* After earning only one win in their first nine games of the season, starting the 2020 calendar year with a multi-goal comeback win outdoors in front of 85,630 fans at Cotton Bowl Stadium, and losing each of their last six contests before the pause, the Stars staged yet another comeback victory to clinch a spot in the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in 20 years.
* Denis Gurianov and fellow rookie Joel Kiviranta, who tallied the tying marker in Game 5, will enter their first Final after combining for a rare feat by accounting for the clinching goal in each of Dallas’ last two series.
* The Lightning look to join the Stars in the championship round when they contest Game 5 against the Islanders, whose general manager has experience in rallying from a 3-1 series deficit to win a Conference Finals.
GURIANOV SCORES OVERTIME WINNER TO POWER STARS INTO STANLEY CUP FINAL
The Stars scored two third-period goals to erase a 2-0 deficit – including a tying tally by Joel Kiviranta with 3:47 remaining in regulation – and fellow rookie Denis Gurianov (1-1—2) potted the winner on a power play at 3:36 of overtime to power Dallas into the Stanley Cup Final.
* The Stars reached the Stanley Cup Final for the fifth time in franchise history. The Minnesota North Stars clinched two berths in the championship series (1981 & 1991) and the Stars will make their third appearance since relocating to Texas ahead of the 1993-94 season (also 1999 & 2000).
* Gurianov became the fifth rookie in NHL history to score a series-clinching goal in overtime which propelled his team into the Stanley Cup Final. He joined Pep Kelly of the Maple Leafs in Game 4 of the 1935 Semifinals (2-1 OT W vs. BOS), Jacques Lemaire of the Canadiens in Game 5 of the 1968 Semifinals (4-3 OT W vs. CHI), Darren Helm of the Red Wings in Game 5 of the 2009 Western Conference Final (2-1 OT W vs. CHI) and Adam Henrique of the Devils in Game 6 of the 2012 Eastern Conference Final (3-2 OT W vs. NYR).
* Gurianov has 5-3—8 in three series-clinching wins this postseason, which includes a 4-1—5 showing in Game 6 of the First Round versus Calgary (7-3 W). His eight points in series-clinching wins are the highest such total in League history by a rookie within a playoff year, while his five goals are tied for the most among NHL rookies in a single postseason with Chicago’s Jeremy Roenick in 1990 (5-1—6 in 3 GP).
* Gurianov, who snapped a seven-game goal drought, leads all rookies in both goals and points this postseason (9-8—17 in 21 GP). He is one of eight rookies in NHL history with nine or more goals in a playoff year.
* Kiviranta has recorded each of his first five career playoff points in series-clinching wins (4-1—5), highlighted by a hat trick in Game 7 of the Second Round against the Avalanche which included the overtime winner.
* Kiviranta became the second player in League history to record each of his first five career postseason points in series-clinching victories (spanning playoff years or otherwise), joining Philadelphia’s Peter Zezel in 1985 (1-4—5 in 2 GP). He also became the second player in NHL history to score each of his first four career playoff goals in series-clinching wins, following Duane Sutter with the Islanders from 1980 to 1981 (4-2—6 in 4 GP).
DID YOU KNOW?
The Stars became the fourth team in NHL history to have two different rookies score a series-clinching goal in a playoff year, joining the Montreal Maroons in 1926 (Babe Siebert & Nels Stewart), Rangers in 1981 (Tom Laidlaw & Lance Nethery) and Avalanche in 1999 (Milan Hejduk & Chris Drury). Dallas is the only team among that cohort to have both of its rookies score series-clinching goals in overtime.
* Two teams in League history have also had a single rookie score two series-clinching goals in a postseason: Toronto in 1940 (Hank Goldup) and New Jersey in 2012 (Adam Henrique).
MORE GAME 5 QUICK HITS
* Dallas overcame a multi-goal deficit to earn a series-clinching win for the third time in franchise history, following Game 6 of the 1998 Conference Quarterfinals against San Jose (3-2 OT W) and Game 6 of the 2020 First Round versus Calgary (7-3 W). The Stars became the second team in NHL history to overcome a multi-goal deficit in multiple series-clinching wins within a playoff year, joining the Islanders in 1980 (Game 5 of QF & Game 6 of SF).
* Dallas became the fourth team to overcome a deficit in each of its three series-clinching wins to reach the Stanley Cup Final since the four-round playoff format was introduced in 1975. The Stars joined the Canadiens in 1989, Mighty Ducks in 2003 and Hurricanes in 2006.
* Dallas earned multiple series-clinching wins in overtime in a playoff year for the second time in franchise history. The first instance was in 1999, when the Stars clinched three of their series with an overtime goal en route to claiming the franchise’s first-ever Stanley Cup.
* Anton Khudobin (34 saves) improved to 12-6 in 19 appearances this postseason (2.62 GAA, .920 SV%, 1 SO), including wins in each of the Stars’ last three games to close out the series. He has backstopped Dallas to all three of its series-clinching wins in 2020.
MEDIA REMINDER: Schedules and recordings of all Zoom media availabilities (including post-game) and practices are available daily on the NHL’s media site – you must have an account to access this content. The 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs Information Guide as well as team playoff media guides also are available on the site.
LIGHTNING LOOK TO CLINCH FRANCHISE’S THIRD STANLEY CUP FINAL BERTH
The Lightning look to reach the Stanley Cup Final for the third time in franchise history when they face the Islanders in Game 5 of their Eastern Conference Final series.
* Tampa Bay reached the Stanley Cup Final in both 2004 and 2015, defeating Calgary in seven games during the first appearance and falling to Chicago in six in the second. Nine players who dressed at least one game with the Lightning in the 2015 Final remain with the team (Braydon Coburn, Victor Hedman, Tyler Johnson, Alex Killorn, Nikita Kucherov, Ondrej Palat, Cedric Paquette, Steven Stamkos & Andrei Vasilevskiy).
* Brayden Point (9-16—25 in 16 GP) and Kucherov (6-19—25 in 17 GP) lead Tampa Bay with 25 points apiece this postseason. The Lightning are the first team with multiple 25-point scorers before its 20th game in a playoff year since 2009, when Evgeni Malkin (13-17—30 in 19 GP) and Sidney Crosby (14-14—28 in 19 GP) combined for the feat with the Penguins en route to winning the Stanley Cup.
* Aside from Tampa Bay this year and Pittsburgh in 2009, there have been only six other instances of a team with multiple 25-point scorers prior to its 20th game in a postseason since 1987 when the Division Semifinals changed from a best-of-five to best-of-seven format. Each club won the Stanley Cup.
* Of note, the Oilers only played in 19 total games during the 1988 Stanley Cup Playoffs, which includes the contest on May 24 that was suspended at 16:37 of the second period due to a power failure at Boston Garden.
DID YOU KNOW?
New York aims to become the second team to win a Conference Finals after facing a 3-1 series deficit. The only club to do so since the conference format was adopted ahead of the 1981-82 season was the Devils, who accomplished the feat against the Flyers in the 2000 Eastern Conference Final with current Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello at the helm.
* New Jersey reeled off three consecutive wins in that series to advance, with Patrik Elias scoring the clinching goal with 2:32 remaining in regulation in Game 7. The Devils would go on to defeat the Stars in the Final to win their second of three Stanley Cups with Lamoriello as general manager of the team (also 1995 & 2003).