Spirited Stars fight back to take a 2-1 series lead
Spirited Stars fight back to take a 2-1 series lead (Credit: )

Paudel Sri Lanka are under more pressure than us

EDMONTON, Alberta -- — Jason Robertson completed his first-career playoff hat trick midway through the third period as the Dallas Stars defeated the Edmonton Oilers 5-3 on Monday night to take a 2-1 lead in the NHL’s Western Conference final. Wyatt Johnston and Miro Heiskanen, into the empty net, had the other goal for Dallas. Jake Oettinger made 26 saves. Roope Hintz, Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn had two assists each. “You want to help the team win, you want to score goals,” said Robertson, who hadn’t found the back of the net since Game 6 of the first round. “Scoring one gives you confidence … like a domino effect.” Connor McDavid, with a goal and an assist to give him 100 career playoff points, Zach Hyman and Adam Henrique scored for Edmonton, which got 17 stops from Stuart Skinner. “A real good start,” said McDavid. “I’m not sure where those 10, 15 minutes come from, but it’s as bad as it’s been throughout the playoffs.” Dallas, which reestablished home-ice advantage with the victory and owned the league’s best regular-season road record, is now 6-1 in the playoffs away from American Airlines Center. The Stars saw the return of Hintz, who hadn’t dressed since suffering an upper-body injury in Game 4 of the second round against the Colorado Avalanche. “We gutted it out while (Hintz) was out of the lineup,” Dallas coach Pete DeBoer said. “It wasn’t pretty, it wasn’t as pretty as it was tonight when he was out, but we still found ways. Guys still found ways to contribute without a key player. “That’s what I’m most proud of. It was great that he was back tonight, but I’m really proud of how we handled his absence.” Game 4 of the best-of-seven series is Wednesday night. Henrique returned to the lineup after sitting out seven of Edmonton’s last eight games with a suspected ankle injury. Hintz, the Stars’ No. 1 center, was also back following a four-game absence because of an upper-body injury. “You never know what a player’s going to bring after a stretch of not playing,” Oilers head coach Kris Knoblauch said Monday after the loss. “Usually it’s very hard for a player to find their game, but I don’t think he had any problems. “He made a lot of nice plays, obviously with the goal. I thought he was pretty good on the faceoff, and it was nice having him.” After the Oilers dominated the opening 20 minutes and the Stars grabbed momentum back in the second period, Robertson snapped a 3-3 tie at 11:54 of the third on a jam play that squeezed through Skinner. Edmonton pulled the goaltender late looking to force overtime, but Heiskanen iced it into an empty net with 1:55 left in regulation. The Oilers came out flying in the first inside a deafening Rogers Place. McDavid wheeled out of the corner and fired a shot that went in off Hyman just 2:02 into the game as he battled with Stars defenseman Ryan Suter for position in front for his NHL-leading 13th goal of the playoffs. The Oilers went ahead 2-0 at 7:37 when blueliner Mattias Ekholm circled the Stars net and fired a pass for McDavid, who won a battle with Seguin for the puck in the crease for the superstar captain’s fourth — and second of the series after his double overtime goal in Game 1. The Stars pushed back in impressive fashion coming out of the intermission. Robertson blasted his fourth at 5:35 of the second on a one-timer past Skinner’s ear before shoveling another upstairs on the Edmonton goaltender at 8:05 as Dallas came in waves against the disjointed, flat home side. Johnston then made it 3-2 just 63 seconds later to completed the barrage with his eighth in front of a stunned crowd. The three goals in 3:33 were the quickest trio in Dallas postseason history since moving to Texas in 1993. ------ AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/nhl