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Knights-Stars recap: Spectacular Adin Hill keeps season alive

Updated May 3, 2024 - 11:14 pm

Series at a glance

Series tied 3-3

Game 1 — Knights 4, Stars 3

Game 2 — Knights 3, Stars 1

Game 3 — Stars 3, Knights 2, OT

Game 4 — Stars 4, Knights 2

Game 5 — Stars 3, Knights 2

Game 6 — Knights 2, Stars 0

Game 7 — Sunday, 4:30 p.m., American Airlines Center (KMCC-34, TBS, truTV)

RJ’s three stars

3. Stars goaltender Jake Oettinger — He has been the most important player in the series, and he did everything he could in a potential close-out game Friday. Oettinger made 28 saves, several of them in highlight-reel fashion. His only blemish proved to be the game-winner for the Knights.

2. Knights defenseman Noah Hanifin — He remains one of the team’s most important defensive players, but he again proved to be an offensive weapon. Hanifin had three shots on goal, none bigger than the game-winner with 10:06 remaining. He took the puck and created space for himself before firing a shot that bounced off Oettinger and broke a scoreless tie.

1. Knights goaltender Adin Hill — Hill, last season’s postseason hero, validated the team’s decision to switch to him in net before Game 5 by recording a shutout and keeping the season alive. The box score showed he made 23 saves, but his presence loomed even larger than that.

Key play

Hanifin’s goal would be an easy choice, but there might have been a more important sequence.

After the Knights had a strong first period that didn’t produce a goal, Dallas came close to scoring first.

But Hill scrambled to stop Tyler Seguin three times and Evgenii Dadonov once in a wild eight-second span early in the second period.

The game remained tied, and Oettinger answered with big stops of his own, but Hill keeping the puck out of the net there and then denying Miro Heiskanen later in the period allowed the Knights time to find the elusive goal.

Key stat

2-1: The Golden Knights have played three previous Game 7s in their history, winning two of them.

The loss was the infamous “not a major” game against the Sharks in 2019 when a questionable penalty call aided a late San Jose rally and led to rule changes in the NHL.

Of course, the opposing coach in that game was current Stars coach Pete DeBoer.

Notable

DeBoer’s win against the Knights in that infamous game isn’t the only time he’s had success in a Game 7.

He’s never lost one.

DeBoer is 7-0 in Game 7s. He’s the third coach in NHL history to win a Game 7 with four teams, which includes the Knights.

Knights quotable

“Good on him. He’s been here. He shut out Dallas before. Did it twice last year, too, I believe. How about a fourth time (in Game 7), Hilly? That’s what we’re looking for. I’m sure they’ll have something to say about that and have a game plan for him, but you’re not advancing without good goaltending. I think you’ve seen that from both sides. There hasn’t been a poor game from the goaltenders at all, so it’s one of those series where they’re dictating a lot of the outcomes.”

— Knights coach Bruce Cassidy, on Hill’s shutout

Stars quotable

“There’s nothing better than Game 7s. That’s what you grow up dreaming about playing in, and the second-best thing is coaching in them. So just excited. I’m excited for our group. I’m excited for our fans in Dallas. Let’s get home and drop the puck.”

— DeBoer

Adam Hill Review-Journal

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