2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Dallas Stars, Jamie Benn, Ty Dellandrea

4 Takeaways From Stars’ Game 5 Win Over Golden Knights

The Dallas Stars have become the fifth NHL team in the last 10 years to force a Game 6 after losing the series’ first three games. Thanks to a heroic performance from Ty Dellandrea, who scored two goals in a thrilling 4-2 victory in Game 5, the Stars will return home to play one more time on Monday night. 

Related: Stars’ DeBoer is One of the NHL’s Underappreciated Coaches


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Additionally, after receiving a match penalty for cross-checking in Game 3, captain Jamie Benn returns to the lineup after serving a two-game suspension. After collecting back-to-back wins, the Stars have momentum heading into the next contest. However, the pressure is still on their shoulders to win or go home, but if they sneak out another victory, the pressure would drastically shift to Vegas with Game 7 on home ice. 

Nevertheless, the mentality is one game at a time, so before discussing future games, let’s dive into the takeaways from Game 5. 

Stars’ Ty Dellandrea is Game 5’s Unsung Hero

Before skating in Game 5 of the Western Conference Final, Dellendrea had one playoff goal, which came against the Minnesota Wild in Game 5 of the first round. Interestingly, that tally remained his only playoff point in 14 career postseason games until he erupted for two goals midway through the third period of Saturday night’s contest.

Even though Golden Knights’ netminder Adin Hill has been solid the entire series, Dellandrea managed to find a hole under his glove to break a 2-2 tie giving the Stars their first lead since Game 2. Although a one-goal deficit isn’t daunting, in less than two minutes, Dellandrea buried a loose puck and put the game out of reach, turning himself into an unlikely hero. Realistically, it wasn’t a bad night for a player who had three shots, three hits and skated for 15:59. 

Considering the former first-round pick (13th overall) has 12 career goals, his performance in this must-win game accounts already for 16 percent of his totals. Sometimes when a team has its back against the wall, unsung heroes step up in the unlikeliest candidates. Instead of stars like Tyler Seguin, Jason Robertson, and Roope Hintz carrying the burden, someone else has a fantastic game, and the team stays alive. 

Stars’ Resiliency on Full Display in Game 5

Just 13:36 into the first period, the Golden Knights scored the game’s first goal for the third consecutive contest. Instead of watching the home team ride the momentum from the tally and giving the fans something to cheer about, the Stars kept the pressure on and scored less than two minutes later at 15:24. 

Moreover, the scenario played itself out again early in the second when Vegas went up for the second time at 3:20, only to see Dallas tie the contest two minutes later at 5:29. Even though both teams were sloppy and gave up scoring chances, the Stars never let the Golden Knights get ahead. Furthermore, everyone on the bench knew it was win or go home, so they battled all night, winning on the scoreboard and the shot clock 34-29. 

On top of that statistic, the Stars forced the Golden Knights into 23-shot blocks, which meant the team was buzzing all night and looking for any opportunity to get a shot on net. Even though they were close, it was clear that Hill was busier than Jake Oettinger, who weathered a couple of early goals and held down the fort until the final buzzer. 

Despite trailing in the series and being pushed to the brink of elimination, the Stars have found a way to keep going and outscore the Golden Knights, forcing a Game 6 instead of a trophy presentation. 

Stars and Golden Knights Play Clean Game

Thus far in the Western Conference Final, the Stars have accumulated 45 penalty minutes, which doubles the Golden Knights’ 20 minutes. Of course, most of that infraction time came from Benn in Game 3, but fans witnessed the cleanest game of the series so far in Game 5. 

Pete DeBoer Dallas Stars
Pete DeBoer, Dallas Stars (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Incidentally, the only call of the game came just 50 seconds in when Mason Marchment tripped William Karlsson. After that, the players kept it clean, and there were no obvious blown calls. Since officiating has been a sore subject for fans through the first three rounds, these two teams understood the importance of staying out of the box in such a critical game. 

Statistically, the Stars deploy one of the league’s best power-play units but are only 3-for-9 (33 percent) in the third round, while the Golden Knights are 2-for-11 (18 percent). Moreover, at this stage of the postseason, one goal could be the difference between winning and losing. Hence, both teams executed a game plan that didn’t involve roughing it up for the risk of giving away power-play opportunities. 

Interestingly, the Stars scored on both their man advantages in Game 4, so it was clear during Game 5 that the Golden Knights wanted to avoid putting themselves in that position again. Despite not having those opportunities, Dallas found other ways to score and get the win. 

Stars’ Captain Jamie Benn Gets One More Opportunity

Although the Stars’ captain has not skated since the 1:53 mark of the first period in Game 3, he’s had a considerable influence in the series, including the last two wins by his team. Even though no one will come out and say it, losing their leader has motivated a group of veterans like Joe Pavelski. 

Jamie Benn Dallas Stars
Jamie Benn, Dallas Stars (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

As the overtime hero in Game 4, Pavelski made sure the Stars played another game to give Benn a chance to skate again this season. After a come-from-behind victory in Game 5, led by Dellandrea’s two goals, Benn can make up for his mistakes in front of the hometown crowd in Game 6. 

Whether anyone is a fan of the Stars’ captain or dislikes him for his borderline style of play, everyone should expect a massive night out of him upon his return. Even though he only has 11 points with three goals, he will have a significant presence in Game 6, whether revving up the crowd with big hits or setting up his linemates for goals. 

Related: Epic Comebacks: History of Stanley Cup Playoff 3-0 Series Deficits

Considering this series is far from over, the Golden Knights remain only one win away from advancing to the Stanley Cup Final. Ultimately, their next chance to punch their ticket takes place on Monday in Dallas, with the puck drop scheduled for 8:00 pm EST. 



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