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Hintz’ Late Heroics Push Stars Past Nashville in Return from Break

The Dallas Stars and Nashville Predators entered the final minute of regulation on Tuesday tied at two, with an important two Central Division points on the line. And as they have done all season when the moment was biggest, the Stars found a way to get the job done.

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The Dallas Stars and Nashville Predators entered the final minute of regulation on Tuesday tied at two, with an important two Central Division points on the line. And as they have done all season when the moment was biggest, the Stars found a way to get the job done.  

With 52 seconds remaining, Joe Pavelski worked a puck in front of Juuse Saros and after a few whacks, Roope Hintz ripped home a wrister that put the Stars ahead and on their way to a big win in Nashville. 

The third-period tally was Hintz's second goal of the night and the second time this season that he reached the two-goal mark against Nashville. Hintz now has five goals in his last three games and 16 points in 27 days of December. 

With the Hintz game-winning goal, the Stars have now outscored opponents 50-30 in the third period this season, the best mark in the NHL. 

What does that mean? It means that the Stars consistently find a way to step up when the game is on the line, a trait usually reserved only for the top contenders in the league. And Dallas is certainly one of them.

Jamie Benn kicked things off for Dallas with a slick wrister just over one minute into the first period. The goal pushed the Stars captain into sole possession of second place (343) on the franchise's all-time scoring list, passing Brian Bellows. Benn trails only Mike Modano (557) in that category. 

But between the early and late Dallas goals, the game was entirely narrowed down to a battle of special teams. 

Nashville finished the game 0-3 on the power play, while Dallas went 1-6, the lone goal coming from Hintz in the second period. However, the Stars also allowed a shorthanded goal from Yakov Trenin, drawing them back to even overall in the game. 

Despite the goal, the Dallas power play looked out of sync all night, registering only six shots on their half-dozen extra-man attempts. 

“I loved our first," Stars Head Coach Pete DeBoer said. "I thought we played great coming out of the break, traveling this morning. I thought in the second, we gave the game back a little, more with puck decisions. And then we recovered and reset and got our game back in the third.”

Jake Oettinger stopped 26 of 28 shots (.929%) to earn the victory for the Stars, who are now 5-1-1 in their last seven games. 

Sam’s Three Stars 

  • First Star: Roope Hintz, DAL (2 goals)
  • Second Star: Jamie Benn, DAL (1 goal, 1 assist)
  • Third Star: Jake Oettinger, DAL (26 saves on 28 shots, .929%) 
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