Alexander Radulov and Jason Dickinson each scored two goals as the visiting Dallas Stars earned a 5-3 victory in Game 5 of their first-round Stanley Cup playoff series with the Nashville Predators on Saturday.
The win gives Dallas a 3-2 edge in the series, putting the Stars a victory away from advancing to the second round for just the second time in 11 seasons.
The Central Division-winning Predators, meanwhile, are in danger of missing the second round for the first time in four seasons.
Jamie Benn had three assists for the Stars, while Tyler Seguin contributed a goal and an assist. The top line of Radulov, Benn, and Seguin combined for 16 of the Stars’ 26 total shots on Saturday. The trio has 16 total points in the series.
After scoring just nine goals in 105 career regular-season NHL games, Dickinson emerged as an unlikely offensive force with the first two playoff points of his young career.
Rocco Grimaldi, Ryan Johansen, and Kyle Turris scored for the Predators, while Roman Josi contributed two assists.
The Predators opened the scoring 6:25 into the game on Grimaldi’s third goal of the series. Despite missing Game 1 due to an upper-body injury, Grimaldi is Nashville’s leading scorer of the playoffs.
After Dickinson equalised at 13:08 of the first period, Radulov’s two second-period goals gave the Stars a lead that they would never relinquish. Radulov last scored twice in a playoff game on April 11, 2007 in his very first postseason appearance.
Pekka Rinne allowed five goals on 26 Dallas shots. It was the second consecutive tough game for Rinne, who was pulled less than 14 minutes into Game 4 after giving up four goals on eight shots.
Ben Bishop saved 30 of 33 shots for Dallas. Bishop was named as a finalist for the Vezina Trophy as the league’s top goaltender earlier on Saturday.
The Stars can clinch the series on home ice by winning Game 6 on Monday in Dallas. If necessary, Game 7 will be played on April 24 in Nashville.
Blues survive scare to oust Winnipeg
Jaden Schwartz scored a hat trick and the St Louis Blues held off a furious third period Winnipeg rally Saturday to oust the Jets from the NHL playoffs with a 3-2 victory.
Schwartz, who scored the game winner in a game-five triumph, opened the scoring just 23 seconds in and then added goals in the second and third periods as the Blues eliminated the Jets four games to two in the best-of-seven opening-round series.
Schwartz would have had four goals but he hit the right goalpost with a minute left in the third period in front of the sold out crowd at Enterprise Center in St. Louis.
The Blues had to buck a few series trends to reach the second round, where they will face either the Dallas Stars or Nashville Predators.
Before game six, the road team had won the first five games of the series. By beating the visiting Jets, the Blues made sure that no best-of-seven series has ever had the visiting team win each of the first six games.
Also, each game saw the winning team rally from behind to win. It is just the 10th time in league history it has happened through the first five games.
Winnipeg did their best to try and keep that come-from-behind streak going by getting late third period goals from Dustin Byfuglien and Bryan Little but ultimately the Jets fell short.
Jordan Binnington made 18 saves for the Blues while Jets netminder Connor Hellebuyck stopped 33 shots.
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