Vegas Golden Knights dealt OT heartbreak and Playoffs exit by Stars

Corey Perry #10 of the Dallas Stars celebrates as the game-winning goal by teammate Denis Gurianov goes past Robin Lehner #90 of the Vegas Golden Knights. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Corey Perry #10 of the Dallas Stars celebrates as the game-winning goal by teammate Denis Gurianov goes past Robin Lehner #90 of the Vegas Golden Knights. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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Corey Perry #10 of the Dallas Stars retrieves the game winning puck after an overtime win against Robin Lehner #90 and the Vegas Golden Knights
Corey Perry #10 of the Dallas Stars retrieves the game winning puck after an overtime win against Robin Lehner #90 and the Vegas Golden Knights during the first overtime period in Game Five of the Western Conference Final. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

Notes & Stats

Here are some key stats from Game 5…

  • SOG – DAL: 26 – VGK: 36
  • FO% – DAL: 53% – VGK: 47%
  • PP – DAL: 2/4 – VGK: 0/3
  • PIM – DAL: 10 – VGK: 12
  • HITS – DAL: 34 – VGK: 47
  • BLKS – DAL: 22 – VGK: 22
  • GVA – DAL: 19 – VGK: 17

Here was the Official Scoring Summary from Game 5:

  • Chandler Stephenson (3) – Theodore (12), Tuch (4) – 8:14 / 1st
  • Reilly Smith (5) – Stastny (6) – :15 / 3rd
  • Jamie Benn (8) – Radulov (6), Lindell (5) – 9:54 / 3rd
  • Joel Kiviranta (4) – PPG – Klingberg (12), Gurianov (8) – 16:13 / 3rd
  • Denis Gurianov (9) – PPG – Klingberg (13), Hintz (9) – 3:36 / OT
William Karlsson #71 of the Vegas Golden Knights checks Blake Comeau #15 of the Dallas Stars during the third period in Game Five
William Karlsson #71 of the Vegas Golden Knights checks Blake Comeau #15 of the Dallas Stars during the third period in Game Five of the Western Conference Final. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

Let’s go over some notes from Game 5…

  • The Stanley Cup dream is over for the Vegas Golden Knights who lost in five to the Dallas Stars in the Western Conference Final.
  • Huge congratulations to the Stars, by the way, who devised a gameplan that completely shutdown the Golden Knights and nullified all of their strengths. They are a loaded team with great goaltending and some huge pieces, and they will now look to cap off a stunning run by winning the Stanley Cup.
  • Back to the Golden Knights, though, and this will go down as the second postseason disappointment in two years. This one stings just as much as last year given that the Knights were built to win it all this year.
  • They went all in by firing Gerard Gallant and replacing him with Pete DeBoer, before acquiring a pure rental in Robin Lehner at the Trade Deadline. They had all the pieces needed to overcome any team that stood in their way but, in the end, some fatal flaws were exposed.
  • One of those flaws was the offense, which was constructed to sink a small fleet of battleships. However, it was powerless against the Stars, scoring just eight goals in five games. The offense also stuttered in the series against Vancouver and it causes some concern going forward.
  • Mark Stone, Max Pacioretty, William Karlsson, Paul Stastny, Reilly Smith and Jonathan Marchessault all went quiet in the Western Conference Final, and the Vegas front office will have some big decisions to make in the off-season in order to add more balance to the forward corps.
  • Another flaw was the system with DeBoer refusing to change things despite the fact that it clearly didn’t work against Dallas. While the Golden Knights did dominate possession and ranked high in almost all metrics in all five games, they couldn’t score and failed to set up screens and rebounds. That will have to change going forward.
  • The power play was also at fault, going 0/3 in Game 5 and the inability to convert on the man advantage allowed Dallas a route back into the game and, ultimately, it allowed the Stars to finish off the Knights in five games.
  • The PP was also hugely disappointing throughout the last two rounds, going 5/23 in the series against the Vancouver Canucks and 3/22 in the Western Conference Final against the Stars. Not good enough.
  • Again, there are clear flaws on this roster and General Manager Kelly McCrimmon will need to work out a way to eradicate those, although he will have to work around a flat cap for the 2020-21 season. So it won’t be easy.
  • One person you can absolve from blame, however, is goalie Robin Lehner who was sensational for the Golden Knights in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The 2018-19 Vezina Trophy finalist posted four shutouts inside The Bubble to go along with a 1.99 Goals Against Average and a .917 Save Percentage.
  • Someone else who can’t be faulted is defenseman Zach Whitecloud, who was on the end of an incredibly unlucky Delay of Play call that led to Dallas scoring the series-clinching goal in Overtime. It was a tough moment for the rookie who emerged as a real key piece for the Golden Knights both during the regular-season and inside The Bubble.
  • In terms of the opening two periods of Game 5, the Golden Knights couldn’t have scripted it any better. They were starting to set up screens in front of net, they were completely dominating puck possession and they were also doing a great job of shutting down the Stars.
  • However, going 0/3 on the power play in the second period started the downfall, and the Stars did what the Knights couldn’t by going 2/4 on the power play, with special teams ultimately deciding Game 5 and the series.
  • It was also interesting to note that two role players, Joel Kiviranta and Denis Gurianov, scored the game-tying and then the game-winning goals, with Dallas’ depth outshining Vegas’ stacked roster.
  • Both teams blocked 22 shots each while the Golden Knights outhit the Stars 47-34 as they played desperate hockey for the first two periods, before falling apart in the third.
  • Nate Schmidt, who suffered a rough postseason, led all Golden Knights skaters in 23:57 minutes of total ice time, compared to Miro Heiskanen who led the Stars with a whopping 28:05.
  • The Official Three Stars of the Game were: 1. Jamie Benn 2. Anton Khudobin 3. Denis Gurianov.

Let’s look at our own Three Stars of the Game…