If the Dallas Stars are going to wrap up the Western Conference Final on Monday night they may have to do so without a couple of key forwards in the lineup.
Stars coach Rick Bowness announced on Monday afternoon that forward Radek Faksa (unfit to play) will miss his second consecutive game in the series, while Roope Hintz is going to be a game-time decision.
Faksa was injured late in the Stars’ Game 3 win and did not play in their 2-1 win on Saturday night. He has three goals and five assists in 19 games this postseason.
[NBC 2020 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFF HUB]
Hintz, meanwhile, logged just four minutes of ice-time in that win before leaving with an injury and not returning. He currently has two goals and eight assists this postseason but has been held without a point in each of his past four games. Despite his rather pedestrian numbers during the playoffs he was still one of the Stars’ top goal-scoring threats during the regular season, finishing with 19 goals in only 60 games. That put him in a tie with Jamie Benn (19 goals in 69 games) for second place on the roster, only one behind Denis Gurianov (20 goals in 64 games).
The Stars enter Monday’s game with a 3-1 series lead over the Vegas Golden Knights, despite the fact they have been badly outshot and outchanced throughout the series and have managed only six goals in the first four games.
The stunning play of starting goalie Anton Khudobin (third in this week’s NHL Conn Smythe Power Rankings) has been the biggest difference maker in the series.
Dallas may need him to be that again.
No. 1 Vegas Golden Knights vs. No. 3 Dallas Stars (DAL leads 3-1)
Stars 1, Golden Knights 0 (recap)
Golden Knights 3, Stars 0 (recap)
Stars 3, Golden Knights 2 [OT] (recap)
Stars 2, Golden Knights 1 (recap)
Game 5: Monday, Sept. 14, 8 p.m. ET – NBCSN (livestream)
*Game 6: Wednesday, Sept. 16, 8 p.m. ET – NBCSN
*Game 7: Friday, Sept. 18, 9 p.m. ET – NBCSN
MORE STANLEY CUP COVERAGE:
• Stanley Cup Playoffs Conference Final schedule
Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.