Lightning Round: Vegas takes 3-0 lead in Western Conference Final

This round has been quite anticlimactic.

Lightning Round: Vegas takes 3-0 lead in Western Conference Final
Photo by Corina Rainer / Unsplash

Much like the NBA, the NHL Conference Finals seem to be heading to a quick conclusion. The Boston Celtics may have staved off a sweep by the Miami Heat the night after Denver swept Los Angeles, but the Vegas Golden Knights joined the Florida Panthers in taking a 3-0 series lead by defeating the Dallas Stars 4-0 on Tuesday night.

Vegas jumped out to a 3-0 lead a little over seven minutes into the game, chasing Stars' goaltender Jake Oettinger. Jonathan Marchessault opened the scoring with his 7th of the postseason while Ivan Barbashev and William Carrier quickly followed. Alex Pietrangelo finished off the scoring in the second period. Barbashev finished the night with 3 points while Aiden Hill continued his surprising run with 34 saves for his first career postseason shutout and 6th win of the playoffs.

Scott Wedgewood stopped 10 of 11 shots in relief of Oettinger who allowed 3 goals on 5 shots. The Stars may be shorthanded for Game 4 as Jamie Benn could be facing supplemental discipline following this wildly unnecessary crosscheck on Mark Stone:

They could also be without Max Domi who finished things off with a dangerous blindside check on Nicolas Hague that earned him a 10-minute misconduct (which Dallas fans applauded by throwing stuff, including popcorn, on the ice).

Along with the two ejections, the Stars finished the game with only 9 forwards due to an injury to Evgenii Dadonov.

The Stars will try to stay alive in Game 4 on Thursday while Carolina attempts to continue their series tonight against the Panthers.

Lightning / NHL News

32 Thoughts [Sportsnet]

As you can imagine, it's pretty Leafs heavy this week, but Elliotte Friedman did drop two interesting non-Toronto bits of news: it looks like Corey Perry will be on the open market and there is a chance the salary cap could bump up more than the expected million dollars. Not much more, but the Lightning need every dollar they can get.

The bad hits weren't confined to the Dallas/Vegas game. Things started off early as the Lightning's Mikey Eyssimont was booted from the US/Sweden game for an ugly knee-on-knee hit on Rasmus Sandin.

One of the other players in the Lightning organization had a better day as Rudy Balcers scored the game winner for Latvia as they upset the previously undefeated Swiss team.

The Athletic mock drafts the first two rounds [The Athletic]

Cory Pronman has Adam Fantilli going second to Anaheim while Scott Wheeler sees American Will Smith jumping up the third spot. Sadly they did not respond to our Twitter request to mock the sixth and seventh rounds of the draft.

Kyle Dubas released a statement thanking the fans and members of MLSE. He didn't elaborate on his future intentions.

IIHF Men's World Championship

Germany 5, France 0

Slovakia 4, Norway 1

USA 4, Sweden 3 (OT)

Canada 3, Czechia 1

Finland 7, Denmark 1

Latvia 4, Switzerland 3 (OT)

Following an off day today, the quarter finals will get underway on Thursday

USA vs. Czechia 7:20 AM EST

Switzerland vs. Germany 7:20 AM EST

Canada vs. Finland 11:20 AM EST

Sweden vs. Latvia 11:20 AM EST