EDMONTON, AB — Pop the champagne. Break out the Western Conference Champion hats and shirts. The Dallas Stars are headed to their first Stanley Cup Final in 20 years.
Game 5 of the Western Conference Final between the Stars and Vegas Golden Knights was as thrilling and theatrical as seemingly every Stars game since the season resumed Aug. 3.
Three minutes and 36 seconds into overtime, Denis Gurianov slapped a one-timer past Knights goalie Robin Lehner to launch the Stars to the Cup final, 3-2.
The power-play goal was Gurianov's ninth of the postseason.
The Stars eliminated the Knights to win the series 4-1. They're onto the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 2000 -- when they lost to the New Jersey Devils.
Trailing 2-0 in the third period, the Stars mounted yet another comeback -- something they've grown accustomed to in 2019-2020 -- scoring two goals in the final 10 minutes and six seconds of regulation.
It started when captain Jamie Benn ripped the puck past Lehner for his third goal in the last three games.
Then with 3:47 left in the third period, forward Joel Kiviranta -- the hat-trick hero from Game 7 of the West semifinal vs. Colorado -- buried the game-tying goal.
In his first postseason action, the 24-year-old winger from Finland has scored four goals in seven playoff appearances.
The Knights took an early 1-0 lead when forward Chandler Stephenson backhanded a puck through the legs of Stars goalie magician Anton Khudobin.
The Stars failed to score in the opening period yet again. Dallas hasn't scored in the first period since Game 1 vs. Vegas.
The Knights scored again just 15 seconds into the third period when forward Reilly Smith went top-shelf on Khudobin.
Dobby was solid once again, stopping 34 of 36 shots en route to victory.
The Stars will now await the winner of the Eastern Conference Final between the Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Islanders.
During the regular season, the Stars went 2-0 against the Lightning and 1-0-1 against the Islanders.
Tampa leads the series 3-1. Game 5 is Tuesday night at 7 p.m. CT.