…. I went over this before but I guess you skipped my comments. More hits DO NOT lead to more turnovers. Most hits usually occur AFTER the player passes the puck. Yes some hits will cause turnovers but most of them do not. If that were the case, our 4th line would lead the NHL in TA (which btw they don’t). To show you how stupid that logic is, Holden had 2 GA in the last game and neither were caused by him getting hit our about to get hit. McNabb, while not counted as GA, turned the back over back to back and he was touched on either one. I’m pretty sure Reavo’s own GA wasn’t accounted to being hit either.

      Your other point about Benn is also hilarious. Have you ever watched Dallas play before. Benn play’s Benn hockey no matter who is on the ice. He doesn’t back down because Reaves is playing and is going to hit him back. Benn set the tone long before there were any injuries. To say he played hard and hit more simply b/c Reaves wasn’t playing as much is just laughable.

      The last part I do agree with you on. VGK has been here before and we know they can play better. They need better coaching, they need to switch up the plays on the PP, the defense needs to play the shooting lanes, our big players need to stop getting knocked off the puck and we need to win board battles.

      • Julie

        Daryl, you may have covered this, but the hits a team makes, that’s really just to wear the other team down physically, correct? I mean, if it yields something else, like a turnover, great, but at it’s core, it’s meant to jar the other guy, maybe rattle him physically and mentally, little by little, thereby affecting his play and/or energy, etc.? Thanks.

        • Daryl

          Julie… Hits olaybseveral roles in a game but without fans, some of those roles are limited. But mainly, yes hits will slow a team down over the course of a game but mostly over the course of a series. But when teams are even in size and hits, the hits neutralize each other out so you really aren’t wearing down the other team.

          Now big hits are frat at getting the fans involved and energizing your team. Without fans those big hits aren’t as effective. I do believe players feed off the fans, even the negative booing from opposing fans.

          Fighting can do the same thing. But again no fans so less energy. Fighting can also send a message that cheap shots or targeting won’t happen without retribution. Thanks to Bettman fighting doesn’t send the same kind of message. Wayne Gretzky was huge on having a protector with him as was Super Mario and several other stars. With rule changes, we very rarely see this type of enforcement and you now see lore players like Crosby getting cheap shits all game long.

          Don’t get me wrong, big hits can cause turnovers, that’s not the purpose of hits. A player taking a huge hit may the next time on the ice get a little jittery with the puck and make a bad pass and turn it over, but charging and stricter interference pe alties we have fewer and fewer big open ice hits.

          With all that being said, I really miss old time hockey

          • Julie

            Thanks. Those were the days, weren’t they? My husband mentioned another difference during the game last night, too. That now they have nutritionists, and supplements, etc. and everything is regimented. He said he remembers back then, like Gretzky would comment that he would eat a big plate of pierogi, or like other players, just ate and played. A lot less regulation than now.

    • Peter T just a quick question as like other things many people are afraid to ask or just don’t care – are you a watch maker???? – not that it really matters one way or the other but would explain a number of things. Think about that before answering if you are so inclined. I hope you take that question the proper way and don’t get all bent out of shape as that certainly is not the objective of knowing but will aid greatly in understanding.

  3. Tim

    Ken everything you said made a lot of sense. Changing lines helps one line diminishes another line. The problem is in the Vancouver series and this series two goalies on the top of there game have shut us down and we have no answer. Our leaders aren’t getting the job done. Stone over passes all the time. Patch is a nervous wreck out there he’s useless, Marshy has that little man complex with a chip on his shoulder but has done zip. There’s more to pick apart on more players but you get the idea. Like I’ve said we have a nice team but not a great team and getting to the Western Conference finals is no small feat. Like in the old Twilight Zone episode Last Stop Willoughby I think the Knights are getting off the train at Willoughby.
    It would be interesting to be in the locker room today when it was announced Lehner just signed for 5 years. Even though I think everyone likes Lehner there has to be some hard feelings the way Fleury was treated. Marc you were a good teammate sorry it had to come down this way. I believe if we don’t beat Dallas the hammer is going to drop on more players then you think. Well no sense beating a dead horse let’s hope for the best Saturday and expect the worse. There’s 27 teams home right now so how bad can it be.

  4. Peter Turner

    Jeez Daryl. I’ll make this simple for you.

    In this current Dallas vs VGK WCF series

    Do more hits against an opposing team help your team in any way?
    1. Yes
    2. No.

    If it doesn’t help at all, then you are right. If not, what are we arguing about?

    An no I’m not a watch maker. Sounds like a cool gig though.

    • Not certain you understood the question but that’s ok.

    • Daryl

      No, more hits doesn’t make a difference in this game nor any other. Yes I understand hits can wear down a team over time and in that case hits over a series can make a difference. But when this hits are orarixally even then no they don’t make a difference. And this is usually the case when playing against smaller, faster teams.

      Don’t get me wrong, I like Reaves, I just don’t think he brings much value to a team except for the fans. The fans and his teammates Mike get a laugh at his chirping, but that isn’t bringing value to the team or the play on the ice. He’s slightly better than old timer goons

  5. Peter Turner

    Folks, let me simplify this. VGK is like a fine tuned engine. Every one has their role. Anyone can be the scoring guy, the top 6 are suppose to be the attacking guys, the third and fourth line are mainly the forechecking guys, the defense is the keep the pucks out of our zone guys and the goalie is the keep the puck out of the net guy.

    When everything is in sync and we roll all 4 lines, we are able to control the pace and the rhythm of the game, then we would likely win that match. If we set the tone of the game and appear to be the aggressor, we get an extra edge. Sometimes it takes a hard hit, some times it takes a lot of hits, sometimes it takes a player dropping the glove. Whatever it is, there is that intangible that helps the team’s morale and that’s what Jamie Benn did that enabled Dallas to win the game last night despite their team being out shot.

    VGK is a powerful engine that’s probably made in Italy because the slightest thing that goes wrong, it falls apart easily. If a referee makes a bad call against the team, it destroys the rhythm. A player gets hurt and we can’t roll all 4 lines, it throws the team off balance and opens up an opportunity for the opponent to capitalize on it, which was what Dallas did last night.

    We can’t win the cup if we are built like that. We need to be more resilient. We need more of our guys to step up when someone goes down, or a bad call is made, or a stupid penalty is taken, or if the other team is starting to bully our players. You’re right, it can’t be on Reavo to outmuscle Dallas. Everyone needs to do it. Patches and Tuch are the only guys that tried to fight back. That’s not enough. VGK needs to be strong not just physically but also mentally. Only then do we deserve a spot in the SC finals.

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