The Dallas Stars had a chance to finish it, and they did. A comeback win that became a blowout gave fans a take-charge performance from Miro Heiskanen and a 38-stop effort from Anton Khudobin that was good for a .927 save percentage.
Oh, and did you see the part where Denis Gurianov scored four goals in a total of 13:27 time on ice? That was wild.
The Victory Green Gang’s advance to a date with the Colorado Avalanche came in a uniquely Starsian fashion, writes The Dallas Morning News’ Matthew DeFranks:
They did it the only way this Stars team would do it: the hard way, by throwing it in the grill of hardship and playing so well that a poor stretch is forgotten, replaced by memories of exalt and victory.
They did it with their best player (Miro Heiskanen) posting a four-point night, and they did it with their leading goal-scorer (Denis Gurianov) submitting a historic four-goal, one-assist performance. They did it with Anton Khudobin stopping the final 32 shots he faced.
Remember when the Stars were down 3-0? Was there ever any doubt that Heiskanen could turn the tide?
“The mood wasn’t good,” Joe Pavelski said. “We hadn’t played our game yet. It was one of those moments where I think everyone understood he haven’t played our game, we’re seeing their best game and pucks are exploding off our sticks at that moment. We’re in a hole. It was a good timeout as far as catch our breath, let’s try to get back to our game.”
Bowness added: “It was just a mess to start. There comes a point where ‘Okay, that’s enough. We need the next goal. We get the next goal, we’re back in the game.’ Fortunately, that’s what happened. It takes a special player like Miro to step up and ‘Okay, we need a goal? I’m going to step up here and show up.’”
Matt has more. [SportsDayDFW]
Sean Shapiro has so much to discuss with you in his latest 20/20. So, so much.
Miro Heiskanen cemented his first-round MVP status. The DENIS system activated four times. It was 3-0 Flames at one point. The 20/20 from a playoff dousing and one of the craziest playoff games in Stars history. https://t.co/5wnKJ3Mw6r— Sean Shapiro (@seanshapiro) August 21, 2020
You want to watch those again, don’t you? You go right ahead.
We'll remember this for a long, long time pic.twitter.com/jN9LYRIyfy— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) August 21, 2020
Here’s another factoid you might enjoy: Guri has now joined a club of two.
Denis Gurianov became the second rookie in NHL history to score four goals in a playoff game, joining Tony Hrkac in Game 4 of the 1988 Division Semifinals with St. Louis. #NHLStats #StanleyCup pic.twitter.com/HIFwZDLAQq— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) August 21, 2020
It’s a rollercoaster that only goes up (except when it doesn’t).
In 322 days, the Dallas Stars have:— Josh Clark (@Josh_Clark02) August 21, 2020
-started a season 1-7-1
-responded with a 13-1-1 run
-fired their head coach
-hosted and won a Winter Classic
-finished a season 0-4-2
-paused for four months
-won a playoff series and advanced to the second round in August
What a crazy year.
Aaaaaaaand I’ll just leave this here.
So, what happened to the Flames last night?— Hockey Night in Canada (@hockeynight) August 21, 2020
Around The League(s)
The Stars were the only thing on the menu in the #MurderDeathKill Division last night, so let’s get down to the rest of the news....
Here’s the NHL.com preview-at-a-glance for the Stars-Avs series.
What will be the impact of a frozen cap on the next contracts of some of the NHL’s biggest young stars? Pierre LeBrun examines the trends.
A year ago, we had the Summer of the Second Contract. It was wild. The list isn't as deep this year, but Barzal and Dubois still lead a good group. How does the frozen cap affect things? In my weekend piece, we dive into the Dubois negotiation:https://t.co/hnq6kNtCIy— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) August 21, 2020
Water is wet, the Pope is Catholic, and NBC’s Mike Milbury is taking fire for another of his scorching-hot takes. Is normal.
"I’m sick of listening to this."— Sporting News (@sportingnews) August 21, 2020
"They/we deserve better."
"There is so much going on here and none of it is a good look."
Mike Milbury's comments about women were met with criticism from hockey fans.https://t.co/dk6GoNqABa
It’s not so much printing the legend as not really remembering it all that well. Sean McIndoe brings a friendly reminder that things were never what they used to be.
New post: No, Steve Smith never scored a last-minute own goal, Jim Schoenfeld never said "Have another donut you fat pig", and Team USA didn't win the 1980 gold medal game. Welcome to hockey's Mandela moments. https://t.co/3wGblo4ChE— Down Goes Brown (@DownGoesBrown) August 21, 2020
Hey, remember the Seattle Kraken? They’re actually going to be a real hockey team.
We hit an exciting milestone at our Northgate Ice Centre as the final structural steel beam was placed in the outer framing.— Seattle Kraken (@NHLSeattle_) August 18, 2020
We look forward to all the memories that will be made here.
Read more → https://t.co/P3UZzi1Mg7 pic.twitter.com/ERZ2Yvz6mn
Greetings From Scenic Cedar Park
Nobody, but nobody, is prouder of Guri right now than Texas Stars fans.
You know who I bet couldn't be prouder of Gurianov right now?— 100 Degree Hockey (@100degreehockey) August 21, 2020
So let it be written. So let it be done.
If I were coaching an NHL team I would simply play Denis Gurianov more— Dimitri Filipovic (@DimFilipovic) August 21, 2020