Coach Peter Deborah was speechless when he entered the Golden Knights dressing room in Vegas on Monday after Game 5 of the NHL’s Western Conference Final.
“I’m not ready to say anything to them tonight because I don’t think we lost,” he said.
The Golden Knights lost.
Dallas stars forward Denis Kurianov3 minutes, 36 seconds of extra time gave his team a 3-2 victory and knocked out the Golden Knights from the latter season. Dallas advanced to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 2000.
“We all feel this is a wasted opportunity,” he said Reilly Smith, A Golden Knight from the team’s first season in 2017-18. “This is the best, most talented team I have ever played for in my life. Our only goal is to win the Stanley Cup. We don’t want anything less than that. We definitely feel defeated.”
Entered the Vegas Cup with an eye on the restarted NHL season. The Golden Knights topped the Pacific division. They aggressively increased their list this season, firing coach Gerard Caland after a 24-19-6 start, hiring coach Deborah, who beat them in last season’s opening round 7 game, and traded for the Los Angeles Kings defender. Alec Martinez And the Chicago Blackhawks goalie Robin Lehner Over time.
The Knights outscored Chicago in five games in the quarterfinals, then beat Vancouver Canucks – and fantastic Golding Thatcher Demco In the last three games of the series – a game with 7 wins in the semifinals. They entered the Western Conference Finals against the Stars as favorites in the sports books to win the Stanley Cup.
What went wrong?
“They scored at the right time, it was a tight series. Our team was more than 90 percent, but that cost us: we didn’t score, they were,” Smith said. “In the last eight games, we felt like we were cursed around the net. Nothing went inside.”
He beat the Dallas Knights 9-8 in a series played in Edmonton, Alberta, as part of a league bubble amid a Corona virus outbreak.
“This game, like the rest of the series, we were not able to extend to the next goal [the lead], “DeBoer said. In Game 5, the Knights Center Chandler Stephenson He scored at 8:14 in the first period to break the 1-0 lead. Smith took a shot on the Stars Golder Anton Gudopin To give Vegas a 2-0 lead of 15 seconds in 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 took the lead 36-1-4 after two seasons.
But as Dallas began to pick up speed in the third period, that effort emerged Jamie BennTarget at 9:54. Defenseman That Lindell The buck crossed from behind the net and it deflected the winger Alexander Radulov And to the right of Penn, he took a wrist shot to cut the lead in half.
“There was no panic in that dressing room, we were a flexible team,” Ben said. “We enjoy the challenge.”
The stars equalized the game with Vegas Alex cloth Penalty box for tripping. Defenseman John Klingberg Got a shot through the traffic, Lehner made the save, and Joel Kiviranda – Hat-trick in overtime wins Game 7 against Colorado in the semifinals – returned home to tie the game at 16:13 in the third.
In overtime, the game turned from a defensive player to an important and unfortunate mistake Sock White Cloud, A racer who tried to bat forward from Dallas and accidentally sent it over the mirror for a game penalty late at 2:15 p.m. Kurianov hit the series clinker a few minutes later.
“I feel terrible for the baby,” DePoyer said. “It’s such a fine to begin with. I do not understand that kind of penalty to determine a game. But for him, he has nothing to hang his head over. He’s playing with his ass.
In theory, do the Knights. This is their second trip to the finals of the conference in three years. They lost to Washington in the Stanley Cup final in their opening season. With the exception of a few unrestricted free agents – including Lehner – he is expected to return – the Golden Knights list could remain intact for another run next season.
“The goal of this team is to win the Stanley Cup, and they are right in that window,” Deborah said. “It’s a tough trophy to win in hockey. It’s an incredibly tough 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 best attacking players. Dallas received production from stars such as Ben, Radulov and the like Joe Powellsky In the series. The Knights can’t say the same for the high scorers.
Deborah noted a moment in the third period of Game 5 after Dallas was leading 2-1 and Vegas were leading and leading scorer. Max Psioretti – who has had an assist in his last eight playoff games – could not change his chances of splitting.
It transcended psoriasis. Smith’s goal was his first in 11 games. Linemate Jonathan Marcesault That gap was without a goal. Mark Stone, Who struggled with injury in Game 5, had one goal in nine games.
“We can never get to that next goal,” Deborah said. In the end, the Golden Knights lost their most important goal because they did not score in time.
“We were not happy to lose in the final of the conference,” Deborah said. “That was not the goal when we got here.”