Stars strike late to draw first blood

The Dallas Stars gained the early advantage in their NHL second-round play-off clash against the St Louis Blues thanks to Radek Faksa’s late strike.

Faksa scored with 4 minutes 44 seconds remaining of the final period to seal a 2-1 win in the best-of-seven series opener.

Antoine Russell had put the Stars ahead only for Kevin Shattenkirk to level for the Blues midway through the third period.

A late three-goal surge gave the San Jose Sharks a 1-0 series lead against the Nashville Predators as they won game one 5-2.

The Predators led 1-0 going into the third period but three unanswered goals from Tomas Hertl, Joel Ward and Logan Couture tipped the clash in the Sharks’ favour.

Ryan Johansen reduced the Predators’ deficit only for Couture’s second and a Tommy Wingels effort to make it safe for the Sharks.