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Oettinger’s 45 Saves Backstop Stars Comeback Victory in Washington

On the back of 45 saves from Jake Oettinger, the Dallas Stars scored two goals in the third period and beat the Washington Capitals 2-1 in DC.

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The Dallas Stars used a third-period comeback to beat the Washington Capitals 2-1 on Thursday night from the nation's capital. 

A tight, back-and-forth first period between the Dallas Stars and Washington Capitals foreshadowed another tight, even 60-minute game where one mistake would make the difference. But once the second period began, it was anything but. 

Tied 0-0 at the start of the second period, the Capitals jumped all over Dallas. The Stars were outshot 15-5 and put a lot of faith in their 23-year-old netminder, Jake Oettinger. 

Although the Caps would break through with a beautiful backdoor passing play from Alex Ovechkin to Connor Sheary at the 9:23 mark, the middle frame was all about Oettinger. 

The Lakeville, Minnesota native (one of two Lakeville goaltenders playing in the game), stopped 14 of 15 shots and held the Stars in the game. 

Whenever things got scrambly and the Caps began to build momentum, Oettinger battled to find the puck through traffic and put a halt to the play with no rebound. 

Without his performance, Dallas would have likely been down by two or even three goals entering the third period. 

But Dallas clearly received an energy boost from their goaltender’s play, a late Washington penalty, and a couple of choice words from their Head Coach Pete DeBoer, as they started the third period with a whole new confidence and their second power-play of the game. 

It didn’t take long to convert, as Jamie Benn found a loose puck on top of the crease and slammed it into the yawning cage 48 seconds in to tie the game at one. And the Stars were not done yet. 

Just over one minute later, a point shot from Colin Miller deflected off a Washington skater and beat Charlie Lindgren to give Dallas a 2-1 lead in the blink of an eye.

“I don’t think we played our best game through the first two periods,” Oettinger said. “Pete came in and got us going. To have a response like that from the guys and get a lead like that, we’re going to have to be able to hold leads like that all year.” 

Despite dominating and skating well for several minutes after the goal, Dallas could not extend their lead, and eventually, the Caps turned the pressure back onto Oettinger. 

The Otter responded, stopping all 15 shots in the frame, including multiple high-danger chances from Washington snipers in prime scoring locations. 

Oettinger finished the game with 45 saves of 46 shots, a season-high. 

“It’s a good test for us, showing us how to shut games down and we did a great job doing that,” Oettinger added.”

The goaltender did have some help, despite the barrage of shots from Capitals shooters. 

Dallas, for the third game in a row, did an excellent job boxing out in front of their own net and getting out in front of Alex Ovechkin, as he tried to tie Gordie Howe on the all-time goals list with his 801st career tally. Ovechkin recorded an assist on the lone Caps goal. 

Read More: Stars Continue to Display Their Ability to Adjust on the Fly

“Obviously, this is a huge road trip for us. You’ve got to do whatever you can to win on the road and find different ways to win every night,” Oettinger said. “Just a full team effort, a lot of guys blocking shots and selling out, and it just feels good to get rewarded.” 

“He’s chasing records and they are going to try to find him whenever they can,” Oettinger said.” I just tried to play my game, have some fun, and enjoy playing against one of the best of all time.”

Sam’s Three Stars 

  • First Star: Jake Oettinger, DAL (45 saves on 46 shots, .978%)
  • Second Star: Jamie Benn, DAL (1 goal)
  • Third Star: Colin Miller, DAL (game-winning goal) 

He Said It 

“Just a couple of swear words and let’s get going, and the boys responded,” Oettinger said of the speech from Pete DeBoer after the second period.” 

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