Alexander Radulov of Nizhny Tagil, Russia was the overtime hero on Thursday in the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs. At only the 31 second mark of the extra period, Radulov scored from Joe Pavelski of Plover, WI and Canadian Olympic gold medalist Jamie Benn of Victoria, British Columbia. With the goal, the Dallas Stars defeated the Vegas Golden Knights 3-2 and took a two games to one series lead in the best out of seven Western Conference Finals.
After a first period without a goal, Stars defenseman Jamie Oleksiak of Toronto scored the lone goal of the second period with 17 seconds left in the middle frame. The Golden Knights got an early goal in the third period from defenseman Shea Theodore of Langley, BC to tie the game at one. Benn then put the Stars up 2-1 at 7:35 of the third period before Alex Tuch of Syracuse, NY tied the game for Vegas at 12:46 of the final frame.
This was Radulov’s third overtime winner. He scored his first overtime winner for the Montreal Canadiens in a 4-3 win over the New York Rangers on April 14, 2017, and the second came in a 5-4 Stars win over the Calgary Flames on August 16, 2020. The last two overtime winners came for the Stars at Rogers Place in Edmonton during these unique Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Radulov is now the co-leader for the Stars in playoff goals in 2020 with eight. He is tied with Denis Gurianov of Tolyatti, Russia, and Pavelski.
Dallas is now two wins away from reaching their fifth Stanley Cup Finals in franchise history. They previously won in 1999, and lost in 1981, 1991 and 2000. In 1981 and 1991, the team was known as the Minnesota North Stars.
In other NHL news, Sean Couturier of Phoenix, AZ won the Selke Trophy on Thursday for the NHL’s best defensive forward. Couturier, who was playing for the Philadelphia Flyers, scored 22 goals and 37 assists for 59 points in 69 games. He was a +21 with 543 faceoff wins, a 59.7% faceoff winning percentage, 26 hits, 60 blocked shots, 40 takeaways and 36 giveaways.