Kling­berg clinches win for Stars in OT

The Prince George Citizen - - Sports - Stephen HAWKINS

DAL­LAS — John Kling­berg scored from the left cir­cle 17:02 into over­time and the Dal­las Stars beat the Nashville Preda­tors 2-1 to wrap up their first-round Western Con­fer­ence play­off se­ries in six games.

Kling­berg’s first goal of the play­offs came on a cross-ice pass from Alexander Radulov.

The win by the Stars came 11 years af­ter the pre­vi­ous time they clinched a play­off se­ries on home ice. They needed over­time for a 2-1 win in that Game 6 as well – four over­times to beat San Jose in the sec­ond round of the 2008 play­offs.

The Stars will play St. Louis in the sec­ond round of these play­offs, just as they did in their pre­vi­ous post-sea­son ap­pear­ance three years ago. The Blues, who have home-ice ad­van­tage this time, won that 2016 se­ries with a Game 7 win in Dal­las.

Ben Bishop, Vez­ina Trophy fi­nal­ist, had a play­off ca­reer-high 47 saves for the Stars.

Pekka Rinne, who won the Vez­ina Trophy last year as the NHL’s top goalie, also set a play­off ca­reer best by stopping 49 shots. That in­cluded an im­pres­sive pad save on Jamie Benn’s shot just more than five minutes into the over­time pe­riod, when the Stars had a 14-8 ad­van­tage on shots.

Blake Comeau scored his first play­off goal for the Stars, ty­ing the game at 1-1 in the sec­ond pe­riod. But he also had a trip­ping penalty with 1:53 left in reg­u­la­tion that put Nashville on the power play.

But the Preda­tors didn’t even get a shot on goal be­fore the third pe­riod ended, or when fin­ish­ing the fi­nal sec­onds with a man ad­van­tage to start over­time. They were 0-for-4 on the power play in Game 6, and fin­ished 0-for-15 in the se­ries. Austin Watson scored a goal for Nashville in the first pe­riod.

AP PHOTO

Dal­las Stars’ Esa Lin­dell (23) cel­e­brates with John Kling­berg af­ter Kling­berg scored in over­time against the Nashville Preda­tors in Game 6 of their play­off se­ries in Dal­las on Mon­day.

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