The high-scoring Dallas Stars forged a third-period lead with a quick-strike offense and were just over three minutes away from securing their spot in the second round of the playoffs.
Then, Mikko Koivu struck for the equalizer. And then he struck again early in overtime, giving the Minnesota Wild a 5-4 victory, despite being outshot 41-24, to force a Game 6.
The Stars trailed by a goal in the third period, before Jason Spezza and Alex Goligoski changed that in a hurry with goals 28 seconds apart, suddenly giving Dallas the lead with a chance to end this series on home ice.
The Wild, however, managed to come back.
Now, will this result prompt another change in the crease for Dallas?
Kari Lehtonen sat on the bench in Game 4 of this series, despite helping the Stars to a 2-1 series lead with three straight starts. Stars coach Lindy Ruff chose to go with Antti Niemi in Game 4 and again Friday.
But after Niemi made only 19 saves on 24 shots, it will be interesting to see which direction the Dallas coach goes for Game 6.
“I’ve been asked this almost 82 games this year,” Ruff said of his goalie situation prior to Friday’s game. “I’m tired of explaining our two goalie thing, but it’s been working and it’s been a good option for us.”