Dallas Stars Don’t Clinch Playoff Spot But Live to Fight Another Day

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The Dallas Stars were looking to end the madness with a regulation win against the Vegas Golden Knights, clinching a playoff spot for themselves, the Nashville Predators, and the Los Angeles Kings. Although their 3-2 shootout win did not clinch a playoff spot, the Stars are still able to clinch in the last two games of the season. Dallas only needs one point, so any win in the last two games or a Vegas loss in any fashion will give them a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Dallas Stars Don’t Clinch Playoff Spot But Gain Ground In Race

Missed Opportunity to Clinch Playoff Spot

The Dallas Stars and the Vegas Golden Knights have been fighting for the last Wild Card spot for the better part of the month of April. And with two devastating losses, the possibility of playoffs looks meek for the Golden Knights, although not impossible. The Golden Knights had a massive game against the San Jose Sharks that ended in a 5-4 shootout loss. San Jose’s Timo Meier scored with one second remaining to send the game into overtime.

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After that deflating loss, the Golden Knights arrived in Dallas, looking to catch them in the playoff race by getting two points. Dallas Stars goaltender, Jake Oettinger, had other ideas as the game, yet again, went into a shootout, where he faced seven shooters, denying them all of a goal. Defenseman, Miro Heiskanen, was the seventh shooter for Dallas and scored the game-winning goal against Vegas’ Logan Thompson.

Jake Oettinger Steals a Win

The twenty-three-year-old goaltender for the Dallas Stars has stepped up to the plate, or crease rather, giving them the chance to live another day in playoff contention. “He’s the backbone of this win,” Dallas Stars forward, Tyler Seguin states in the post-game press conference about Oettinger’s performance in the win over Vegas. The Stars missed playoffs last season, which was Oettinger’s first full NHL season. It feels safe to say this game was Oettinger’s first taste of playoff-like hockey.

Oettinger stopped all seven attempts in the shootout against the Golden Knights. This win puts his shootout record at 2-1. He has stopped 15 out of 17 attempts so far this season. This is an improvement from last year when his record was 1-3 and he only stopped five out of ten attempts. Oettinger’s save percentage in shootouts is .882%, which is the second-best in the NHL when facing at least ten shooters. His save percentage for the season sits at .915%.

Jason Robertson’s Sophomore Year

Dallas Stars forward, Jason Robertson, is having a gigantic sophomore year, scoring his 39th and 40th goal against the Vegas Golden Knights. These goals put Robertson in elite company as only four players in Dallas Stars franchise history have accomplished this feat. The other three players to tally 40 goals in a single season are Mike Modano, Jamie Benn, and Seguin.

Robertson’s 40 goals and 37 assists put him at 77 points in only 72 games played. This point-per-game player was snagged in the 2017 draft by the Dallas Stars in the second round. Robertson dropped to the 39th overall pick, due to skating concerns, but he has proved to be one of the most valuable picks from that draft. Two other notable players from the 2017 draft that the Dallas Stars acquired are Oettinger and Heiskanen.

In the month of April alone, Robertson has scored nine goals and recorded seven assists. This comes after a notable month of March, where he scored back-to-back hat tricks against the Winnipeg Jets and the Minnesota Wild. Robertson is the top goal scorer for the Dallas Stars and if they can have a deep playoff run, it is possible he can hit 50 before the end of the season.

“We won tonight, but we still have some guys who need to play a whole lot better for this team,” head coach Rick Bowness stated after the game. The Dallas Stars need to shape up before today’s game against the Arizona Coyotes. This will be another playoff game before the playoffs start as the Stars fight to grab the last Wild Card spot.

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