Stars 'steal one' in OT, revive series hopes vs. Golden Knights

Wyatt Johnston's OT winner brings Stars back in series (1:07)

Wyatt Johnston sends Vegas fans home upset as he breaks away for the slick overtime winner. (1:07)

After falling into a 2-0 series hole while losing six straight and nine of their past 11 games to the Vegas Golden Knights, the Dallas Stars had to do something in Game 3.

And they did. The Stars snapped their losing skid to the defending Stanley Cup champions, with 20-year-old forward Wyatt Johnston scoring twice, including the winning goal, in their 3-2 overtime win Saturday in the Western Conference quarterfinals at T-Mobile Arena.

"We knew the situation coming into Vegas," said Stars center Tyler Seguin, who finished with an assist. "We know these guys are the champs from last year, and we know how good they are on home ice. ... We knew we had to come in here, we had to steal one no matter. Now, we want to steal two."

Coming close but not being close enough to win games had been the narrative for the Stars entering Game 3.

They opened Game 1 with a 4-3 loss and were within striking distance in Game 2 before an empty-netter from Jack Eichel late in the third period created extra separation in a 3-1 defeat.

Game 3 saw Dallas find its footing early. Johnston scored the opening goal near the halfway point of the first period before Miro Heiskanen doubled the lead to 2-0 a little more than five minutes into the second period.

Having a two-goal lead, however, was short-lived. The Golden Knights tied the score on a pair of second-period goals from Brayden McNabb and Eichel.

Both teams struggled to come up with the winning goal in the third period and overtime. Stars goaltender Jake Oettinger finished with 32 saves and a .941 save percentage for what was his strongest performance in the postseason.

Oettinger's counterpart, Logan Thompson, was one of the main reasons why the Golden Knights even reached overtime. Johnston's first goal along with Heiskanen's salvo that gave Dallas a 2-0 advantage was the product of an attack that went from struggling to find consistency in the first two games of the series to one that showed why the Stars are among the teams that could dethrone the Golden Knights this postseason.

Through the first two games of this series, Thompson had faced 50 shots. The Stars already had 33 shots by the end of the second period before finishing with 46 shots, with Thompson stopping 43 of them.

Johnston was responsible for a game-high eight shots, with his final being the winner that he snuck beneath the crossbar and over Thompson's shoulder from a side angle to bring the Stars within a game of tying the series.

"I tried a couple low, and it didn't work," said Johnston, who led the Stars with 32 goals in the regular season. "So I tried to throw one up high, and I'm lucky enough it worked."

Stars coach Peter DeBoer reiterated afterward that his team had to be the more desperate club Saturday night.

DeBoer's logic was simple. The Golden Knights were still going to have a series lead no matter what happened in Game 3. The Stars, on the other hand, had to find a way to get the series back to Dallas.

Getting off to an early start. Finding ways to constantly get shots. Making sure the Golden Knights were the ones who struggled to find cohesion at times. These are the details that allowed the Stars to win Saturday, and they are also the attributes DeBoer said proves the team has shown gradual improvement since the start of the playoffs.

"What I do like about our game is that our game's building," DeBoer said. "Game 2 was better than Game 1. Game 3 was better than Game 2. That's a great sign for me on our group."