Stars Rout Red Wings, Robertson, Oettinger Shine

DALLAS, TX - NOVEMBER 16: Dallas Stars defenseman Ryan Suter (20) celebrates scoring a goal with his teammates during the game between the Dallas Stars and the Detroit Red Wings on November 16, 2021 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Matthew Pearce/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The Dallas Stars are back! In a rout of the Detriot Red Wings, the Stars have finally had an uptick in their scoring. Through their first 13 games of the season, the Stars showed glimmers of the team that made a run to the 2019-20 Stanley Cup Final. Last night, they looked more than capable of returning to elite form, winning 5-2. Jake Oettinger was called up from the American Hockey League, as Anton Khudobin and Braden Holtby dealt with injuries. Here are the takeaways from the Stars’ win over the Red Wings.

Jake Oettinger

After last night’s win, Jake Oettinger has officially joined the Stars’ goalie carousel. Over the past week, the Stars have been vague when dealing with their goalie situation. Anton Khudobin and Braden Holtby are the lead tandem, with Ben Bishop becoming a factor once he is fully healthy. With Bishop still dealing with his injury and now Khudobin and Holtby out, Oettinger’s stay in the NHL may be extended. Oettinger posted a .911 save percentage with a 2.36 goals-against average in 29 games played. His win against the young and bold Red Wings provides a good argument for him to stick around.

Last night he made clutch saves late in the second period. The Red Wings scored around the 9-minute mark. They scored again on the powerplay with five minutes remaining in the period. Oettinger kept Detroit from tying the game, and Jason Robertson scored early in the third, essentially icing the game.

Jason Robertson

Coach Rick Bowness has been adamant about keeping Robertson on the same line as Roope Hintz and Joe Pavelski. Robertson was injured during the preseason and made his debut in an overtime loss to the Vegas Golden Knights on Oct. 27. He has tallied a point in all but two of the nine games he started this season. With his three-point performance against Detriot, he now has nine points on the season.

“There’s good chemistry with that line, and they’re all good with the puck,” Bowness said. “They’re very good reading off each other, and we’ve said all along that when Roope gets going, he’s going to start scoring in bunches. That line feels good right now, and there’s the chemistry that they had last year.”

Robertson assisted on Ryan Suter’s goal in the first and was on the ice for Roope Hintz’s goal in the second. Robertson scored an insurance goal early in the third to make the score 4-2, then chipped a rink-wide clear into an empty-net goal with 1:42 left in the game.

Since his return, Robertson has been instrumental in creating chances for the Stars’ top line. While they ran into some hot goalies earlier in the month, the Stars’ top line is heating up. They are finally burying open looks in front of the net and efficiently controlling the game’s pace when they are on the ice. The Stars’ top line has scored nine goals, 12 assists, and 21 points since Robertson returned in late Oct.

The offense as a Whole

Suter, Hintz, and Jamie Benn also scored for the Stars, as the offense came easy last night. Every line looked confident in their play, and the top lines were given extra ice time late in the game. Suter scored from the slot off of a pass from Radek Faska with seven minutes left in the first period. Benn then tipped a Miro Heiskanen shot 1:33 into the second period. Hintz scored from the slot after Detriot coughed up the puck in their own zone. Each goal was impressive, and the American Airlines Arena erupted with cheers.

With the top lines seeing a lot of ice time, Bowness decided to stick with his top lines. Jacob Peterson only had two shifts in the third period, while Riley Tufte only had one shift. According to Mike Heika, both players skated during practice on Wednesday.

There wasn’t much to complain about in this game. The Stars have all the makings of going on a point streak that could get them back into contention in the Central Divison. They currently sit four points behind St. Louis with a game in hand. On Thursday, the Stars will face the Minnesota Wild in Ryan Suter’s first matchup against his former team.

“We’ve battled back to get to .500,” Dallas coach Rick Bowness said. “We’ve got to keep getting better.”

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