akoiki-passport2 – by Adesina O. Koiki
A Lot of Sports Talk editor-in-chief

DALLAS — Before the start of the biggest game of his team’s season, Dallas Stars forward Radek Faksa was playing with his kid outside the rink when Little Faksa did what he always does before daddy plays a game: makes his dad promise that he will score a goal. On Sunday night, daddy fulfilled that promise, and it kept the Stars’ run in the Stanley Cup Playoffs alive in the process.

Faksa, who missed the last four games, scored the game-winning goal early in the third period as the Stars defeated the now erstwhile Stanley Cup champion Las Vegas Golden Knights 2-1 in Game 7 of the first-round series inside American Airlines Center. 20-year-old Wyatt Johnston netted his second-career goal in a Game 7 to start the scoring in the first period, while Jake Oettinger made 21 saves as Dallas, who was eliminated by the Golden Knights in last year’s Western Conference finals, advances to the conference semifinals to take on the Colorado Avalanche.

Dallas won the series against Golden Knights the hard way, losing the first two games of the series at home before winning their first series in franchise history after falling into a 2-0 deficit.

“It’s obviously emotional. So many emotions going back to last year and losing, the mixed emotions,” said Stars head coach Peter DeBoer, who coached the Golden Knights from 2020-2022. “There are so many great people over there that I worked with. I have great affection for them, and we were happy for them to win, but we really wanted to win this series. We wanted our turn. We did all the right things all year to get the first seed and then you draw a team like Vegas which I honestly think has a deeper team than last year. To plow through the adversity of being down 2-0 – there is a lot there to unpack.”

DeBoer has now won all eight Game 7s that he has coached, and is tied with Darryl Sutter for the most wins by a head coach in a Game 7 in NHL history. (Sutter record is 8-3.)

*Editor’s note: Above the byline is the photo gallery from Sunday evening’s contest, with photos taken by ALOST staff 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 31 pictures in total.

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Tags : Dallas StarsNational Hockey LeagueStanley Cup PlayoffsVegas Golden Knights

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