EDMONTON — Joel Kiviranta completed a hat track 7:24 into overtime to give Dallas a 5-4 victory over the Colorado Avalanche on Friday in Game 7, sending the Stars to the Western Conference finals for the first time since 2008.
Kiviranta moved away from the crease just before his quick shot on a pass from Andrej Sekera from behind the net. Kiviranta was playing only his third post-season game, on the ice for the series finale with Andrew Cogliano unfit to play, after the 24-year-old forward scored once in 11 regular-season games.
It was only the seventh Game 7 hat trick in NHL history, and the first since Wayne Gretzky for the Los Angeles Kings in the 1993 conference finals.
Dallas will play Sunday night against Vegas, a 3-0 winner over Vancouver in a Game 7 later at Rogers Place. There had never been an NHL Game 7 played at a neutral site before the two games.
The Avalanche, who also lost in Game 7 of last season’s conference semis, were trying to get to their first conference final since 2002, and forced Game 7 after being down 3-1.
Alexander Radulov scored two goals for Dallas, tying it at 3 with 8:32 left. That was only a couple of minutes after Radulov came out of the penalty box for an interference penalty.
But in a series when the two teams combined for 57 goals, and were tied four times in the finale, they scored 10 seconds apart late in regulation. Colorado had a 4-3 lead with 3:40 left in regulation after Vladislav Namestnikov scored his second goal of the game. But 10 seconds later, Kiviranta scored his second goal.
Stars goalie Anton Khudobin made 40 saves.
Nazeem Kadri had a goal and an assist for the Avalanche. They played without captain Gabriel Landeskog (unfit to play) and didn’t get a point from scoring wizard Nathan MacKinnon for the first time in 15 games this post-season .
GOLDEN KNIGHTS 3, CANUCKS 0
Shea Theodore finally solved Thatcher Demko with 6:08 remaining in the third period and Vegas edged Vancouver Canucks 3-0 in Game 7 of their second-round series.
Theodore’s goal was the first in 138:40 for the Golden Knights against Demko, the rookie who had brought Vancouver back from a 3-1 deficit in the series and held off Vegas for most of this game, too. Then Theodore scored a power-play goal on a wrist shot from the blue line that slipped through traffic and past Demko, who had made 98 consecutive saves.
Alex Tuch and Paul Stastny added empty-net goals.
Vegas outshot the Canucks 36-14 in the game and 127-55 over the final three. It was barely enough. The Golden Knights will face Dallas for a berth in the Stanley Cup final.
Robin Lehner had his third shutout of the series, and his sensational glove save on Brock Boeser in the second period kept the game scoreless.
The Associated Press