Friday, June 21, 2024
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NHL Western Conference Finals Game 1 Preview: Dallas Stars (0-0) at Vegas Golden Knights (0-0)

DALLAS STARS NOTES:

WESTERN CONFERENCE FINAL SERIES SCHEDULE
Date Time (CT) DAL [C2] vs. VGK [P1] Location TV/Radio/Result
Game 1 Fri, May 19 7:30 p.m. Dallas at Vegas T-Mobile Arena ESPN, ESPN+, SN, CBC, TVAS
Game 2 Sun, May 21 2 p.m. Dallas at Vegas T-Mobile Arena ABC, ESPN+, SN, CBC, TVAS
Game 3 Tue, May 23 7 p.m. Vegas at Dallas American Airlines Center ESPN, ESPN+, SN, CBC, TVAS
Game 4 Thu, May 25 7 p.m. Vegas at Dallas American Airlines Center ESPN, ESPN+, SN, CBC, TVAS
Game 5 * Sat, May 27 7 p.m. Dallas at Vegas T-Mobile Arena ABC, ESPN+, SN, CBC, TVAS
Game 6 * Mon, May 29 7 p.m. Vegas at Dallas American Airlines Center ESPN, ESPN+, SN, CBC, TVAS
Game 7 * Wed, May 31 8 p.m. Dallas at Vegas T-Mobile Arena ESPN, ESPN+, SN, CBC, TVAS

  • if necessary

RECENT TRANSACTIONS
April 3 – Recalled defenseman Thomas Harley from Texas (AHL)
April 19 – Recalled forward Riley Tufte from Texas (AHL)
April 26 – Loaned forward Riley Tufte to Texas (AHL)
May 6 – Signed defenseman Lian Bichsel to a three-year entry-level contract

DALLAS STARS POSTSEASON NOTES
TONIGHT’S GAME: Game 1 of the 2023 Western Conference Final begins tonight as the Stars take on the Vegas Golden Knights at T-Mobile Arena (7:30 p.m. CT, ESPN, ESPN+, SN, CBC, TVAS, Radio: The Ticket 96.7-FM/1310-AM). This represents a rematch of the 2020 Western Conference Final, where the Stars earned a 4-1 series win en route to their first Stanley Cup Final in 20 years. Dallas is here after First Round and Second Round series victories over Minnesota (six games) and Seattle (seven games). Vegas, meanwhile, earned First Round and Second Round series wins over Winnipeg (five games) and Edmonton (six games).

STARS-GOLDEN KNIGHTS PLAYOFF HISTORY

  • This marks the second all-time meeting between the Stars and Golden Knights in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The previous matchup between the two clubs was in the 2020 Conference Finals, a series won in five games by Dallas, which saw the first instance in the NHL’s modern era (since 1943-44) of a Conference Finals or Semifinals series opening with each team earning a shutout within the first two contests.
  • The Western Conference Final represents the fourth instance in the past 25 years of head coaches, both in their first season with a team, meeting in the penultimate round of the playoffs. The last occurrence was also between Dallas and Vegas in 2020 (DAL: Rick Bowness; VGK: Pete DeBoer). The others: 2010 (PHI: Peter Laviolette; MTL: Jacques Martin) and 1998 (WSH: Ron Wilson; BUF: Lindy Ruff).
  • This will be the southernmost final four in Stanley Cup Playoffs history (VGK: +36.1, CAR: +35.8, DAL: +32.7 & FLA: +26.1). The previous benchmark was in 2016 (PIT: +40.4, STL: +38.6, SJS: +37.3 & TBL: +27.9)

FAMILIAR FACES, DIFFERENT PLACES

  • Pete DeBoer will face off against his former club in the Conference Finals. DeBoer served as head coach of the Golden Knights when the team made the Stanley Cup Semifinals in 2021 and Conference Finals in 2020. Only four other head coaches in NHL history have taken a team to the round before the Final then later opposed that team in the same round

– Darryl Sutter (2013 vs. CHI), Mike Babcock (2007 vs. ANA), Sid Abel (last; 1966 vs. CHI) and Dick Irvin (last; 1953 vs. CHI & 1945 vs. TOR).

  • Three players, currently on one of the team’s active rosters, have played for both the Stars and Golden Knights: Colin Miller, Evgenii Dadonov and Reilly Smith.
  • Joe Pavelski, Ryan Suter and Phil Kessel were all born in Wisconsin and represented the United States at the 2010 and 2014 Winter Olympics.
  • Reilly Smith was selected by the Stars with the No. 69 pick in the 2009 NHL Draft. He skated his first 40 career NHL games with Dallas before being traded to Boston on July 4, 2013, in a blockbuster deal which included Tyler Seguin being sent to the Stars

ONE OF A KIND

  • With a Game 7 victory over Seattle on May 15, goaltender Jake Oettinger improved to 14-0-0 after a regulation loss in 2022-23 while posting a 1.83 goals-against average and .940 save percentage in those contests (regular season & playoffs combined). Following his 64-save performance in Game 7 of the 2022 First Round, Oettinger has now recorded 86 total saves across his first two Game 7 appearances, trailing only Kelly Hrudey (102 saves) for the most in NHL history.
  • Oettinger is 36-10-6 with three no decisions in 55 games following a loss in his career, including a 5-0-0 mark under the same criteria this postseason.
  • In the First Round against Minnesota, Oettinger (Lakeville, Minn.), whose hometown is 30 miles outside of St. Paul, earned his first postseason series win against the team he grew up cheering for and did so in front of his parents, grandparents and friends who were all in attendance for Dallas’ series-clinching victory in Game 6 at Xcel Energy Center on April 28.
  • Oettinger recorded the first shutout of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs (in the 34th game) in Game 5 vs. Minnesota. It was the first home shutout in the postseason by a Stars goaltender since 2016.
  • It marked his second career postseason shutout and moved him into a tie for the fourth most in franchise history. The only goaltenders with more than two are Ed Belfour (8), Marty Turco (4) and Cesare Maniago (3).
  • Oettinger finished the series vs. Minnesota with a 4-2 record, 2.01 GAA, .929 SV% and one shutout (Game 5).

VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS NOTES:

2023 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS – WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS – VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS VS. DALLAS STARS
Golden Knights 2022-23 Regular Season Record: 51-22-9, 111 points (25-15-1 at Home, 26-7-8 on Road)

DATE OPPONENT TIME (PT) TELEVISION RADIO SPANISH RADIO
May 19 vs. Dallas Stars 5:30 p.m. ESPN Fox Sports 98.9 FM/1340 AM Deportes 1460 AM
May 21 vs. Dallas Stars 12 p.m. ABC Fox Sports 98.9 FM/1340 AM Deportes 1460 AM
May 23 at Dallas Stars 5 p.m. ESPN Fox Sports 98.9 FM/1340 AM Deportes 1460 AM
May 25 at Dallas Stars 5 p.m. ESPN Fox Sports 98.9 FM/1340 AM Deportes 1460 AM
May 27* vs. Dallas Stars 5 p.m. ABC Fox Sports 98.9 FM/1340 AM Deportes 1460 AM
May 29* at Dallas Stars 5 p.m. ESPN Fox Sports 98.9 FM/1340 AM Deportes 1460 AM
May 31* vs. Dallas Stars 6 p.m. ESPN Fox Sports 98.9 FM/1340 AM Deportes 1460 AM
*If Necessary

VGK/DAL – Regular Season Recap
The Vegas Golden Knights held a 0-1-2 record against the Dallas Stars in the 2022-23 regular season. In the first matchup of the season, Vegas was shutout, 4-0, by Jake Oettinger. In the second contest, Michael Amadio and Jack Eichel each scored to give the Golden Knights a 2-1 advantage until the Stars Roope Hintz scored in the final 38 seconds of regulation to send the game into overtime. After a scoreless extra session, it was Jason Robertson and Hintz who each made tucks past Laurent Brossoit to secure the comeback win in the shootout. In their final meeting of the season, Brett Howden got Vegas on the board first but Joel Kiviranta tied things up for Dallas and forced overtime. Neither team was able to finish things in the extra session and so it was Hintz who was the shootout hero again and handed Vegas their third loss of the season series, the second via shootout.

2022-23 Season DAL Series: 0-1-2 (Home: 0-1-1, Road: 0-0-1)

Date Location Result Goaltenders GWG
Jan. 16 Vegas Vegas 0, Dallas 4 Logan Thompson (VGK) // Jake Oettinger (DAL) Jamie Benn (DAL)
Feb. 25 Vegas Vegas 2, Dallas 3 SO Laurent Brossoit (VGK) // Jake Oettinger (DAL) Jason Robertson (DAL) SO
Apr. 8 Dallas Vegas 1, Dallas 2 SO Jonathan Quick (VGK) // Jake Oettinger (DAL) Roope Hintz (DAL) SO

Playoff History with Dallas
Western Conference Final 2020 (1-4)

  1. Sep. 6 vs. DAL – Vegas 0, Dallas 1
  2. Sep. 8 vs. DAL – Vegas 3, Dallas 0
  3. Sep. 8 vs. DAL – Vegas 2, Dallas 3 OT
  4. Sep. 12 vs. DAL – Vegas 1, Dallas 2
  5. Sep. 14 vs DAL – Vegas 2, Dallas 3 OT

Familiar Territory
The Golden Knights have advanced to the Western Conference Final for the fourth time in their six seasons as a franchise. Vegas is the third club in NHL history to advance to the round before the Stanley Cup Final four times in their first six seasons behind the New York Rangers and St. Louis Blues. This is the second time that Vegas will meet Dallas in the Western Conference Final after they were defeated by the Stars in 2020, 4-1.

Magic Number
Vegas is 40-3 all-time when scoring at least three goals in the playoffs, including wins in each of the last 28 such instances. In all three losses this postseason the Golden Knights have been held to a single goal.

Rebounders
Vegas is 5-3 this postseason when its opponent scores first. That’s two more wins in that situation than any other team this playoffs and nearly has many wins as the franchise had in its first four playoff appearances when its opponent scored first (7-20 entering these playoffs).

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