For the first time since 2000, the Dallas Stars are heading to the NHL Stanley Cup Finals. The Stars punched their ticket to the championship series after earning a 3-2 overtime victory over the Western Conference’s top-seeded Las Vegas Golden Knights in Game 5 of the West Finals on Monday night, courtesy of rookie Denis Gurianov’s ninth postseason goal.
Gurianov’s goal came during a power play 3:36 into the overtime session for the Stars, who finished the regular season third in the central division. The Stars, who are returning to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time in 20 years, won their only Stanley Cup in 1999. Dallas closed out Las Vegas in five games, winning each game by exactly one goal. The Stars’ lone loss to the Golden Knights came in Game 2 by a final score of 3-0.
Dallas finished the regular season with a record of 37-24-8, and defeated the Calgary Flames in six games and the Colorado Avalanche in seven games in the first two rounds of the Western Conference playoffs. Now, the Stars await the winner of the Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Islanders in the East Finals, where Tampa Bay holds a 3-1 lead and could clinch the series against New York tonight.