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Vegas Golden Knights vs Dallas Stars Game 5

Wade Vandervort

The Dallas Stars celebrate after scoring against the Vegas Golden Knights during the second period of Game 5 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup Western Conference Final at T-Mobile Arena Saturday, May 27, 2023.

Updated Saturday, May 27, 2023 | 9:22 p.m.

Desperation is something the Dallas Stars have learned to play with the last two games. It’s worked.

It might be time for the Golden Knights to find that level of anguish because the pressure is starting to mount.

Vegas gave up two goals in the third period of a tie game, allowing the Stars to win 4-2 in Game 5 of the Western Conference Final at T-Mobile Arena on Saturday and extend the series at least one more game.

Suddenly, a commanding 3-0 series lead for the Golden Knights has shrunk to 3-2. They’ll be getting on a plane for Dallas to play Game 6 on Monday (5 p.m., ESPN) and will get a third opportunity to try and make the Stanley Cup Final.

“I don’t think we’ve brought our best the last two games, but we’ve still been in a good spot to win the game,” said Golden Knights captain Mark Stone. “Definitely got to bring a better effort and start playing more desperate with a chance to wrap it up.”

Chandler Stephenson and Ivan Barbashev scored, and Adin Hill made 30 saves as the Golden Knights lost consecutive games in the playoffs for the first time this postseason. 

Considering what the Stars were up against these last two games, it shouldn’t have been difficult for the Golden Knights to reach that level of desperation.

The Stars trailed 3-0 in a series where they weren’t going to have captain Jamie Benn in the lineup for two games after cross-checking Stone in Game 3, and would be without reliable top-nine forward Evgenii Dadonov.

In Game 4 on Thursday, it was Dallas’ top line of Jason Robertson, Joe Pavelski and Roope Hintz making the difference. Saturday was Dallas’ depth on display.

Ty Dellandrea scored twice, both coming within a 1:27 span in the third period, and fourth-line forward Luke Glendening scored for Dallas. Robertson also scored for his fifth goal in the series after having two in the first two rounds.

And each goal proved more vital than the next.

Glendening’s came 1:48 after Barbashev’s opening goal at 13:36 of the first period. The quick response silenced the eighth-largest crowd ever at T-Mobile Arena of 18,546 in a sudden hurry.

The same script happened in the second period. Stephenson’s goal at 3:20 of the second was immediately answered by Robertson at 5:29 to tie it 2-2.

“They had good pushback,” coach Bruce Cassidy said. “We got the lead, they answered right away.”

The Golden Knights couldn’t find their own version of pushback. Every time the Stars answered, the Golden Knights failed to have consistent stretches of success. Dallas turned the game in its favor with puck possession and extended time in the offensive zone.

Dallas took the lead at 10:35 when Dellandrea’s shot deflected off Alex Pietrangelo’s stick and trickled by Hill, giving the Stars their first lead at 3-2. At 12:02, a loose puck off a scramble in front found its way to Dellandrea, making it 4-2.

On a night where Hill made highlight-reel saves to keep the Golden Knights in it, his teammates let him down.

“He played well,” Stone said. “He doesn’t let in any bad goals, knock on wood. He’s given us a chance every game we’ve been in.”

The Golden Knights have usually been a good team at taking care of the puck, but they had 24 giveaways on Saturday. One of them led directly to Dellandrea’s second goal.

“We had 24 giveaways. I’m not sure you’re beating the Arizona Coyotes in January with 24 giveaways,” Cassidy said. “No disrespect to Arizona, but it’s not the right way to play.”

Cassidy’s vantage point showed Dellandrea’s first goal was one he should’ve stopped, but it was on Hill’s teammates to pick him up in response.

Less than two minutes later, the Golden Knights found themselves going from celebrating and preparing for the Stanley Cup Final, to now still needing one more win to get there.

Now, the Stars will have reinforcements when they return home to American Airlines Center. Benn will return after serving his two-game suspension, and the Stars will carry momentum as wide as East Texas with their captain back in the lineup.

Hill has done his part in every game. The Golden Knights will need one more stellar performance from their goalie going back on the road Monday, but that desperation will need to be followed by production. Stone doesn’t have a point in three games. Jack Eichel has yet to score a goal this series.

If there’s anything else that needs to change for Vegas heading into Game 6, that would be it.

“You like your chances when you’re going into the third tied to win a series,” Stone said, “but we’ve got to regroup, refocus and get ready for Game 6.”

Danny Webster can be reached at 702-259-8814 or [email protected]. Follow Danny on Twitter at

Article written by #LasVegasSun