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Stars Pounce on Predators to Win Home Opener 5 – 1

The Dallas Stars had a resounding 5-1 win to open the season at home and sweep the home-and-home series with the Nashville Predators. They’ve scored nine goals and only had two scored against them. It’s early, but things are quite fun in Big D right now.

The Fantastic Finn’s

We didn’t have to wait long to see Roope Hintz get on the scoresheet for this new campaign.  On the first power play of the game for Nashville, Hintz jumped on the ice to replace Luke Glendening who was without a stick on the penalty kill and quickly puck-jacked Roman Josi to setup his epic breakaway. A deft pass from Miro Heiskanen perfectly led the galloping Hintz to this slick bar down short-handed goal.

Hintz would score a second goal off a would-be pass to Joe Pavelski that deflected off a Predator and slid in behind Juuse Saros. Heiskanen got in on the action next as he received a beauty of a pass by Jason Robertson in the crease to jam in the third goal of the game and Miro’s first of the season. The Stars also had a couple of disallowed goals in the second period which really could have led to a blowout.

Top Line Dominance Continues

Pavelski & Sons continued where they left off last season as all three guys had multi-point games and a total of eight points combined. Robertson seems to have shaken any rust off from not playing during training camp or preseason. He had two assists and scored the fourth goal of the game after some creative puck work that totally undressed the confused-looking Predators defensemen. Pavelski notched two helpers in this tilt and Roope had three points with two goals and an assist as well. There may have been some talk of breaking these guys up this year due to some new personnel coming in, but at the rate the top line is producing, they will be hard to separate.  When asked after the game about the possibility of breaking this line up, coach Pete DeBoer said, “I’m smart enough to know not to overthink things” as they “have something special.”

Oettinger the Great

Jake Oettinger had another excellent game tonight (big surprise) as he saved 29 of 30 for a save percentage of 0.967. The only goal he allowed was off another tip and was just as time expired after a 5-on-3 power play advantage for the Predators. He has started the season out very strong as the number one goalie in Dallas.

Stars All-in on DeBoer’s System

The Stars seem to have totally bought into DeBoer’s new system, which is what we (as fans) have been hoping for: more offense. Dallas looks like a different team despite having the same core group as last year. They are quicker to pucks, more decisive with their passes, quicker with their puck movement, and they have been supporting each other up and down the ice which is exactly what DeBoer has been preaching. Mason Marchment iced the game late with an empty netter and his third of the season after just two games.

The next tilt for the Stars comes on Monday at home against the Winnipeg Jets at 7:30 CDT.  Coach Rick Bowness, who left the Stars this past summer, was diagnosed with COVID a few days ago and may have to wait to make his first return to Dallas.

Talking Points