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Open Thread: Western Conference Final Game 1

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Dallas Stars v Vegas Golden Knights Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images

We’re down to the final four teams remaining in the 2020 NHL Playoffs, and just within the last two days alone, we’ve been treated with three chaotic Game 7’s. The Western Conference Final between the Dallas Stars and Vegas Golden Knights will be the first series to kick off the third round, and it should certainly be an entertaining one.

Where: Rogers Place (Edmonton, Alberta)
When: 8:00PM ET
Television: NBC, CBC, Sportsnet, TVA Sports

How We Got Here

Both the Dallas Stars and Vegas Golden Knights are coming off of massive victories in their respective Game 7’s, so this series should theoretically get off to a quick start. Despite giving up a 3-1 series lead, the Stars were able to right the ship with a thrilling overtime victory to punch their ticket to the Western Conference Final. Joel Kiviranta, who dressed for only the third time in these playoffs, was the unlikely hero for Dallas as he capped of his first career NHL hat trick. The 24-year old scored 7:24 into the first overtime period and sent the Stars to their first Western Conference Final appearance in 12 years.

As for the Vegas Golden Knights, they were in a similar situation after squandering their own 3-1 series lead. After two unreal performances in net by Thatcher Demko, Vegas was finally able to solve the hot goaltender and came away with a 3-0 victory in Game 7. Shea Theodore was the hero after scoring the game-winning, power play goal with just over six minutes remaining in the game. The Golden Knights continued to show why they are annual playoff contenders as they advanced to their second Western Conference Final in the last three seasons.

Projected Lineups

Dallas Stars

Jamie Benn - Tyler Seguin - Alexander Radulov
Mattias Janmark - Joe Pavelski - Denis Gurianov
Jason Dickinson - Roope Hintz - Corey Perry
Joel Kiviranta - Radek Faksa - Blake Comeau

Esa Lindell - John Klingberg
Jamie Oleksiak - Miro Heiskanen
Joel Hanley - Andrej Sekera

Anton Khudobin

Vegas Golden Knights

Max Pacioretty - Chandler Stephenson - Mark Stone
Jonathan Marchessault - William Karlsson - Reilly Smith
Alex Tuch - Paul Stastny - Nicolas Roy
William Carrier - Tomas Nosek - Nick Cousins

Alec Martinez - Shea Theodore
Brayden McNabb - Nate Schmidt
Nick Holden - Zach Whitecloud

Robin Lehner

Enjoy the game everyone!