Khudobin stars in big win for Dallas

Anton Khudobin saves Dallas Stars once again; Vegas Golden Knights pushed to edge of elimination

Anton Khudobin saves Dallas Stars once again; Vegas Golden Knights pushed to edge of elimination

With a suffocating defense and clutch goaltending, the Dallas Stars are one win away from advancing to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 2000.

With another superb defensive performance backed by more brilliance from netminder Anton Khudobin, the Stars defeated the Vegas Golden Knights 2-1 in Game 4 of the Western Conference final to secure a firm 3-1 advantage in the series that will determine one half of the NHL's championship series.

Dallas pushed Vegas into the verge of removal despite being outshot 33-20. "I know we're going to battle till the end", vowed forward Jonathan Marchessault. "That's why the guys love playing in front of him".

In a blowout game one, Tampa Bay made a statement against NY, taking the 1-0 series lead after scoring eight goals in their win over the Islanders.

Khudobin also is keeping himself in the heads of the Golden Knights, who ran into the same sort of problem last round against Vancouver's Thatcher Demko.

"You can analyze this to death, but you can't coach the puck into the net", Vegas coach Peter DeBoer said.

"I think the efforts there". I thought we created some really good looks.

Benn netted his team's first power-play goal of the series for the victor, converting a rebound with 58.3 seconds remaining in the second period.

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Game three of the series was decided in overtime where the Stars found the back of the net in the 3-2 contest to go up 2-1 in the series.

"We put ourselves in a tough situation there", said Pavelski, whose tripping penalty set up the 5-on-3 with 6:44 left.

On the penalty kill and at even strength, Dallas has also done a masterful job of copying the way the Canucks nearly beat Vegas last round, by collapsing defensively and giving their goaltender the chance to see a vast majority of the shots from the outside. "They have bruises and they have bumps, and they still sacrifice their bodies to go and block the shots".

"We are enjoying with the most penalized team in the playoffs and now we have got the puck, so that I anticipate the penalties to maintain our favor, and we have earned this by our field and from how we are enjoying", DeBoer said. I really appreciate that.

Alexander Radulov scored late in the first bonus frame to even a series the Stars were dangerously close to letting slip. "They gutted that out and they blocked the shots, they paid the price and we got the win".

"You can't play the shot clock", said Stars forward Joe Pavelski. But the Stars are treating a goaltender-led Game 4 victory like just another step along the way.

"We've had tremendous results from our players throughout this playoff series", Lamoriello said. "We have to get bodies there". Up 2-1 in the series versus the heavily-favoured Colorado Avalanche, the Stars jumped all over an opportunity to slap on a stranglehold, scoring three times in the first 11 minutes on shell-shocked backup netminder Pavel Francouz. Bowness expected to have an update on Hintz's status Sunday. Vegas winger Mark Stone moved into the locker area at pain after having a shot in Pavelski off his right foot, and he was wincing upon his return from the next.

The Golden Knights were without forward Tomas Nosek, which brought Nick Cousins into the lineup, while Dallas forward Radek Faksa joined goalie Ben Bishop and defenseman Taylor Fedun and Stephen Johns on the sidelines.

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