What a Game 7!
In a see-saw battle that saw the Stars tie the Avalanche three times, Dallas rookie Joel Kiviranta won it in overtime with his third marker of the evening.
Kiviranta wasn't even expected to be in the lineup. He was tapped after forward Andrew Cogliano couldn't go because of an injury. Prior to Game 7, he had played 11 NHL games total and two bubble games (one against the Blues, the other against the Flames). He had one NHL career goal to his name — which he scored Feb. 1 against the Devils.
"Pretty unreal," Kiviranta told NBC Sports postgame. "This is the moment what you dream about when you're a young kid. Today was the day when I played [the] first Game 7 of my life and didn't know what to expect."
He added later, "I hope I get more games here."
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he is the first rookie in NHL history to score a hat trick in a Game 7 and the third player, with Claude Lemiuex (1986 for the Canadiens vs. the Whalers) and Adam Henrique (2012 for the Devils vs. the Panthers), to pot the overtime winner in a Game 7.
Kiviranta's first two goals tied the game 2-2 and 4-4, with the second coming 10 seconds after the Avalanche took another lead. Alexander Radulov also had two goals for the Stars while Nazem Kadri, Vladislav Namestnikov and Andre Burakovsky scored for Colorado.
The series shouldn't have even gotten to this point for the Stars; they led the Avs 2-0 and 3-1 in it. Last year, they lost in Game 7 to the Sharks in this same round. Now, this year's club has advanced to the Western Conference finals, the franchise's first trip there since 2008.
Though the Avalanche fought back to get the series to a Game 7, their season ended the same way it did in 2019: with a one-goal loss in Game 7 of the second round.
Sporting News had all the action as the Stars defeated the Avalanche in overtime for a spot in the Western Conference finals.
Stars vs. Avalanche score, highlights from Game 7
(All times Eastern.)
Final score: Stars 5, Avalanche 4 (OT)
Overtime: Stars 5, Avalanche 4
7:02 p.m. — GOAL. The Stars were buzzing and in the end, it was Kiviranta in the slot to finish the hat trick. He took a feed from behind the net and one-timed it past Hutchinson. Stars win 5-4.
6:58 p.m. — Mad scramble at the Avs net. Stars come close to winning it.
6:56 p.m. — Overtime!
Third period: Avalanche 4, Stars 4
6:38 p.m. — OVERTIME!! IN A GAME 7!!!
6:37 p.m. — Unreal blocker save by Hutchinson through traffic and then he absolutely robs Joe Pavelski on the doorstep in the waning seconds of regulation.
6:31 p.m. — GOAL. Ten seconds later it's Kiviranta with his second of the game as he scores on the rebound. Game tied 4-4.
6:31 p.m. — GOAL. Khudobin could only do so much. He stopped two shots but then Namestnikov buried the rebound over the Stars netminder for his second of the game to give the Avs the lead. Avalanche lead 4-3.
6:28 p.m. — Gurianov rings one off the post. Stars come thisclose to taking the lead.
6:22 p.m — PP GOAL. Klingberg walks the line, throws the puck on the net and Radulov deflects it for his second goal, and power-play goal, of the game. Game tied 3-3.
6:19 p.m. — Compher called for tripping Radulov. Stars get a chance to even things up and they already have a power-play goal in the game.
6:17 p.m. — Avalanche held off the scoreboard with the man advantage — although MacKinnon did come extremely close as Khudobin made a shoulder save.
6:15 p.m. — 12:44 left in the third period. Dallas trails 3-2, only has two shots on net in the period and Radulov just took a penalty.
6:06 p.m. — No Janmark to start the third period for Dallas.
6:04 p.m. — Third period begins in Game 7.
Second period: Avalanche 3, Stars 2
5:49 p.m. — Interesting note: Jamie Benn has only played 8:04 (3:02 in the second) and Tyler Seguin 10:14 (4:08 in the second).
Interesting to seemingly bench Benn and Seguin at this point. Like you have to play them a ton in the third and hope message sent, right?— Sean Shapiro (@seanshapiro) September 4, 2020
5:45 p.m. — Horn sounds on the second period. Avalanche with 31 shots through two periods while the Stars have 26.
5:35 p.m. — Kadri just got absolutely robbed by Khudobin as the netminder was being knocked down. Unreal, desperation save to keep it a one-goal game.
5:23 p.m. — On the power play, the puck deflects off some bodies to Kadri sitting at the bottom of the left circle and he rings one off the pipe.
5:22 p.m. — Another (unnecessary) holding call by the Stars, this time by Corey Perry.
5:17 p.m. — PP GOAL. Nazem Kadri finds the loose puck down low and buries it for the power-play goal. It's his sixth goal with the man advantage. Avalanche lead 3-2.
5:16 p.m. — Sekera blocks a shot and isn't too comfy.
5:15 p.m. — Janmark called for holding. Avalanche head to the power play (0-for-1 so far).
5:13 p.m. — Matt Nieto breaks out, dekes and Khudobin makes the save on the backhand.
5:12 p.m. — GOAL. On a delayed penalty, Gurianov takes a low shot from the point with traffic in front and Joel Kiviranta with the deflection. Game tied 2-2.
5:08 p.m. — Second period is a go.
First period: Avalanche 2, Stars 1
4:48 p.m. — First period comes to an end.
Here's some analytics for your intermission reading:
- Both teams put 15 shots on net
- Avalanche led the way with 60 percent Corsi For at 5v5
- The Avs also had 11 Scoring Chances For compared to the Stars' three at 5v5 (13-6 regardless of the situation)
- Colorado's rookie sensation Cale Makar had the most ice time among both teams at eight minutes, 42 seconds.
4:37 p.m. — Colorado now 0-for-1 on the power play.
4:34 p.m. — Avalanche head to the power play. Colorado entered the series at 29.7 percent efficiency on the man advantage, but are only at 10.7 percent against the Stars.
4:30 p.m. — By the way, Burakovsky has quite the knack for Game 7 goal scoring.
Four goals in his last three GM7s— Ben Raby (@BenRaby31) September 4, 2020
2G 2018 East Final vs Tampa
1G 2019 RD1 vs Carolina
1G 2020 RD2 vs Dallas https://t.co/TgPbLyiA9X
4:27 p..m. — GOAL. Andre Burakovsky intercepts the pass inside the Stars' offensive zone by the blue line and snaps the puck home from the left circle. Avalanche lead 2-1.
4:18 p.m. — Blake Comeau comes super close to giving Dallas its second lead of the game.
4:16 p.m. — GOAL. Less than a minute later and it's a tie game! Ian Cole puts the puck on net and it gets deflected by Vladislav Namestnikov in front before dipping under the pads of Anton Khudobin. Game tied 1-1.
Vladislav Namestnikov— Here's Your Replay ⬇️ (@TheReplayGuy) September 4, 2020
4:13 p.m. — PP GOAL. Michael Hutchinson makes the initial stop but Alexander Radulov stuffs the puck home for the power-play goal. It's his sixth of the postseason, fourth of the series, and first with the man advantage. Stars lead 1-0.
4:11 p.m. — Rantanen called for tripping. Stars head to the power play.
4:10 p.m. — Seconds into the game and there's a mad scramble in front of the Stars net. Avalanche come close to take a (super) early lead.
4:10 p.m. — Game on.
3:36 p.m. — Confirmed. No Landeskog.
Gabriel Landeskog is unfit to play for the Avalanche today. He was cut in the right leg by Cale Makar's skate blade with 2:50 remaining in the second period of Game 6.— Dan Rosen (@drosennhl) September 4, 2020
2:40 p.m. — Pregame vibes.
2 p.m. — It's been a while...
28+ years between Game 7s for @DallasStars head coach Rick Bowness - longer than nearly half his team has been alive. Of the 23 players who have skated with Dallas this postseason, 11 were born after Bowness' first #Game7 in 1992. #NHLStats : https://t.co/FJ4DaWnyhN #StanleyCup pic.twitter.com/3H4NcBoAeF— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) September 4, 2020