The Dallas Stars close out the inaugural season series against the Seattle Kraken with a win despite “clearly running on fumes” per head coach Rick Bowness, due to travel mishaps and a gruelling schedule. After a three-game losing streak on the road, each win is bigger than the last, while the Stars desperately cling to the second Wild Card spot. In the post-game press conference, Dallas Stars’ head coach states, “I gotta give our guys full credit… they found the will to win. That’s what was the difference today.”
— Mike Heika (@MikeHeika) April 24, 2022
Dallas Stars Get Win Despite ‘Clearly Running on Fumes’
In last night’s 3-2 win over the Kraken, the Stars allowed two goals in the first period and had to battle back, scoring three in the second. Roope Hintz recorded his 36th and 37th goals of the season. Along with Vladislav Namestnikov tallying his second with the organization. Goaltender, Jake Oettinger, made 30 saves on 32 shots on goal through 60 minutes and recorded an assist. This game was a must-win for the Stars, to ensure some distance between them and the Vegas Golden Knights, who now trail the Stars by two points. Namestnikov tells reporters “everyone knows what’s on the line,” as he talks about the last homestand of the season and the importance of wins to avoid missing playoffs.
Stars vs. Stars For the Rest of the Season While Running on Fumes
The Stars’ fate is in their hands, as they go into the remaining three games of the season. The biggest contest coming on April 26th against the Vegas Golden Knights. The Stars have been battling the Golden Knights, along with the Nashville Predators for weeks for the two Wild Card Spots. As it stands, Nashville is in the first spot at 93 points, with Dallas in the second spot at 91 points, and Vegas, at 89 points, hoping they can use their last four games to find a way to steal the second spot from the Stars.
Vegas leads the season series at 2-0, beating the Stars in an over-time 3-2 win and a 5-4 regulation win, but with some injuries and goaltending issues, the Stars are feeling optimistic about getting those imperative two points. Vegas plays the San Jose Sharks today, and if they lose in regulation to the Sharks and lose in regulation to the Stars on Tuesday, the Stars will clinch the playoff spot they are trying so desperately to attain. If the Golden Knights get knocked out of playoff contention, this will be the first time in franchise history that the team doesn’t make playoffs.
Captain America Hits a Milestone
The Stars weren’t the only ones with a big night against the Seattle Kraken; center, Joe Pavelski, recorded his 500th career assist on a pass that gave the Stars their first goal of the night. This season, the 37-year-old has 78 points in 79 games played, which is just two points shy of a career-high. In the 2013-2014 season, Pavelski had 79 points in 82 games played. He has already broken his career-high assists with 51 assists on the season.
Pavelski is having a massive season, not only for himself but also with his line-mates, Hintz and Jason Robertson, the two highest goal-scorers on the team. In the month of April, Pavelski was on the ice for 18 of the 33 goals scored, having a direct hand in nine of those goals. His veteran presence is felt on and off the ice and will be an integral part of a potential playoff run.
Though the Stars don’t play today, they are affected by two games that are being played: the Nashville Predators vs the Minnesota Wild and the Vegas Golden Knights vs the San Jose Sharks. If Nashville loses, it gives the Stars the chance to move up to the first Wild Card spot and if Vegas loses, it makes the path just a little easier to ensure they clinch a playoff spot. The Dallas Stars are in the driver’s seat of their season. They might be tired and running on fumes but losing is just not an option.
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