May 26 (UPI) — Center Joe Pavelski uncorked a one-timer into the far-post netting to beat goaltender Adin Hill in overtime, leading the Dallas Stars to a 3-2 victory and avoiding a Western Conference finals sweep.
Pavelski’s score came on a power play 3:18 into the bonus period Thursday in Dallas.
“We got the win we needed here,” Pavelski told reporters. “We can keep our focus narrowed in on the next game and keep trying to earn that extra time.”
The Golden Knights hold a 3-1 series lead and need just one win to secure a place in the Stanley Cup Final. Game 5 of the best-of-seven game series will be Saturday in Las Vegas.
Forward Roope Hintz and defenseman Miro Heiskanen assisted the Pavelski score. Heiskanen skated toward the blue line while inside the Stars zone to start the final sequence. He then slipped the puck back to Hintz.
Hintz flew up the right flank and dropped the puck to Jason Robertson, who sent a pass to Tyler Seguin between the circles. Hintz regained control of the puck and spun a shot toward the net, but it was denied by Hill. Hintz raced behind the net and recovered the rebound. He then fired a pass beyond the circles to Heiskanen.
Heiskanen immediately flipped a feed left to Pavelski, who pulled back his stick and crushed his one-timer toward the net. The shot went through a crowd of defenders, past Hill and landed in the right side of the net, sounding the horn for the final time and ending the game.
“I’ve seen that movie over and over again,” Stars coach Pete DeBoer said. “It never gets old. He lives for those moments. He wants to be in those situations and always has and delivers almost every time.”
Robertson scored twice in the victory. Heiskanen and Hintz logged two assists apiece. Forward Max Domi and defenseman Esa Lindell also picked up assists for the Stars. Stars goalie Jake Oettinger made 37 saves in the win.
Forwards William Karlsson and Jonathan Marchessault scored for the Golden Knights.
Karlsson beat Oettinger for the first goal of the night 4:17 into the first period. The Golden Knights held that lead until Robertson beat Hill on a power play with 4:18 remaining in the frame.
Marchessault put the Golden Knights back in front when he beat Oettinger 10:23 into the second. Robertson scored the final goal of regulation about seven minutes later.
Oettinger and Hill kept it clean between the pipes over the final 22:39 of regulation. Pavelski then played hero by beating Hill in overtime.
Game 5 will start at 8 p.m. EDT Saturday at T-Mobile Arena. Game 6, if necessary, will be Monday in Dallas. The winner of the series will battle the Florida Panthers in the Stanley Cup Final.
Game 1 of the title series will start Wednesday in the Golden Knights win Game 5. The Stanley Cup Final will start June 3 if the Stars win Game 5.