Stanley Cup Playoffs: Stars vs Golden Knights Game 3 Preview

News - Hockey
Stanley Cup Playoffs: Stars vs Golden Knights Game 3 Preview

The 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs are coming down to the wire and before we know it, the Western Conference Finals between the Dallas Stars and Vegas Golden Knights could be all over. Game 3 is scheduled for Tuesday evening down in Texas, with Vegas currently leading the series 2-0. The puck is scheduled to drop at 8 PM ET. The Stars are in serious need of a victory or they will be looking at an impossible comeback.

Quick Take

  • The Stars and Golden Knights meet on Tuesday evening
  • Dallas is actually the favorite in Game 3 despite being down 2-0 in the series
  • Keep reading for the preview and analysis

Golden Knights in Cruise Control

Despite being a +115 underdog in Game 3 at Bodog, Vegas is truly in a great position at the moment. The best team in the West during the regular season has looked solid in the series so far, although it hasn’t been easy. Game 1 was a hard-fought 4-3 victory in overtime, with Brett Howden scoring the winner in the extra period. 

Then on Sunday, the Golden Knights had it tough again. They faced a 2-1 deficit heading into the third period but with just over two minutes left in regulation, Jonathan Marchessault tied the game to force OT. That’s when Chandler Stephenson quickly put things to bed with a beauty goal just 1:12 in, his sixth goal of the playoffs thus far.

In net, Adin Hill continued to play well with 28 saves in place of Laurent Brossoit. There’s a specific statistic that will certainly make Vegas fans happy ahead of Game 3. A team with a 2-0 lead in any conference final has advanced 91% of the time for a chance to play for Lord Stanley. The Golden Knights are a very strong group who will be looking to at least grab one win on the road. 

The tandem of Stephenson, Mark Stone, and Jack Eichel is truly shining in the postseason, combining for 43 points. Stone and Eichel have 15 apiece on their own. It’s important to note that Vegas has only lost once on the road so far in the playoffs, which is undoubtedly good news ahead of Tuesday’s affair at American Airlines Arena. 

Stars Need to Respond

There’s no other way to put it. The Stars must win Game 3 if they want any chance of potentially coming back and progressing to the Stanley Cup Finals. It’s not like Dallas has played badly so far in this series either, it simply comes down to just not getting it done in overtime. They’ve pretty much stuck with the Golden Knights all the way.

Peter DeBoer’s squad looked to be in the driver’s seat Sunday on the road as Miro Heiskanen scored an early opener before Stone tied it. However, Jason Roberton put his team ahead midway through the second period. The Stars looked to be on their way to a big win, but Marchessault finished off a nasty assist from Eichel to tie it up.

As previously mentioned, it was a short-lived overtime with Vegas ultimately winning it. The Stars truly have their backs up against the wall now but it does help they’re going back home. Dallas has lost just once in the playoffs at American Airlines Arena and that was in Game 1 of the first round against the Minnesota Wild. Most NHL sportsbooks won’t be giving the Stars much of a chance to come back, but anything is possible.

Injury News

Vegas is still dealing with several injuries. Robin Lehner is of course done for year, while fellow netminder Brossoit is injured. Nolan Patrick hasn’t played a game all season and goalie Logan Thompson is still sidelined, too. The Stars on the other hand played without defenceman Jani Hakhanpaa Sunday and he is questionable again Tuesday.