The Dallas Stars have trailed in a hockey game only once this season, and even then, it wasn’t for very long.
On Sunday, Dallas goalie Jake Oettinger allowed a goal to Winnipeg center Mark Scheifele a little over three minutes into the first period inside American Airlines Center. It was the first time since the 2022-23 NHL season started that the Stars had faced a deficit in a game, though the team would score the following four goals in the 4-1 win over the Jets.
Post-game, Dallas head coach Peter DeBoer told NHL.com he wasn’t thrilled with how things started, but his attitude shifted as his team roared back after giving up an early lead.
“I thought we worked into the game,” he said. “I thought we got better as the game went on. Obviously, Jake made some saves in order to allow us to kind of work into it, some key saves at key moments.”
Oettinger stopped 24 of 25 shots, running his record to 3-0 and allowing just one goal per game through the season’s opening. The 23-year-old goaltender has a save percentage of .966.
The Stars were trailing by a goal halfway through the opening period when Tyler Seguin found himself on the receiving end of a behind-the-back pass from teammate Ty Dellandrea, Seguin, who was near the net, slid on his knees toward the Jet’s goalie, Connor Hellebuyck, and fielded the puck before catching and pitching it between the left glove and blocker, tying the game at 1-1.
With five minutes left in the second period, Jani Hakanpaa spanked a shot past Hellebuyck — who saved just .862% of the shots he faced — for what proved to be the game-winning goal.
Through the first three games of the season, Dallas has a three-way tie for points leader on offense. Mason Marchment (three goals and two assists), Roope Hintze (two and three), and Jason Robertson (one and four) have each notched five points to lead the Stars in points, and Roberton’s assists are also a team-high. Robertson and Hintze skate on the same line with Joe Pavelski much of the time, to coach DeBoer’s delight.
“They’re electric,” he told NLH.com after back-to-back wins against Nashville to start the year. “I’ve seen them before from the other bench. I like them a lot better standing where I was standing tonight.”
Dallas will head to the Scotiabank Arena to face the Toronto Maple Leafs (2-2) on Thursday starting at 7 p.m. EDT. The game will match Oettinger and his perfect record against the perfect tally posted by Ilya Samsonov and his two-goals per game average.