Dallas Stars defenseman John Klingberg scored the only goal of the game in a 1-0 shutout of the Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals Sunday in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. File Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo
Sept. 7 (UPI) -- John Klingberg scored 2:36 into the first period and goalie Anton Khudobin kept the puck from going between the pipes in the Dallas Stars' shutout of the Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals.
Khudobin had 25 saves in the 1-0 victory Sunday at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Vegas netminder Marc-Andre Fleury had 24 saves in the loss. Dallas had allowed 3.5 goals per game before Sunday's shutout, the most of the four-team field still in the playoffs.
"Khudobin stepped up for us and played a great game," Klingberg told reporters.
"He won the game for us. We gave them [the Golden Knights] a little too much life in the third period, but we will take it and move on. We are up 1-0."
Center Radek Faksa stole the puck and raced out in transition to spark the game's lone scoring sequence.
Faksa skated up the left flank before he slid the puck to left wing Jamie Benn near the Vegas blue line. Benn then fired a backhanded wrist shot, but the attempt was blocked. Klingberg collected the rebound before he smashed a shot past Fleury and into the left side of the net.
The No. 3 seed will face the top-seeded Golden Knights in Game 2 of the Western Conference finals at 8 p.m. EDT Tuesday in Edmonton.
"That was Dallas Stars hockey for two periods," Stars coach Rick Bowness said of the defensive effort. "We were skating and on top of them. We created a lot of offense from good defensive structure all over the ice."
The winner of the best-of-seven series will face the New York Islanders or Tampa Bay Lightning in the 2020 Stanley Cup Final. The Islanders and Lightning clash in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals at 8 p.m. EDT Monday at Rogers Place.
"I still have so much confidence in this team and the way we play," Fleury said of the Golden Knights. "I think we are going to learn from our mistakes. We aren't worried about it. We will be fine."