Dallas goalie Jake Oettinger has a small otter painted on the bottom of the helmet of his hockey mask, and he proved to be as slippery as an otter in the Stars’ 2-1 win over the Wild on Thursday night in Minnesota.
Dallas celebrated Oettinger’s homecoming in St. Paul on Thursday, defeating the Wild 4-1 in what was a battle of goalies for the first two periods.
Tyler Seguin, Wyatt Johnston, and Jamie Benn each redirected teammate shots for goals on the night, with two coming in the third period to beat Minnesota goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, who has been in the NHL for 21 years.
Seguin’s empty-net goal capped a three-goal third period for the Stars.
Oettinger gave up a lone goal in the win and stopped 23-of-25 shots, completing a 2-0 road trip in net for the Stars.
WHAT TO KNOW
Tyler Seguin got the Stars going on the team’s power play at seven minutes in. Ryan Suter kept an errant pass inside the Wild’s blue line. He skated left before ripping a shot on goal. Seguin deflected Suter’s shot midair, one-hopping the puck off the ice and past a confused Fleury for the goal.
With three minutes to play in the first, Kirill Kaprizov, Minnesota’s top scorer, tied the game at 1-1 in the first period.
Kaprizov found himself behind the Dallas net after a five-player scrum in the left corner. He pitched the puck off goalie Jake Oettinger’s back into the net, knotting the game at one.
Neither goalie allowed a goal in the second period leaving the contest at 1-1 headed to the final regulation period.
Wyatt Johnston scored the 11th goal of his rookie season nearly four minutes into the third to give the Stars a 2-1 lead.
The play was almost identical to the goal scored by Dallas in the first, as Nils Lundkvist riffled a shot from inside the blue line at the point. Johnston got just enough of a tip on the puck to push it past Fleury’s glove side for the netter.
Miro Heiskanen and Lundkvist both earned assists on the goal.
Benn added an insurance goal for a 3-1 lead, with assists from Jason Robertson and Roope Hintz. It was the second power-play goal for Dallas in the win.
BY THE NUMBERS
About 75 of Oettinger’s family and friends were in attendance.
Johnston’s 11th goal tied him for the NHL lead among rookies.
With the win, Dallas improved to 22-9-6, 50 points, retaining first place in the Western Central in front of Winnipeg by five points. Minnesota fell to 20-13-2, 42 points.
WHAT THEY SAID
“He literally gets to live his dream,” Chris Oettinger, Jake’s father, told Bally Sports. “Like his dream was to play pro hockey from a very young age, and right now, he’s absolutely living his dream to the fullest extent, and it’s only gonna get better from here. I think he’s just scratched the surface.”
“Well, I think Pete asked me what I thought and if I could put it together, and we found a way to get it done,” Seguin told Bally Sports of the Star’s impromptu outdoor practice between road games. “The weather was perfect yesterday. The ice was great,” Seguin said.
The Stars return home for the final time of 2022 on New Year’s Eve and host the San Jose Sharks (11-19-6). The first puck drops on Sunday at 7 p.m. CST at the American Airlines Center.