Klingberg’s OT goal pushes Stars over Preds to advance
DALLAS (AP) — John Klingberg scored from the left circle 17:02 into overtime and the Dallas Stars beat the Nashville Predators 2-1 on Monday night to wrap up their first-round Western Conference playoff series in six games.
Klingberg’s first goal of the playoffs came on a cross-ice pass from Alexander Radulov.
The win by the Stars came 11 years after the previous time they clinched a playoff series on home ice. They needed overtime for a 2-1 win in that Game 6 as well — four overtimes to beat San Jose in the second round of the 2008 playoffs.
The Stars will play St. Louis in the second round of these playoffs, just as they did in their previous postseason appearance three years ago. The Blues, who have home-ice advantage this time, won that 2016 series with a Game 7 win in Dallas.
Ben Bishop, Vezina Trophy finalist, had a playoff career-high 47 saves for the Stars.
Pekka Rinne, who won the Vezina Trophy last year as the NHL’s top goalie, also set a career best by stopping 49 shots in his 89th career playoff game. That included an impressive pad save on Jamie Benn‘s shot just more than five minutes into the overtime period, when the Stars had a 14-8 advantage on shots.
Blake Comeau scored his first playoff goal for the Stars, tying the game at 1-1 in the second period. But he also had a tripping penalty with 1:53 left in regulation that put Nashville on the power play.
The Predators stuck to the series script and didn’t score a goal. They didn’t even get a shot on goal before the third period ended, or when finishing the final seconds with a man advantage to start overtime.
They were 0-for-4 on the power play in Game 6, and finished 0-for-15 in the series. They were the only one of the 16 teams that made the playoffs that didn’t have a power-play goal in the postseason.
Nashville had only one shot in the last nine minutes of regulation, and that doesn’t count Calle Jarnkrok‘s shot at an angle over Bishop that ricocheted off the crossbar.
Austin Watson scored a goal for Nashville in the first period.
Dallas tied the game at 1 almost 5½ minutes into the second period when Radek Faksa poked a puck away from Nashville and started skating the other way. Faksa then fed back to Comeau, skating through the slot for a wicked wrist shot into left side of the net.
That was right after Nashville’s second line, now with Rocco Grimaldi, had three point-blank shots in 10 seconds turned away by Bishop.
After Mikael Granlund was wide of the net, Grimaldi missed a wrister before Granlund and Kyle Turris were denied. With a team-high three goals in the series, the 5-foot-7 Grimaldi was moved up from the fourth line to the second line in the most significant lineup switch made by coach Peter Laviolette with the Predators on the brink of elimination.
The Predators had two power-play chances in the final 12 minutes of the second period. Their best chance came right after the second power play of the period ended when Roman Josi had a shot off Bishop’s body.
Rinne had glove saves in that span on shots by Tyler Seguin and Benn, the two Stars standouts who combined for 11 of their 23 shots the first two periods.
Dallas has some early giveaways, and a second one early by Jason Spezza that led to Nashville’s goal.
NOTES: Dallas is 31-40 in playoff overtime games, 1-1 in this series. Nashville won Game 2 in overtime and is 8-9 in such games. … Bishop’s 39 saves in regulation were three more than he had ever had during regulation of a playoff game. … Dallas got two shots by Rinne that hit the post. In the opening seconds of the third period, Esa Lindell had a shot that appeared headed into the left side of the net when it ricocheted off the bottom of the post and back into play. Benn had a shot midway through the first period that hit higher on the same post and bounced up in the air, and Rinne somehow got his stick on the puck and knocked it away.
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