Stars take 3-1 stranglehold lead over Knights in NHL playoffs

Los Angeles (AFP) –


Jamie Benn scored the tiebreaking goal and Anton Khudobin stopped 32 shots as the Dallas Stars beat the Vegas Golden Knights 2-1 to take a commanding lead in their Western Conference final series.

Despite being heavily outshot for the second straight game, the Stars got the victory thanks to superior goaltending and an ability to make the most of their scoring chances and now have a 3-1 playoff series lead.

Benn and Joe Pavelski both scored in the second period after defenceman Alec Martinez had opened the scoring for Vegas earlier in the period. Benn's goal came with under a minute to go in the second and from then on it was a matter of Russian goalie Khudobin closing the door in the third.

Vegas goaltender Robin Lehner was less busy making just 18 total saves.

Game five is Monday night in the quarantine bubble in Edmonton.

There was no scoring in the first period. Martinez scored to make it 1-0 Vegas at 7:44 of the second by hammering a 92 mph slapshot past Khudobin on the powerplay.

Pavelski tied it up about four minutes later with his ninth goal of the postseason. The Stars stole the puck in the Vegas end and Pavelski's backhand hit the stick of a Knight defender and deflected up over the shoulder of Lehner into the net.

Benn scored the winner on the power play at 19:01 of the second by wristing home a shot after Lehner failed to control the rebound.