Coach Peter DeBoer was speechless as he stepped into the Vegas Golden Knights dressing room on Monday after Game 5 of the NHL’s Western Conference final.
“I did not prepare anything to tell them tonight because I just did not think we would lose,” he said.
He lost the Golden Knights.
Dallas Stars ahead Dennis GurianovThe goal in 3 minutes, 36 seconds of extra time gave his team a 3-2 victory, which came from behind and eliminated the Golden Knights from the postseason. Dallas advanced to the Stanley Cup final for the first time since 2000.
“We all feel this is a missed opportunity,” he said Reilly Smith, a Golden Knight from the team’s first season in 2017-18. “This is probably the best, most specialized team I have played in my career. Winning the Stanley Cup was our only goal. We did not want anything less than that. We definitely feel defeated.”
Vegas entered the restart of the NHL season with its eyes on the Cup. The Golden Knights were the first in the Pacific Division. They aggressively increase their roster during the season, firing coach Gerard Gallant after a 24-19-6 start, hiring DeBoer, the coach who defeated them in Game 7 of next season’s first round, and negotiating with his defender. Los Angeles Kings Alec Martinez and Chicago Blackhawks goalkeeper Robin Lenner on time
The Knights eliminated Chicago in five quarterfinal games, then overtook the Vancouver Canucks – and the brilliant goal-scoring goal Thatcher Demko in the last three games of the series – with a victory in Game 7 in the semifinals. They entered the Western Conference Finals against the Stars as a sports book favorite to win the Stanley Cup.
What went wrong?
“They scored on time. It was a tight series. Our team probably beat them over 90 percent, but it cost us: We didn’t score and it was,” said Smith. “The last eight games, I felt like we were cursing around the net. Nothing was going.”
Dallas beat the Knights 9-8 in a row at Edmonton, Alberta, as part of the championship bubble amid the Corona pandemic.
“This game, like the rest of the series, we could not achieve the next goal [the lead]”DeBoer said. In Game 5, Knights Center Chandler Stephenson scored at 8:14 of the first period in an escape for a 1-0 lead. Smith takes a nice shot towards the Stars goalkeeper Anton Khudobin to give Vegas a 2-0 lead 15 seconds into the third period. The Knights were 10-2 in the playoffs when they scored the first goal. Between the regular season and the playoffs, the Knights were 36-1-4 when they were ahead after two seasons.
But Dallas began to accelerate in the third period, and this effort manifested itself Jamie Bengoal at 9:54. Defender This is Lindell passed the elf behind the net, and diverted the wing Alexander Radulov and right to Ben, who broke a wrist to cut the lead in half.
“There is no panic in this wardrobe. We are a resilient team,” Ben said. “We enjoy the challenge.”
The stars tied the game with Vegas forward Alex cloth in the penalty box for rubbing. Defender John Kligberg got a shot through the traffic, Lehner did the save, and Joel Kiviranda – whose hat trick in overtime won Game 7 against Colorado in the semifinals – hit the rebound at home to tie the game at 16:13 of the third.
In overtime, the game triggered a critical and unfortunate mistake by rookie defender Zach Whitecloud, who tried to hit the ball away from a Dallas match forward and accidentally sent it over the glass for a match delay penalty at 2:15. Gurianov scored the series a few minutes later.
“I just feel terrible for the child,” Debord said. “It’s such a sentence for a start. For this type of penalty to decide a game just does not make sense to me. But for him, he has nothing to hang his head. He played his ass He has a bright future ahead of him here . “
Theoretically, the Knights do the same. This is their second trip to the conference finals in three years. They lost to Washington in the Stanley Cup final in their opening season. Aside from a few unlimited free agents – including Lehner, though he is expected to return – the Golden Knights roster could be intact for another run next season.
“The goal of this team is to win the Stanley Cup, and they are right in that window,” DeBoer said. “It’s the hardest trophy to win in hockey. It’s an incredibly hard road. We need to learn a few things about what works in the playoffs and how to score in the playoffs.”
This is especially true for the team’s top attacking players. Dallas received production from stars such as Benn, Radulov and Joe Pavilsky in a row. The same could not be said for the top scorers of the Knights.
DeBoer scored a moment in the third period of Game 5 after Dallas lost the lead to 2-1 and Vegas in front and top scorer Maximum Pacioretty – who had an assist in his last eight playoff games – could not turn a chance of a break.
He went over to Pacioretty. Smith’s goal was his first in 11 games. Linemate Jonathan Marchessault was goalless during this time. Mark Stone, who played with an injury in Game 5, had one goal in nine games.
“We could never achieve this next goal enough to go far enough,” DeBoer said. In the end, this lack of timely scoring cost the Golden Knights the most important goals.
“We are not happy to lose in the conference final,” DeBoer said. “That was not the goal when we came here.”