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Knights-Stars recap: Veteran’s unnecessary penalty proves costly

Updated May 1, 2024 - 8:51 pm

Series at a glance

Stars lead 3-2

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 — Friday, TBD at T-Mobile Arena (KMCC-34)

Game 7* — May 5, TBD at American Airlines Center (KMCC-34)

*If necessary

RJ’s three stars

3. Stars right wing Evgenii Dadonov — The former Golden Knight scored the first goal of the game and generated several good chances throughout. He consistently applied pressure when he was on the ice.

2. Stars center Wyatt Johnston — Johnston finished with two assists, giving him five points the last three games. The 20-year-old also had three shots on goal, tied for the second-most on the Stars.

1. Stars goaltender Jake Oettinger— Oettinger lost track of the puck on the Knights’ second goal from left wing William Carrier, but he closed the door after that. He preserved Dallas’ win by denying center Chandler Stephenson on a breakaway with 2:44 remaining in the third period.

Key play

Defenseman Alex Pietrangelo’s roughing penalty with 4:41 remaining in the second period.

It was a play that never had to happen. It also led to the Stars’ game-winning goal from left wing Jason Robertson.

Pietrangelo took an unnecessary swipe at Dallas center Tyler Seguin with his right arm after the two engaged in a puck battle along the boards in the Knights’ defensive zone. It was called a major penalty at first but reduced to a minor after a review.

Robertson scored 1:13 later after following up his own rebound. The Stars never looked back and held onto their 3-2 lead at the end.

It was the second straight game with a costly infraction for Pietrangelo, one of the Knights’ veteran leaders and a two-time Stanley Cup champion. His roughing penalty in the second period of Game 4 led to a game-tying goal by Johnston. Pietrangelo also had a turnover later that frame that led to left wing Ty Dellandrea’s game-winning goal.

Key stat

79: The winner of Game 5 when a best-of-seven series is tied 2-2 goes on to advance 79 percent of the time in the NHL.

ESPN flashed the stat across the screen several times during its broadcast to make sure viewers understood that point.

Nothing is guaranteed, however.

Dallas has already challenged history this matchup, becoming the first top seed since 2010 to win more than one game in a series after losing Games 1 and 2 at home.

The Knights can still turn things around down 3-2.

Notable

Coach Bruce Cassidy made several lineup changes Wednesday, including a huge switch in net.

Last year’s Stanley Cup playoff hero Adin Hill got the start after goaltender Logan Thompson played the first four games of the series for the Knights.

Hill was fine. He made 22 saves and didn’t make any major mistakes.

Still, the loss opens Cassidy to criticism if the Knights don’t rally to win the series. Thompson had a .921 save percentage his four starts.

Knights quotable

“Veteran guy who should know better. Listen, we didn’t like the (earlier hit Seguin delivered on Shea Theodore). Quite obvious he left his feet and targeted his head. You’re going to be upset. But that’s playoff hockey. You have to find a way to channel it. … We have to take care of our discipline. We have to. It’s just that simple.

— Cassidy on Pietrangelo’s penalty

Stars quotable

“Every game is physical and playoffs is a different type of game. You want to be engaged and physical, but in regard to the hit (on Theodore), there’s no intention by me. I don’t see myself as a dirty player. I haven’t seen the replay, but I definitely wasn’t trying to hit his head or anything.”

— Seguin

Adam Hill Review-Journal

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