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Dallas Stars Have A Series With Vegas Golden Knights Now

Wyatt Johnston is just 20 years old, but he can already add “season-saving hero” to the resume.

He scored 16:32 into overtime to cut the Vegas Golden Knights lead to 2-1 in the series and keep the Stars from sitting on the edge of elimination in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. He had 15 shot attempts by himself, leading the team by a healthy margin. He scored on two of those, including the opening goal in the first period.

But he was stoned on at least three other quality attempts by Logan Thompson, who just might haunt the young man’s dreams at night. “He’s a great goalie, made some good saves tonight. I think there were some that were maybe on us. But, we have a kid here that’s elite and won the game for us, so that’s great,” Stars forward Tyler Seguin said.

Seguin would know, as he had two or three great looks that Thompson stopped as well.

Dallas dominated Vegas through the first half, eventually settling for a 2-0 lead. That wasn’t for a lack of trying. At one point, they had a 30-10 shots on goal advantage and pretty much everyone in the press box agreed that it should have been at least 4-0 at that point.

“It seemed like we had about a hundred breakaways on him and Grade-A chances and weren’t able to bury it. Eventually, that kind of bit us on the ass a little bit with them coming back to tie it up,” Johnston said. “He’s been awesome and we’ve just got to keep getting chances and they’ll go in eventually.”

A stretch of three minutes where the Stars sat back a little bit allowed Vegas to get back in it. A screened shot that picked the high corner with the teams playing 4-on-4 almost halfway through the second period opened the scoring. Then, it was a shorthanded goal on the power play a few minutes later that tied it up and gave the crowd in the building life again.

But Johnston gave Stars fans life again with that overtime dagger.

All of a sudden, the team looks more like the top seed in the West again. Jake Oettinger gave them the key saves in the third period and early in overtime for the guys in front of him to get back to what had been beating Vegas earlier in the game.

It’s a new series. Momentum can swing from game to game, if you let it, especially in tight games like this where the margins are razor thin. The work is far from over, but it’s a hell of a lot easier hill to climb being down 2-1 than staring down the barrel of 3-0.

Dallas lost the first two games in route to a 4-2 elimination in Game 6 in the Western Conference Final last season. They flipped the script tonight by getting the win.

Will they give this year’s story a new ending?