It took Jason Robertson one hundred games to earn his first NHL hat trick, but he did so in dramatic fashion with a walk-off, overtime goal in Winnipeg on March 4.
With under 40 seconds to play in overtime, Winnipeg Jets fired a shot left of Stars goalie Brandon Holtby that kicked up along the boards and back towards Winnipeg’s net. Jason Robertson tracked down the puck inside the Jet’s blue line with two defenders trailing him. Robertson gathered the puck onto his stick, fired a shot as he fell forward, and watched it soar over the Winnipeg Jets goaltender’s left shoulder and into the net for the 4-3 win.
“I’ll tell you how much he loves to score goals,” Stars Head Coach Rick Bowness said of the overtime point. “He was exhausted at the end of that shift, and then he saw the breakaway opportunity, and his eyes lit right up, and he found the second wind.”
The goal was number 26 on the season for Jason Robertson, a career-high. Robertson agreed with his head coach about being gassed on the play, but he still managed to out-race two Winnipeg players to the puck before gathering himself for the game-winning shot.
“I picked my head up and had some time,” he said, “so I kind of knew what I wanted to do there, so I’m just glad it worked.”
Jason Robertson scored his first goal of the contest off assists from Ryan Suter and Joe Pavelski. This assist was Pavelski’s nine-hundredth point, and he’s the fourteenth American-born player to reach that milestone. Jason Robertson would add his second goal of the game in the second period as he marched to the three-goal hat trick.
In his one-hundredth game, Jason Robertson has 43 goals, 54 assists, and 97 points in his NHL career.
The win pushes the Stars to a season record of 31-20-3, good for 65 points, fourth place in the Central, and first place in the wild card chase. Dallas has a combined record of 7-1-1 in the last nine road games. A lot of the success can be attributed to the Dallas goalie crew of Jake Oettinger and Holtby.
Holtby started against Winnipeg for the first time since a leg injury against Washington nearly three weeks ago. The rust did not show, and Winnipeg outshot Dallas 42-34 in the contest, keeping Holtby busy. With this victory, the Stars have won four of the last four games that Holtby has started.
“I sort of just try to go out there, battle, and give those guys chances,” he said. “I haven’t played in a while. It’s not a bad thing to get some action on the start.”
Holtby said he is approaching games more straightforwardly and said he felt a little rusty to begin the day’s contest but found his groove as the game went on.
“Brayden was outstanding, especially in all those power plays,” Head Coach Rick Bowness said. “Because of the penalties which are uncharacteristic of our team… killed the flow of our game. [Holtby] made some huge, huge saves and gave us the energy back.”
The win evens Holtby’s record to 10-10-1 on the year.