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Joe Pavelski’s Hat Trick Leads Stars Past Canadiens, 5-2

The Dallas Stars defeated the Montreal Canadiens, 5-2, in Bell Centre to improve to 4-0-1 to start the season.

After a game that saw the Stars spend seemingly half the play time on one side of the special teams battle, Dallas was a little more disciplined tonight. Even though Montreal had four power play chances in the game, a lot of them were shortened by Dallas drawing a penalty from the opposition. For the time they had on the man advantage, Dallas did a good job of limiting their shots against Jake Oettinger. The Stars’ goaltender has allowed only five goals against in his four starts to the season.

Joe Pavelski kicked off the goal scoring just 4:24 into the first period with Dallas on the power play. He setup in front of the Canadiens net and backhanded a pass right over the netminder.

Though Dallas looked strong in the first half of the period, Montreal eventually got their rush-style going. That’s something that doesn’t feed particularly well into Dallas’ game plan, and Mike Hoffman made Dallas pay to tie the game up at 1-1.

It took 18 seconds in the middle frame for Pavelski to find the net again, giving Dallas a 2-1 lead:

Jason Robertson scored the second power play goal of the night on this one-timer, which he said he worked on this summer to add to his goal-scoring arsenal.

Rookie phenom Arber “WiFi” Xhekaj got his first goal in the NHL to cut into the Dallas lead and make it close once again, but it was the last offense that Montreal would see in the game. Dallas put their stamp on the style of play, and Esa Lindell would add an exclamation point to it with his first goal of the season on a rebound of his own shot.

Pavelski got his third goal of the game on this absolute stunner of a play. He saw the Canadiens defenders coming down the ice hot, hit the reverse thrusters, and sent an absolute laser through Jake Allen.

Pavelski’s hat trick was his first in the regular season since he joined Dallas three seasons ago. Additionally, he’s the oldest player ever to score a hat trick against the Montreal Canadiens. And, according to Pavelski in the post-game interview he did with Bally Sports Southwest, his son owes him $10 for netting that hat trick.

“It’s incredible what he’s doing, really,” Stars coach Pete DeBoer said about Pavelski. “He looks exactly like he did five, six years ago, like the clock stopped. He looks like he can do it for another five years. It’s hard to explain, he’s just a special athlete.”

At 38 years and 103 days old, Pavelski became the oldest player in franchise history to record a hat trick. He is the oldest player on any team in the league to score a hat trick since former teammate Joe Thornton (39 years, 231 days) on Feb. 18, 2019. Fun fact: Pavelski had an assist on two of Thornton’s goals in that game. Talk about some full circle statistics.

Dallas has now collected nine of a possible 10 points. They have a +12 goal differential. With 20 goals scored in five games this season, they got to that point as a team in half the number of games as they did last year. Of the 18 skaters that have dressed so far, 11 have scored goals and all but two have at least a point (Denis Gurianov and Colin Miller.)

The Stars will continue their road trip with their first back-to-back of the season on Monday in Ottawa and Tuesday in Boston. Would imagine that Oettinger gets played in Boston behind a tired team that has to travel the night before, with Scott Wedgewood getting the call against the Ottawa Senators.

But we’ll have to wait until morning skate on Monday to confirm that and any potential lineup changes.