Stars ended their longest scoreless drought of the NHL playoffs, but now they're facing elimination

Sat, Jun 1, 2024
NHL News (AP)

Stars ended their longest scoreless drought of the NHL playoffs, but now they're facing elimination

DALLAS (AP) - By the time Wyatt Johnston ended the longest scoreless drought of the playoffs for the top-seeded Dallas Stars, there wasn't much time left to avoid facing elimination on the road in the Western Conference Final.

Bring it on, Tyler Seguin said after a 3-1 home loss to Edmonton on Friday night that gave the Oilers a 3-2 lead as they headed home with a chance to move on to the Stanley Cup Final.

"This is the fun part," Seguin said of Game 6 on Sunday night. "Heck of a challenge in front of you. The whole season, going to that rink. We've taken pride in how we've been on the road all year, so let's do it."

Johnston's goal ended Stuart Skinner's shutout bid with 5:51 remaining. It was the first score in nearly 109 minutes for Dallas since taking an early 2-0 lead in Game 4 in Edmonton.

In between, the Oilers scored eight times and now have control of the series when it appeared the Stars might bring a 3-1 lead back home after the quick start in Canada two nights earlier.

"At the end of the day, it doesn't really matter what's happened up until this point," said Johnston, who scored his team-leading 10th goal of the postseason. "They've done a good job these last two games. I don't think we've done our best. All that matters is making sure we're ready to go next game."

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There are things to fix for one the NHL's best offenses in the regular season.

Matt Duchene had a clear shot on a rush but decided to pass, which was intercepted. Captain Jamie Benn tried to corral a puck for what could have been a good scoring chance, only to have it slide off his blade.

Jason Robertson, who had his first career playoff hat trick in a Game 3 win at Edmonton, had just one shot Friday night. Seven of the two-time 40-goal scorer's shot attempts were blocked.

Even standout defenseman Miro Heiskanen had a rare costly error, sending a puck over the glass for a delay of game penalty that led to Edmonton's 2-0 lead on the second quick power-play goal from Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.

"We haven't had our best other than probably Game 3 in this series," Duchene said. "The nice thing is we're still in the series and we've just got to win one at a time here."

The Oilers answered the quick 2-0 Dallas lead in Game 4 and were even before the first intermission.

When the Stars fell behind by the same score barely a minute into the second period in Game 5, they gave up their first even-strength goal four minutes later.

After two periods, Dallas had 10 shots, its fewest through 40 minutes in these playoffs.

The Stars doubled that total in the final period and had several great scoring chances that Skinner stopped. But just like Johnston's goal, it was too late.

"First two periods weren't good enough," Duchene said. "We have to generate more. Third period, we had some looks, but you're down three by then. There's no time to sit on it."

Not with the Stars at risk of losing in the West final for the second year in a row.


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