Joe Pavelski admits that he probably appreciates the big playoff goals more the later he gets in his career, but they all still feel just as good, and his latest kept the season alive for the Dallas Stars.
“Just really living in the moment,” Pavelski said. “A tremendous feeling for sure, and glad we could play another game, and go from there and try to extend it.”
Pavelski, 38, on Thursday scored on a power play at 3 minutes, 18 seconds of overtime — a one-timer from the middle of the left circle to the far post — as the Stars avoided a sweep in the Western Conference Finals with a 3-2 victory over the Vegas Golden Knights.
Jason Robertson scored twice for his first career multigoal playoff game for Dallas, who played without suspended captain Jamie Benn.
“We’re looking for goals and that’s kind of my responsibility I put on myself,” Robertson said. “I know these playoffs have been tough... I was able to get the bounces that we needed tonight.”
Jake Oettinger had 37 saves, two nights after the 24-year-old Stars goalie was pulled 7:10 into Game 3 after allowing three goals from five shots.
The Stars had the man advantage in overtime after Brayden McNabb’s high-sticking penalty on Ty Dellandrea. Fifty seconds into the power play, Pavelski scored on a pass from Miro Heiskanen.
They won for the first time in their five overtime games this post-season — Vegas won the first two games of this series past regulation.
It was only the second Vegas penalty of the game, both high-sticking calls against McNabb. His penalty on Pavelski late in the first period set up the power play when Robertson scored his first goal with some nifty stickwork.
Pavelski, in his 15th NHL season and still looking for his first Stanley Cup, scored his ninth goal in 12 games this post-season, but his first in five. He has 73 career post-season goals — the most for US-born players and the most among all active players.
“He’s ageless... I’ve seen that movie over and over again. Never gets old,” Stars coach Pete DeBoer said. “He lives for those moments and he wants to be in those situations. Always has, and delivers almost every time.”
Benn was suspended two games by the NHL on Wednesday for his cross-check with his stick landing near the neck of Vegas captain Mark Stone in the first two minutes of Game 3 on Tuesday. He will also miss Game 5 in Las Vegas today.
William Karlsson and Jonathan Marchessault scored for Vegas.
Adin Hill had his five-game winning streak snapped. He made 39 saves, including a game-saver with his extended left leg without about two minutes left in regulation on rookie Fredrik Olofsson’s swiping try in his first career playoff game.
“Our effort wasn’t good enough. Closing a series is probably the hardest game in a series, right, so it just wasn’t good enough from our group,” Marchessault said. “It was still a one-goal game in overtime. It was right there for us.”
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