Brett Howden scored 1:35 into overtime to give the Vegas Golden Knights a 4-3 victory over the Dallas Stars in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals on Friday night in Las Vegas.
Howden retrieved a Mark Stone shot behind the goal and then banked in a shot off the back of Dallas goaltender Jake Oettinger’s left leg into the net for his first career playoff overtime goal.
The Stars had tied the game when Jamie Benn scored with 1:59 remaining in regulation.
William Karlsson scored two goals, Teddy Blueger also scored and Zach Whitecloud had two assists for Vegas. Golden Knights goalie Adin Hill made 33 saves.
Roope Hintz had a goal and two assists while Jason Robertson had a goal and an assist for Dallas. Joe Pavelski added two assists, and Oettinger finished with 33 saves.
Game 2 of the best-of-seven series will be played Sunday afternoon in Las Vegas
Dallas then took advantage of an odd bounce off the corner boards to take a 1-0 lead at the 18:44 mark of the first period. Alex Pietrangelo’s clearing pass from behind the goal bounced off the boards into the center of the left circle, where Hintz picked it up and threw a shot toward the goal that Robertson redirected through Hill’s pads.
Robertson notched his third goal of the playoffs while snapping an eight-game goal drought.
The bad bounces evened out midway through the second period when Karlsson tied it 1-1. Whitecloud blasted a shot from the right point. The puck caromed off the end boards straight to Karlsson rushing past the left side of the goal, where he whistled a wrist shot into an open net.
Karlsson gave Vegas a 2-1 lead at the 1:19 mark of the third period when he picked up a loose puck and fired a wrist shot from the high slot through Oettinger’s pads for his seventh goal of the playoffs.
The Golden Knights’ lead didn’t last long. Hintz took a crossing pass from Pavelski in the left circle and then snapped a shot off the near post. It was Hintz’s 10th goal.
Blueger, who didn’t play in the first nine playoff games for Vegas, put the Golden Knights ahead 3-2 at the 9:20 mark of the third with his first goal of the playoffs. He shoveled in a loose puck from the crease after Keegan Kolesar, hit by Ryan Suter, crashed into Oettinger on a drive to the net.
Dallas decided not to challenge for goaltender interference on the play.
The Stars pulled Oettinger for an extra attacker and Benn tied it at 18:01 when he slid in a Pavelski back-heel kick pass under Hill’s left pad during a goal-mouth scramble. It was his third goal of the playoffs. Hintz also got an assist, giving him a league-leading 22 points in the playoffs.
–Field Level Media