Vegas’ Jonathan Marchessault, middle, celebrates his goal against the Dallas Stars with Nicolas Hague and Ivan Barbashev, right, during the first period of Game 3 of the Western Conference finals in Dallas on Tuesday night. LM Otero/Associated Press

DALLAS — Jonathan Marchessault scored the first of three quick goals for Vegas, an early onslaught that knocked Jake Oettinger out of the game after captain Jamie Benn had already been ejected, and the Golden Knights went on for a 4-0 win in Game 3 that has them within one victory of reaching another Stanley Cup Final.

While Oettinger had the shortest start of his career, Vegas goalie Adin Hill stopped 33 shots in his second shutout this postseason.

After four consecutive comeback victories in these playoffs, including two overtime wins at home to start the Western Conference final, the Golden Knights were in control all of the way in this one to take a 3-0 series lead.

Game 4 is Thursday night, when Vegas will have the opportunity to advance to its second Stanley Cup Final in the franchise’s six seasons.

The Golden Knights were Western Conference champions during their inaugural 2017-18 season, then lost the Cup Final in five games after winning the opener against the Washington Capitals. Vegas missed the playoffs for only time last season, before Coach Pete DeBoer was fired before becoming the Stars coach.

Marchessault scored only 71 seconds into the game, and 42 seconds after that Benn was assessed a game misconduct for an ugly cross-checking penalty against Vegas captain Mark Stone.


After the two captains collided near the blue line and Stone fell to the ice, Benn lunged forward with both hands on his stick and made contact near Stone’s neck as he was sliding over the center line.

Just before Benn’s early exit, he had a wrister that was stopped by Hill but was initially still loose under the goalie as Benn tried to get his stick back on it.

Ivan Barbashev, who later had two assists, scored during the power play after Benn’s penalty. That was one of only three shots the Knights got on net during the five-minute penalty.

Dallas had two short-handed attempts, but when Ty Dellandrea’s try was blocked, Nicolas Roy took the rebound the other way and passed to Barbashev for a 30-foot wrister that made it 2-0.

Oettinger was pulled and replaced by Scott Wedgewood after William Carrier’s backhander made it 3-0 with 12:50 left in the first period.

It was the shortest start ever for Oettinger, who has now lost three starts in a row. He has lost 4 of 5, the win being when he had 22 saves for the Stars in their 2-1 win in Game 7 of Western semifinal against Seattle.


Wedgewood stopped 10 of 11 shots, with Alex Pietrangelo’s goal midway through the second period, just a second after the end of a power play as Miro Heiskanen was coming out of the penalty box.

Stars center Max Domi got a game misconduct with 21 seconds left in the second period. After his cross-check against Nicolas Hague, Domi started throwing punches.

Fans in the arena reacted to the ensuing penalty by throwing water bottles, food and other items on the ice. With extended time needed to clean up the playing surface, officials sent both teams to their locker rooms early for the second intermission with the Knights up 4-0.

Those final 21 seconds were played after the intermission before the clock was reset to 20 minutes for the third period.


PANTHERS: All-Star forward Aleksander Barkov should be back on the ice soon, maybe very soon, and that news brought a collective sigh of relief from the Florida Panthers.


It isn’t totally certain if the Panthers’ captain will play in a potentially series-clinching Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Carolina Hurricanes on Wednesday night. He left Game 3 in the first period with a lower-body injury.

But it’s a possibility, Coach Paul Maurice said Tuesday — obviously, a very good sign for a team that is one win away from the Stanley Cup Final. Barkov was listed as questionable after the injury but did not return to Game 3; tests and evaluation since have evidently ruled out any major issue.

“It was as much precautionary as anything, to rule out anything sinister,” Maurice said. “We’re very optimistic that he’ll return soon and when he does, he’ll be ready to go. … We’re optimistic that we would see him in Game 4 and, if necessary, we could see him in Game 5.”

Besides, Barkov could have some official duties to tend to if Florida wins Wednesday night.

The Prince of Wales Trophy awaits the winning team in the Eastern Conference. It is typically presented to the captain, and then the superstitions or lack thereof become evident. Some don’t touch it at all and pose politely for photos, others do touch it, and some — Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin in recent years — have picked it up and skated away.

“He’s a huge part of our team,” Florida forward Eetu Luostarinen said of Barkov. “He shows that on the ice. … Obviously, we want him on the ice as much as we can.”


Barkov took a hit from Carolina’s Jack Drury with about seven minutes left in the opening period of Game 3, without any obvious signs of major discomfort afterward. Barkov returned to the Florida bench after the shift and took a seat briefly before talking with someone from the Panthers’ medical staff and departing for the locker room.

Barkov has four goals — one of them just an incredible score in Game 2 of the East final that drew rave reviews from even the likes of Wayne Gretzky — and eight assists for 12 points in Florida’s first 15 games in this playoff run. The Panthers have a 3-0 lead in the East finals, trying to get to the Stanley Cup final for the first time since 1996.

FLAMES: The Calgary Flames promoted Craig Conroy to general manager.

Calgary made the move, giving one of its former players his first opportunity lead an NHL front office after he had nine seasons of experience with the franchise as its assistant general manager.

The 51-year-old Conroy worked under Brad Treliving, who turned down a contract extension to stay with the club.

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