Stars Score 3 Unanswered to Advance

For the first time in 20 years, the Dallas Stars are headed to the Stanley Cup Final. This is a group, who started the season 1-7-1 with no regulation wins, and dealt with a midseason coaching change that gave the reins to Rick Bowness, figured it out and got hot at just the right time. They are now four wins away from the second cup in franchise history. Standing in their way will be the Tampa Bay Lightning or New York Islanders and it’s going to be quite the fun series. Now, let’s wrap up that series with the Golden Knights.

The Stars and their fans have waited a long time to get back here. They’ve gotten close on some occasions but overall, the success they achieved in the late 90’s and early 2000’s seemed to evade the franchise. In 1999, they beat the Buffalo Sabres in six games to grab the franchise’s only Stanley Cup and in 2000, they would lose their back to back bid when the New Jersey Devils would win on Jason Arnott overtime goal. In 2008 they traded for superstar center Brad Richards and made a surprise run to the Western Conference Finals where they would lose to the Detroit Red Wings in six games. Now, on the backs of some homegrown guys and a few key acquisitions, the Stars hope to grab their second cup in franchise history. Who are the main guys they can thank? It all starts in 2007, when their captain was picked 129th overall.

Jamie Benn, at 129th overall, seemed to be a long shot to make the team. Now? The Stars and their fans can’t imagine life without him. Benn is a leader on and off the ice and since his debut with the Stars during the 2009-10 season, he has won the Art Ross Trophy (w/ 87 points in 2014-15), scored 300 goals and added 388 assists for 688 points in 814 NHL games. Pretty good for a player picked 129th. Benn currently has eight goals in the playoffs. Next, their number one center, Tyler Seguin.

Seguin, who was drafted second overall in 2010 right behind Taylor Hall, won a Stanley Cup his rookie season with the Boston Bruins. Seguin would go on to play three seasons with the Bruins where he put up ok numbers, but when he was traded to the Stars in July of 2013, the superstar emerged. In seven seasons in Dallas, Stars has scored 33+ goals on five separate occasions, with a career high of 40 goals in 2017-18. He’s hit 80 points twice and has been a consistent 70+ plus point player since coming to Dallas. In 741 games, Seguin has 279 goals and 356 assists for 635 points. He surprisingly only has two goals in these playoffs but he’s been competing. He’ll need to be on his A-game if the Stars have any shot of winning the final. Next up, two key franchise defensemen have led Dallas’ defense corps.

Miro Heiskanen and John Klingberg have been nothing short of spectacular throughout the Stars entire playoffs run. Heiskanen is fourth overall in playoff scoring and leads the Stars with 22 points. The young stud defenseman picked third overall in 2017 has had a coming out party this post season and he’s living up to all the franchise defenseman hype he had back in 2017. Without him, the Stars don’t get this far. The same can be said for John Klingberg, drafted by the Stars in 2010 draft, 131st overall. It’s hard to believe that Klingberg was picked that late in the NHL draft but he was and the Stars found an absolute gem, since his debut in the 2014-15 season, Klingberg has 58 goals and 233 assists for 291 points in 425 games. Just a spectacular number for the Stars other franchise defenseman. Who else deserves recognition on this team?

Alexander Radulov, brought in as a key free agent, has formed great chemistry with Seguin and Benn and has been a great source offense since his arrival in Dallas. Veterans like Corey Perry, Blake Comeau, Andrew Cogliano and Joe Pavelski have all bought in Dallas’s team concept and have been a great secondary source of offense for the Stars. Esa Lindell has proven his worth to the Dallas blue line and Roope Hintz has found a great roll on this team. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Joel Kiviranta, who scored a hat trick in Game seven against the Avalanche and tied game five up late for the Stars. He has come out of nowhere and just scored huge goals. Denis Gurianov, the Stars’ first rounder in 2015, has blossomed this postseason as well.

Even with Vegas striking first with two goals, the Stars fought and clawed their way all the way back. They scored twice and won it on a Denis Gurianov bomb in overtime. The Stars now await the winner of the Lightning and Islanders. Soak it in Stars fans, your team is going to the Final for the first time in 20 years. #GoStars

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