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5 things to know: Stars on cusp of advancing after Game 5 win

Dickinson, Radulov and the top line put Nashville on the ropes, giving Dallas a 3-2 series lead

by Mark Stepneski @StarsInsideEdge / Inside Edge

The Dallas Stars are one win away from moving onto the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The top line of Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin, and Alexander Radulov led the way as the Stars defeated Nashville, 5-3, in Game 5 at Bridgestone Arena Saturday afternoon to take a 3-2 lead in the first-round playoff series.

Game 6 is Monday in Dallas.

Radulov scored two goals, Seguin tallied one goal and one assist, and Benn recorded three assists. The Stars also received two goals from Jason Dickinson and a 30-save effort from goaltender Ben Bishop, who was announced as a Vezina Trophy finalist Saturday.

Here are five things from Saturday's game.

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Perfect 10: Penalty kill a boon for Stars entering Game 5

Special teams play has been key in this series, and Dallas' PK is unblemished through four games

by Mark Stepneski @StarsInsideEdge / Inside Edge

Special teams play was expected to be key in the first-round playoff series between the Dallas Stars and Nashville Predators, and it has.

It was huge in the Stars' 5-1 victory Wednesday in Game 4 that tied the series 2-2 with Dallas scoring three times on the power play in the first period.

A power-play goal also was key in the Stars' 3-2 win in Game 1. Both teams scored twice at even strength, and the Stars were 1-for-3 with the man-advantage while the Predators went 0-for-4. But the Dallas power play misfired in Games 2 and 3, failing on 10 chances as the Stars lost both games.

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Stars 'a confident group' heading into Game 5 vs. Preds

Dallas is comfortable playing in Nashville, where it's had success in both the regular season and playoffs

by Mark Stepneski @StarsInsideEdge / Inside Edge

It's off to Nashville for the Dallas Stars who will take on the Predators in a crucial Game 5 of their first-round playoff series Saturday afternoon at Bridgestone Arena (2 p.m. CT; NBC; KTCK 1310-AM, 96.7-FM).

The Stars are coming off a big 5-1 win Wednesday in Game 4 that tied the series 2-2.

"I think we are a confident group," said Stars goaltender Ben Bishop. "All series long, nothing changes. You don't want to get too high or too low. [Game 4] was a big win, but you want to hit the reset button and get ready for a tough game."

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5 things to know: Stars strike early, often to cruise past Preds

Dallas uses three power-play goals to fuel a first-period onslaught, knotting the series at two games apiece

by Mark Stepneski @StarsInsideEdge / Inside Edge

It's now a best-of-three series.

The Dallas Stars power play came to life Wednesday night at American Airlines Center, scoring three times in a four-goal first period to fuel a 5-1 win over the Nashville Predators to even their first-round playoff series at 2-2. Game 5 is Saturday afternoon in Nashville.

Roope Hintz scored two goals, and Alexander Radulov, Andrew Cogliano, and Mats Zuccarello also scored. John Klingberg recorded three assists, and Ben Bishop stopped 34 shots.

Here are five things to know from Wednesday's game.

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Montgomery: Slim deficit 'puts more urgency' in Stars

Dallas enters Game 4 in search of a win to avoid being pushed to the brink of elimination by Nashville

by Mark Stepneski @StarsInsideEdge / Inside Edge

The Dallas Stars will look to even the series when they take on the Nashville Predators in Game 4 of their first-round playoff matchup tonight at American Airlines Center (7 p.m. CT; FS-SW, USA Network; KTCK). The Predators lead the best-of-seven series 2-1.

 A Dallas win and it's 2-2 with the series heading back to Nashville for Game 5 on Saturday. A Nashville win and the Stars would be in a 3-1 hole. Stars coach Jim Montgomery isn't ready to call tonight's game a must-win.

"I think it puts more urgency in us," Montgomery said. "I don't view it as a must-win. We view it as we need to keep getting better. If we keep getting better, we think the results will take care of themselves."

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Stars see crucial Game 4 as 'must-win situation' at home

Dallas knows it will need to be better to prevent the Predators from seizing control of the series

by Mark Stepneski @StarsInsideEdge / Inside Edge

The Dallas Stars liked how they played in Monday's Game 3 of their first-round playoff series against the Nashville Predators. They didn't like the result.

A 3-2 loss to the Predators has left the Stars down 2-1 in the best-of-seven series and facing a crucial Game 4 Wednesday night at American Airlines Center (7 p.m. CT; FS-SW, USA Network; KTCK).

The playoffs can be a roller coaster of emotion with each win and loss, but the Stars are trying to stay on an even keel as they move from game to game.

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5 things to know: Predators slip past Stars to swipe series lead

Dallas rallies from a two-goal deficit, but Nashville breaks a third-period tie to steal Game 3

by Mark Stepneski @StarsInsideEdge / Inside Edge

The Dallas Stars had their chances Monday night, but not enough finish.

The Stars launched 42 shots on goal but scored on just two of them and fell, 3-2, to the Nashville Predators in Game 3 of their first-round playoff series at American Airlines Center. Nashville leads the best-of-seven series, 2-1. Game 4 is Wednesday in Dallas.

Mats Zuccarello and Tyler Seguin scored goals for the Stars, who went 0-4 on the power play including a lengthy five-on-three advantage. Ben Bishop stopped 25 of 28 shots.

Here are five things to know from Monday's game.

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Stars expect 'loud and exciting' atmosphere at home for Game 3

After splitting the first two games in Nashville, Dallas hopes to feed off an 'electric building' at American Airlines Center

by Mark Stepneski @StarsInsideEdge / Inside Edge

The Dallas Stars will look to take advantage of home ice when they take on the Nashville Predators in Game 3 of their first-round playoff series tonight at American Airlines Center (8:30 p.m. CT; FS-SW, NBCSN; KTCK).

The Stars earned a split in the first two games in Nashville, winning 3-2 in Game 1 on Wednesday before falling 2-1 in overtime in Game 2 on Saturday. Now it's a best-of-five series, and the Stars want to make the most of playing at home the next two games, starting with a key Game 3.

When a best-of-seven series is tied 1-1 in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the winner of Game 3 owns an all-time series record of 212-100 (67.9%).

"We want to take advantage of the home ice opportunity that we have," said Stars captain Jamie Benn. "We love playing here; we love playing in front of our fans. It should be exciting tonight."

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5 things to know: Predators edge Stars in OT to even series

Bishop comes up stellar once again, but Dallas goes 0-for-6 on the power play in its Game 2 defeat

by Mark Stepneski @StarsInsideEdge / Inside Edge

It's a best-of-five series now between the Dallas Stars and Nashville Predators.

Craig Smith's goal at 5:00 of overtime lifted the Predators to a 2-1 victory over the Stars to even the first-round playoff series at one game apiece.

Game 3 is Monday night in Dallas.

Jamie Benn scored the lone goal, and Ben Bishop stopped 41 shots for the Stars, who did grab home-ice advantage by getting a split in the first two games in Nashville.

Here are five things to know from Saturday's game.

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Stars look to keep foot on gas in Game 2 against Predators

After stealing Wednesday's opener, Dallas hopes to put Nashville on its heels and take control of the series

by Mark Stepneski @StarsInsideEdge / Inside Edge

The Dallas Stars will look to take a 2-0 series lead when they take on the Nashville Predators in Game 2 of their first-round Western Conference series Saturday at Bridgestone Arena (5 p.m. CT; FS-SW, CNBC; KTCK). The Stars took Game 1 of the series, 3-2, in Nashville on Wednesday.

Saturday's an opportunity for the Stars to put the Predators on their heels in the series.

Teams that win the first two games of a best-of-seven series in the NHL have an all-time series record of 318-50 (86.4 percent), including a 72-20 record (78.3 percent) when taking a 2-0 lead on the road.

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