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NHL playoffs: Dallas Stars will want to force Game 6

LAS VEGAS — Alec Martinez was part of the 2014 Los Angeles Kings who erased a 3-0 deficit in the first round of the playoffs before knocking out Joe Pavelski and the San Jose Sharks in seven games.

In 2019, Pavelski and coach Pete DeBoer played a big role in the Sharks’ comeback as they trailed 3-1 in the first round to knock out the Vegas Golden Knights.

The Dallas Stars are trying to repeat history as they trail 3-1 heading into Game 5 of the Western Finals on Saturday in Vegas.

The Stars prevailed 3-2 on Thursday thanks to a power play goal from Pavelski in overtime.

If they beat the Golden Knights and force a Game 6 in Dallas, the Knights could start to get really uncomfortable.

“We’re going to rest and try to (add) some doubt to their minds,” Pavelski said.

Pavelski knows how the Golden Knights feel. In 2014, the Sharks won the first three games of their series against the Kings. Then the Kings went on a four-game winning streak, including a 5-1 win in Game 7 at San Jose, to become the fourth team in NHL history to come back from a 3-0 series deficit.

Martinez explained that he didn’t value that experience as much in trying to prevent the Stars from doing the same with the Golden Knights. It is rather the experience of the conclusion of series that would serve him best.

And the Knights, until Thursday anyway, had the wind in their sails in the closing games. They had won four straight, all by at least three goals, including two this year.

“It’s about finding the balance between knowing what’s at stake and approaching this game like another playoff game,” Martinez said. I think it’s better to focus on the process, knowing that if we stay true to ourselves, the results will follow. The guys did a good job of keeping the same mentality. ”

Martinez was not among the 2019 Knights who let a big lead slip away. The Golden Knights took a 3-1 series lead before the Sharks forced a Game 7. But the Knights looked to have victory in hand with a 3-0 lead midway through the third period.

That’s when Cody Eakin of the Golden Knights was called for a major penalty that bloodied Pavelski, and the Sharks responded by scoring four goals in four minutes to shake the Golden Knights. They equalized late in the game before the Sharks won in overtime.

Officials made a controversial decision in awarding a major penalty; two months later, the NHL decided to subject any such sanction to a video consultation. It was too late for the Golden Knights, but for the few players who were already there in 2019, seeing Pavelski and DeBoer on the other side might be a little unsettling, if the Stars build on their Game 4 win. .

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