DALLAS — Like their positions in the Western Conference standings, the Dallas Stars and Vegas Golden Knights could not shake each other for 65 minutes in their crucial matchup on Tuesday evening. Also, akin to how the final standings in the Wild Card race will probably look like in three days’ time, the Stars did just enough to edge in front of Vegas at the death, setting up what should be another satisfying evening by the end of tomorrow.
Miro Heiskanen scored the only goal in seven rounds of the shootout, and Jake Oettinger stoned all seven of the penalty shots he faced as Dallas defeated the Golden Knights 3-2 at American Airlines Center on Tuesday. Jason Robertson scored both goals of the game for the Stars, including his 40th goal of the season, as Dallas came from behind twice in the game and now move their magic number to clinch a playoff spot to one point. Dallas hosts Arizona tomorrow before ending the season on Friday against Anaheim.
Just days after coming back from a 2-0 deficit to earn a 3-2 decision against Seattle to stay in a playoff position, Dallas once again was able to fight back from deficits tonight, with Robertson’s first goal coming at 13:31 of the second to tie the game at 1-1. In the third, Robertson executed a perfect tip of a shot-pass from John Klingberg at the point at 3:31 of the period to tie the score once again at two apiece.
Robertson’s tallies allowed him to become the fourth player in team history to score 40 goals in a season since the franchise’s move from Minnesota to Dallas in 1993, joining Mike Modano and a couple of current teammates: Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin.
Vegas used goals at the ends of the first and second periods to hold the advantage, from William Carrier’s goal with 49 seconds remaining in the first period to Chandler Stephenson’s power-play goal with four seconds remaining in the second to go into the second intermission with a 2-1 lead. In a role reversal from Dallas’ late-game heroics, the Golden Knights came into tonight after a gut-wrenching 5-4 home defeat in a shootout to San Jose in which the Sharks scored two goals in the final 2:06 to force overtime, including a goal with 0.9 seconds remaining to tie the score.
*Editor’s note: Above the byline is the photo gallery from Tuesday evening’s game, with all photos taken by Dallas-area photographer Ross James. After clicking on the first photo to enlarge the picture, make sure to press the left and right arrow buttons to scroll through the rest of the pictures. There are XX pictures in total.