Jamie Benn, Stars Take 3-1 Series Lead with Game 4 Win over Golden Knights

Blake SchusterAnalyst IIISeptember 13, 2020

Dallas Stars' Jamie Benn plays against the Boston Bruins during an NHL hockey game in Boston, Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
Michael Dwyer/Associated Press

The Dallas Stars have taken control of the Western Conference Final. 

Dallas became the first team to win consecutive games in the series with a 2-1 victory in Game 4 to take a 3-1 lead. 

Stars goalie Anton Khudobin remained stellar with 32 saves after recording 38 in his team's Game 3 overtime win. 

As the netminder has heated up, so has the Dallas offense, which came back form a 1-0 deficit late in the second period to push Vegas one loss from elimination.


Notable Performers:

Jamie Benn, LW, Dallas Stars: 1 goal (Game-Winner), 4 SOG, 2 blocks

Anton Khudobin, G, Dallas Stars: 32 saves, 1 goal allowed

Alec Martinez, D, Vegas Golden Knights: 1 goal, 2 SOG, 4 blocks

Paul Stastny, C, Vegas Golden Knights: 1 assist, 4 SOG, 15:08 TOI

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Vegas Power Play Cools Off

As much as Khudobin continued to come up strong in Game 4, the Knights will be haunted by the amount of missed opportunities on special teams. 

Vegas went 1-of-5 on the power play Saturday night with a particularly gut-wrenching 5-on-3 late in the third period. 

Joe Pavelski and Jason Dickinson were both called for tripping 50 seconds apart, giving a desperate Knights team 1:10 on a two-man advantage. Vegas set up its offense right away with two forwards below the goal line as it tried to shrink the offensive zone in front of the net and look for quick one-timers. 

Dallas responded beautifully, packing the slot with defenders and keeping Khudobin's sight-lines clear. While the Knights got four shots on net during the 5-on-3, none were particularly challenging for the Dallas goalie. The Stars successfully killed off both penalties, with the Knights getting two more shots on net during the 5-on-4 portion. 

Vegas had little trouble getting shots on net, but the quality of the chances were lacking.

Nowhere did that hurt the Knights more than on the power play. 


Pavelski Magic Ties Game

Joe Pavelski spent more than a decade looking to raise the Stanley Cup in San Jose, but now he may finally get his opportunity with Dallas.

Now more of a role player at 36 years old, Pavelski has been a revelation this postseason with eight goals and five assists in 19 games. None was bigger than his second-period equalizer on Saturday. 

With his squad down 1-0 to a Vegas team pouring on shots, Pavelski found a loose puck in the slot, picked it up on his backhand and fired a changeup over the shoulder of Robin Lehner. The slow-moving puck completely confused the goalie as he tried to adjust mid-shot. 

It was the center's 57th career postseason goal, moving him up to third all-time among American-born players, behind only Joe Mullen (60) and Stars legend Mike Modano (58). 

It's also the third-most playoff goals scored by players drafted in the seventh round or later behind Doug Gilmour (60) and Luc Robitaille (58). 

Pavelski made it count, giving his team a much-needed boost and setting the table for Benn's game-winner with 59 seconds left in the second period. 


What's Next

Game 5 is set for Monday at 8 p.m. ET on NBCSN. 


This article will be updated to provide more information on this story as it becomes available. 

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