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William Carrier’s between-the-legs goal lifts Golden Knights

Updated August 3, 2020 - 8:24 pm

William Carrier settled the puck near the top of the crease and found himself in an awkward shooting position with his back to the net.

But some quick thinking by the Golden Knights forward produced a dazzling result.

Carrier swept the puck between his legs for the go-ahead goal with 5:13 to play, and the Knights rallied for a 5-3 victory over Dallas on Monday in a playoff round-robin game at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta.

“It was just trying to get the puck to the net,” Carrier said. “We tried doing that more in the third period. They got a good goaltender, so we’re just trying to get there. Obviously, whatever way it takes to get it there.”

After struggling to exit their defensive zone for two periods against Dallas’ forecheck, the Knights overturned a 3-1 deficit with four goals in the third period.

The win earned the Knights two points in the round-robin standings and leaves them tied with Colorado entering Thursday’s game against St. Louis. The winner of the round robin receives the No. 1 seed for the Western Conference playoffs.

The Knights appeared to miss injured left wing Max Pacioretty before coach Pete DeBoer switched up his forward lines and defense pairs midway through the second period.

Mark Stone sparked the comeback at 9:46 of the third when he sliced through the Stars’ defense and wristed a shot past goalie Ben Bishop.

Defenseman Nate Schmidt tied the score at 3 when he banged home a loose puck at 11:15 before Carrier showed off his hands for the winner.

“For 40 minutes we didn’t have our stuff, we didn’t have our game, we didn’t have our system in place,” Stone said. “We’ve been playing some great hockey before the pause. I think we just got a little bit too relaxed.”

Carrier battled with Dallas defenseman Andrej Sekera in front and appeared to brush Bishop outside of his crease as he maneuvered in front seconds before the winner.

Schmidt’s shot from the point sailed wide, and when it bounced off the end boards, Carrier gathered the puck near the side of the net and tucked it through his skates and past Bishop.

The goal was waved off, but DeBoer successfully challenged there was no goaltender interference and the Knights led 4-3.

“I thought I owed it to our team to challenge that, and if we didn’t get it, I was very confident we would have killed the penalty,” DeBoer said. “I thought Will did everything in his power to avoid contact.”

Stone and Schmidt each finished with a goal and an assist. William Karlsson added an empty-net goal and also had an assist.

Goalie Robin Lehner made 24 stops in the first Knights playoff game game that Marc-Andre Fleury did not start.

The Knights got off to a strong start when Chandler Stephenson, who is filling in for Pacioretty on the first line, scored on the team’s first shot.

After Stone’s long diagonal pass through the neutral zone started the rush, Stephenson took a feed from Karlsson and fired a shot from the slot that slipped between Bishop’s leg pads 1:04 in.

But the Knights generated little offense the rest of the period, and that carried over into the second.

Dallas took advantage of poor puck management by the Knights and scored on three consecutive shots over a span of 4:52 to grab a 3-1 lead.

“There was no magical system fix to what was wrong,” DeBoer said. “They were hungrier is the best way I can describe it. Until we fixed that, we weren’t going to have any success, and I thought that’s where it started. We got some momentum, and we played like we should have played for 60 minutes.”

Contact David Schoen at dschoen@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5203. Follow @DavidSchoenLVRJ on Twitter.

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