Heading into a five-game Eastern road trip against four of the hottest teams in the NHL and finishing with a test in Columbus was a tall task. The Dallas Stars were coming off a 3-1-1 home stand and as with most long road trips, they were hoping to finish with at least five of the possible 10 points.
Instead, they went 3-1-1 again, overcame some huge adversity, and grabbed seven points to vault their position in the standings even further.
“Great trip. What a gauntlet of teams,” Stars Head Coach Pete DeBoer said. “Four of the hottest teams in the league. Really proud of our group. Coming into the trip, I probably would’ve been happy with .500. To come out 3-1-1 is a great trip this time of year.”
“Long road trip for us and we knew if we took care of business tonight, it would be a great road trip,” Oettinger said. “Feels good to be coming out of this trip with a few wins.”
Otter hits 100: Oettinger reached another milestone in his young career on Monday night, playing in his 100th career game. If it weren’t for a deflected puck with 14 seconds left, the recently turned 24-year-old netminder would have picked up his third shutout of the season and fifth of his career.
“He was excellent,” DeBoer said. “You're spoiled because he makes some tough saves look easy. He’s so big and composed. We bent a little bit in that game, especially early. In the first period, I thought we gave up too many quality looks and he let us get our feet under us in the second and third. He stopped all the ones he should.”
Be great, Jake!
Congrats to Otter on 💯, and many more to come!
— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) December 20, 2022
“To play 100 games is pretty crazy, and hopefully, I can play a few more, Oettinger said.”
Patience is a virtue: The Stars did what they had to do in this game. They were in a tight goalie battle and although they were picking up plenty of scoring chances, the team held tight and did not push too hard, which could potentially have opened things up on the other end.
Even with an early-period power play and nearly two full minutes of 6-on-5, Dallas held the Jackets to just eight shots in the third period. Outside of one ringing off the pipe behind Oettinger, it was all pretty neat around the Stars net and in their own end of the rink.
After a fast-paced fairly open first period, Dallas held Columbus to just 13 shots in the final 40 minutes. The Stars have now allowed only 12 goals in their last six contest, five of which came in one game. They finish Monday ranked sixth in goals-against per game.
“I liked our patience,” DeBoer said. “That’s a game where you can really force it trying to look for another goal, and open up the other way. And they’ve got some guys with [Patrick] Laine and [Johnny] Gaudreau that can really make you pay. I thought we did a good job. We were patient and didn’t overextend ourselves.”
“Fifth game of a tough road trip, we kept it pretty peanut butter and jelly, pretty simple,” Stars captain Jamie Benn said. “Jakey was pretty good in the pipes and got a big two points.”