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Stars, Knights Prepare for Crucial Game 5

Sam Steel #18 and Craig Smith #15 of the Dallas Stars
Sam Steel #18 and Craig Smith #15 of the Dallas Stars | Image by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The Dallas Stars will attempt to take a 3-2 series lead over the Las Vegas Golden Knights on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. in the American Airlines Center.

The teams split the first two games, with neither team being able to secure a victory in their home arena.

Dallas hopes to change this in Game 5. The Stars enter as one of the most effective home teams, finishing with the seventh-highest winning percentage in the NHL during the regular season, according to Stat Muse.

Stars center Wyatt Johnston has paced the team so far in the series with three goals through the first four games, followed closely behind by left-wing Jason Robertson with two goals.

The key to the Stars’ victory in Game 5 will be their ability to convert power plays into goals. In the first four games, the team has scored just two goals during seven power plays. Capitalizing on these opportunities could allow the team to steal an early lead and maintain momentum through all three periods.

A notable change for the Knights is a switch at goalie. Adin Hill will start in Game 5 over Logan Thompson.

This change comes as a surprise due to Thompson’s effectiveness in the first four games. The goalie had the third-highest save percentage of any goalie in the postseason, saving 92.1% of all shots sent toward him.

Knights Head Coach Bruce Cassidy explained that the change is based on the type of player Hill is and the experience he can bring to the ice.

“Adin has been through this, so that’s a little bit that goes into the decision. There’s an experienced guy that’s come into this situation before, so that’s essentially the thought process,” Cassidy said, according to ESPN.

On the other hand, the Stars are expected to play with the same lineup in Game 5 as in the first four games, with defenseman Jani Hakanpaa being the only player listed as out.

Although not currently listed as out for the game, center Radek Faksa and left-wing Mason Marchment will be game-time decisions.

The Knights currently have defenseman Nicolas Hague as the only player confirmed to be out for Game 5, and no other player is listed as a game-time decision.

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