Hockey·GAME 6

Stars align as Dallas eliminates Nashville in OT

John Klingberg scored from the left circle 17:02 into overtime and the Dallas Stars beat the Nashville Predators 2-1 to wrap up their first-round Western Conference playoff series in six games.

John Klingberg scores winner to set up 2nd-round series with Blues

Dallas Stars forward Blake Comeau (15) swings by the bench after his goal against the Nashville Predators in the second period of Game 6 on Monday. The Stars clinched the series with a 2-1 win in overtime in Dallas. (Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press)

With a chance to clinch a playoff series at home for the first time in 11 years, the Dallas Stars needed overtime again. They didn't need quite as many this time, and won't have to go back to Music City.

John Klingberg scored from the left circle 17:02 into overtime after a cross-ice pass from Alexander Radulov, and the Stars beat the Nashville Predators 2-1 to wrap up their first-round Western Conference playoff series in six games.

"We wanted to close it out today and don't have to deal with going back there," said Klingberg, whose first goal of the playoffs came after five assists in the series. "We treated it like a Game 7."

The last time the Stars clinched a playoff series on home ice was in 2008, when they needed four overtimes for a 2-1 win over San Jose in a second-round series.

WATCH | Stars eliminate Predators with OT win:

Game Wrap: Stars eliminate Predators with OT win

5 years ago
Duration 2:02
John Klingberg was the overtime hero as Dallas beat Nashville 2-1, winning the series 4-2.

"To do it in overtime in that fashion, what an exciting time for our fans," Stars captain Jamie Benn said. "They were loud and brought a lot of extra energy for us in overtime."

The Stars, with rookie coach Jim Montgomery, won three consecutive games to close out the Predators. Dallas will play St. Louis in the second round of the playoffs, just like its previous post-season appearance three years ago. The Blues, who have home-ice advantage this time, won that 2016 series with a Game 7 win in Dallas.

Ben Bishop, a Vezina Trophy finalist, had a playoff career-high 47 saves for the Stars.

"Obviously our best player once again is Bish. He's just keeping us in the game," Klingberg said.

"We slowly, second period, third period and overtime got better and better," Montgomery said. "Obviously our best player was Bish. He was incredible."

Pekka Rinne, who won the Vezina Trophy last year as the NHL's top goalie, also set a career best by stopping 49 shots in his 89th career playoff game. That included an impressive pad save on Benn's shot just more than five minutes into the overtime period, when the Stars had a 14-8 advantage on shots.

'Tough pill to swallow,' says Subban

"It's tough. It's a tough pill to swallow," Predators defenceman P.K. Subban said. "We came in here obviously wanting to take the series back to Nashville, and I thought we gave ourselves a great opportunity to do that."

Blake Comeau scored his first playoff goal for the Stars, tying the game at 1-1 in the second period. But he also had a tripping penalty with 1:53 left in regulation that put Nashville on the power play.

The Predators stuck to the series script and didn't score a goal. They didn't even get a shot on goal before the third period ended, or when finishing the final seconds with a man advantage to start overtime.

They were 0 for 4 on the power play in Game 6, and finished 0 for 15 in the series. They were the only one of the 16 teams that made the playoffs that didn't have a power-play goal in the post-season.

"I don't have that answer right now," coach Peter Laviolette said.

"Even tonight, we had a lot of chances on the power play," defenceman Roman Josi said. "If we get a goal there, it's a different game."