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Graney: Knights waste Logan Thompson’s historic performance

In the history book of seven seasons, the one that includes six playoff appearances and a Stanley Cup championship, know this: Logan Thompson offered one of the greatest individual performances the Golden Knights have seen Saturday night.

Too bad the goalie’s teammates didn’t come along for the ride.

The Knights didn’t support Thompson as he did them, and for it we have a series. It’s not close to being over now.

Dallas beat the Knights 3-2 in overtime before a raucous crowd of 18,536 at T-Mobile Arena. Flags were waving. People were cheering. The place was rocking. Didn’t seem to affect the Stars one bit.

The Knights lead this best-of-seven series 2-1 with Game 4 on Monday at T-Mobile, meaning the series is headed back to Dallas regardless.

Overcoming adversity

It took a good 30 minutes for Thompson’s teammates to join the party Saturday — “We had no business being in the game,” defenseman Brayden McNabb said — and still the score was tied 2-2 after regulation.

Fact: It could have been 5-0 or worse before the Knights got going. It wasn’t because of Thompson. He would tie a career high with 43 saves before 20-year-old Wyatt Johnston scored the game winner at 16:22 of extra time.

It was Johnston’s second goal. He’s going to be a really good one for years to come.

This is what desperation looks like. How the Stars played. How they dominated that first period and a half. How they refused to go down 3-0 in the series. This is a level of urgency talented players compete with when their skates are against the boards.

This is how a really good team responds to adversity.

High danger chances in all situations: Stars 27, Knights 4.

Ouch.

“At some point, you have to get to your game,” Knights coach Bruce Cassidy said. “It just took us too long. Now having said that, we weathered it because of Logan. He gave us every chance to get back in the game and we did.

“The start was unacceptable, and we should be better than that. We need to be a lot better on Monday.”

You could see it in overtime. It was how things began hours earlier. The Stars had more jump. More energy. They executed better. Cassidy said his team was a step behind all night. Didn’t have the legs to keep up. Thompson stood on his head over and over, and it wasn’t enough.

It was a Marc-Andre Fleury-esque type performance from back in those first few seasons. It was that memorable.

Cassidy’s view of things: The Stars got out of their end quicker than the first two games. They consistently beat the Knights up the ice. They won the board battles and had the appropriate support. The things that made them successful all evening led to the game-winning goal.

That this result wasn’t by accident.

“It’s hard to beat the best team in our conference three games in a row,” Knights captain Mark Stone said. “It’s about win or lose. There are no moral victories this time of year.

“Logan was the only reason we really had a chance. He was there to bail us out. He was awesome.”

He was. Whether it was odd-man rushes time and again or breakaways or two-on-zero situations. Thompson faced it all and responded.

It’s a series

“He was like Dominik Hasek down there,” said Dallas goalie Jake Oettinger, who faced 34 shots. “So those are hard mentally, when the other guy is playing that well.

“You’re not playing against him, but you feel like you kind of are. He was incredible and the reason that they were in the game that long. So tip your cap to him. He played a great game. We deserved to win, though.”

Dallas did. From the jump.

Logan Thompson offered one of the greatest individual performances in Golden Knights history.

His teammates?

Not so much.

For it, we have a series.

Ed Graney, a Sigma Delta Chi Award winner for sports column writing, can be reached at egraney@reviewjournal.com. He can be heard on “The Press Box,” ESPN Radio 100.9 FM and 1100 AM, from 7 to 10 a.m. Monday through Friday. Follow @edgraney on X.

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