Posts Tagged ‘Dallas Stars’

The Dallas Stars are naming Peter DeBoer their next head coach, reports Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman.

DeBoer was fired by the Vegas Golden Knights after failing to reach the playoffs this season. The Stars’ position opened when veteran bench boss Rick Bowness opted to step down after Dallas was eliminated by the Calgary Flames in Round 1.

Bowness coached Dallas for three seasons, guiding the club to the Stanley Cup Final in 2020.

DeBoer was unable to help an injury-ravaged Golden Knights roster to the playoffs in a year they were expected to compete for the Stanley Cup. He joins the Stars with a career record of 513-379-123 and a 68-55 mark in the playoffs.

The 54-year-old has made the Stanley Cup Final twice – in 2012 with the New Jersey Devils and 2016 with the San Jose Sharks.

With Dallas’ post reportedly filled, the Boston Bruins, Detroit Red Wings, and Winnipeg Jets are the three teams left searching for a new head coach this offseason.

The Dallas Stars traded former goaltender Ben Bishop‘s contract and a 2022 seventh-round pick to the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for future considerations, both teams announced Friday.

Bishop, 35, hasn’t suited up for a regular-season NHL contest since March 2020. He started three games for the Stars in the 2020 playoff bubble in August.

The veteran hung up his pads in December due to a knee injury. He underwent surgery to repair a torn meniscus in October 2020 and was sent to the AHL’s Texas Stars on a rehab assignment in 2021-22. He allowed eight goals on 34 shots in his only appearance.

Bishop has one year remaining on his deal and carries a $4.9-million cap hit. The trade helps the Sabres get closer to the salary-cap floor, while the Stars gain more roster flexibility by getting Bishop off their long-term injured reserve.

The three-time Vezina Trophy finalist authored a career .921 save percentage and 2.32 goals-against average in 413 appearances. Bishop was drafted by the St. Louis Blues in the third round in 2005 and also played for the Ottawa Senators, Tampa Bay Lightning, and Los Angeles Kings.

Toronto Maple Leafs forward Jason Spezza announced his retirement after 19 NHL seasons.

Additionally, the 38-year-old Spezza will immediately join Toronto’s front office as a special assistant to general manager Kyle Dubas.

“I love hockey. Since the age of three, I’ve been lucky enough to live out my dream and do what I love for so many years,” said Spezza. “I eat, sleep, dream hockey, and it’s always been there for me.

“There are too many people to thank individually, but I’m forever grateful and indebted to the Ottawa Senators, Dallas Stars, Toronto Maple Leafs, and Hockey Canada for their support and belief in me as a player and person.”

Spezza finishes his playing career with 995 points in 1,248 games split between the Senators, Stars, and Maple Leafs.

Ottawa drafted Spezza second overall in 2001, and he went on to become one of the best players in the franchise’s history. He ranks second to Daniel Alfredsson on the Senators’ all-time list for goals (251), assists (436), and points (687) despite placing sixth with 686 games played.

The best stretch of Spezza’s career came in the first three seasons after the lockout. Centering a line with Alfredsson and Dany Heatley, Spezza averaged 105 points per 82 games from 2005-06 to 2007-08. He ranked third among NHL skaters with 1.27 points per contest during that span, trailing only Sidney Crosby and Joe Thornton.

Spezza helped lead the Senators to their lone Stanley Cup Final appearance in 2007, though they fell to the Anaheim Ducks in five games. However, Spezza, Heatley, and Alfredsson all tied for the league lead with 22 points during that playoff run.

With Spezza set to become an unrestricted free agent, Ottawa traded him to Dallas in 2014. He spent five years with the Stars, recording 228 points in 379 games.

The Mississauga, Ontario native went home in 2019, signing a one-year deal for the league minimum with the Maple Leafs. He went on to play three years in Toronto, all for the league minimum, compiling 80 points in 183 games in a fourth-line role. He was also a valuable veteran leader for the Leafs.

“It is difficult to describe just how much of a lasting and positive impact that Jason Spezza made in his three seasons with the Maple Leafs,” Dubas said. “Jason’s passion for the game of hockey, his desire to continuously push himself and his teammates to improve, as well as his capacity to make strong connections with all members of the organization, have been invaluable.”

Spezza represented Canada on the international stage numerous times. He captured gold (2015) and two silver medals (2008, 2009) at the IIHF World Championship and won a silver (2002) and two bronze medals (2000, 2001) at the world juniors. He was also a reserve for Canada’s 2006 Olympic team.

Dallas Stars head coach Rick Bowness is stepping down from his position, the team announced Friday.

Bowness’ contract expired at the end of the season. Assistant coaches John Stevens, Derek Laxdal, and Todd Nelson also won’t be returning.

“After careful consideration with my wife Judy, we feel it’s best to step away and allow the organization the opportunity to pursue a different direction at the head coaching position,” Bowness said in a statement. “I’d like to thank all the passionate fans and the dedicated staff for their support and hard work in my time here. It has been an honor for me, and my family, to represent the Stars and the city of Dallas.”

Bowness took over behind Dallas’ bench in December 2019. He led the Stars to the Stanley Cup Final during the COVID-interrupted season and earned a two-year extension as a result.

Dallas missed the playoffs the following campaign and was eliminated in the first round by the Calgary Flames in seven games this spring.

Bowness has coached 639 games in the NHL with the Winnipeg Jets, Boston Bruins, Ottawa Senators, New York Islanders, and then-Phoenix Coyotes. The 67-year-old has also served as an assistant coach with the Vancouver Canucks and Tampa Bay Lightning.

The Stars are now the fifth NHL team with a head coaching vacancy, joining the Jets, Philadelphia Flyers, Detroit Red Wings, and Vegas Golden Knights. Four other clubs – the Montreal Canadiens, Chicago Blackhawks, Florida Panthers, and Edmonton Oilers – have an interim coach in place.

Barry Trotz, who was recently let go by the New York Islanders, is considered to be the most attractive coaching candidate on the market.

Dallas Stars goaltender Jake Oettinger was stellar all series long against the Calgary Flames, but he somehow saved his best performance for Game 7.

For Oettinger, his 64-save gem in his team’s season-ending loss is the type of standard he sets for himself.

“Everyone needs to step up in the playoffs. I think you can have a great regular season and then not play well in the playoffs, and it doesn’t matter to anyone,” Oettinger told reporters after Sunday’s 3-2 overtime defeat, per Bally Sports Southwest. “I’m happy that I was able to elevate my game. … That’s the level of goaltending I expect from myself, and I think I can be a great goalie for a long time.”

He continued, “I’ve never been more motivated than I am right now. I’m gonna do everything I can to make sure I get this opportunity again, and I’ll make sure I’m on the other side of it the next time.”

Oettinger’s ridiculous .954 save percentage leads all goaltenders who played at least 60 minutes in the 2022 postseason. He also paces the league in goals saved above average (9.07) and goals saved above expected (10.74) at all strengths by a long shot, according to Evolving-Hockey.

The gravity of the 23-year-old’s performance wasn’t lost on Flames head coach Darryl Sutter.

“He was the best player in this series, that’s for sure,” he said.

Jacob Markstrom, the goalie at the other end of the ice, also made sure to give Oettinger some props in the handshake line after the game.

“He said it was a fun battle and that I had a bright future,” Oettinger said. “Obviously, he’s a heck of a goalie, and it was fun for me to be able to square up against a Vezina Trophy finalist.”

Though the Stars’ offseason has just begun, Oettinger is ready to refocus for his next NHL season.

“I have a lot of stuff I want to work on. I feel like I’m just scratching the surface of where I’m gonna be one day. That really excites me.”

The Calgary Flames eliminated the Dallas Stars from the playoffs with a 3-2 overtime win in Game 7 on Sunday night.

Stars goaltender Jake Oettinger made an incredible 64 saves, but wasn’t able to secure the victory as Johnny Gaudreau beat him in overtime.

Oettinger’s 64-save performance is the second-most stops in a Game 7 in NHL history, according to Stats by STATS. Only Kelly Hrudey had more when he stopped 73 shots for the Islanders against the Capitals in 1987.

Jamie Benn opened the scoring for Dallas just 40 seconds into the contest. Tyler Toffoli tied things up in the second before Vladislav Namestnikov and Matthew Tkachuk traded goals to enter the third period tied at two apiece.

The Flames will now take on their rival Edmonton Oilers in the second round. It’s the first time since 1991 that the Battle of Alberta will be renewed in the postseason.

Joe Pavelski and the Dallas Stars were skating with urgency in the third period. If not, it could easily have been their last one of the season.

Miro Heiskanen scored the go-ahead goal late in the second period and the Stars recovered after blowing an early two-goal lead, beating the Calgary Flames 4-2 on Friday night to force a deciding Game 7 in their first-round Western Conference series.

“The message was we’ve got to have a good third. We haven’t always had good thirds at times with the lead, and we wanted to kind of try to turn that,” Pavelski said. “The other night, they came out hard in the third and we didn’t handle it well enough. And tonight was one of those situations where I think everyone bought in. We took a step in the right direction of doing it.”

Calgary was in position to close out the wild-card Stars after a 3-1 home win in Game 5 on Wednesday night, when the Pacific Division champions scored all of their goals in the third period.

This series instead is going back to the Saddledome for a deciding Game 7 on Sunday night.

“A hell of a game. We couldn’t get the equalizer,” a rather-terse Calgary coach Darryl Sutter said.

The first goal in these playoffs for Heiskanen came on a 40-foot shot with a bunch of traffic in front of Flames goalie Jacob Markstrom. That came with 2:28 left in the second period, in which both teams scored twice.

With their season on the line, the Stars didn’t give in during the third period.

“We went after them instead of sitting back. … That was one of our better third periods of the year, and it was a timely one,” Michael Raffl said.

“That was NHL playoff hockey at its best. That was a great hockey game,” coach Rick Bowness said. “Both teams, both goalies, were great.”

Calgary will host a Game 7 for the first time since 2006, when it lost its first-round series to Anaheim. This is the third consecutive playoffs that the Stars will play a Game 7 — they beat Colorado in the second round in the NHL bubble in Canada two seasons ago, and lost at St. Louis in a second-round series that went the full distance in 2019.

“We have a confident group,” Pavelski said. “Every game’s been tight, been competitive and fun to play in.”

Roope Hintz and Raffl also scored for Dallas, and Tyler Seguin added an empty-netter in the final minute. Jake Oettinger, their 23-year-old goalie who had never started a playoff game before this series, stopped 36 shots.

Markstrom also had 36 saves.

Calgary tied the game at 2 with 8:01 left in the second period on a goal by Mikael Backlund, which came 1 second after the end of what officially went down as another unsuccessful power play in this series when both teams have struggled with a man advantage.

That made the Flames 0 for 2 on the power play in the game, to match Dallas at 2 for 21 in the series.

The Stars made it 2 for 22 midway through the third period when Joe Pavelski had an almost point-blank shot that ricocheted off Markstrom’s skate that was on the line.

Backlund’s third goal of the series came on a slap shot that Oettinger had deflected before it bounced off Heiskanen and into the net. That was about four minutes after Johnny Gaudreau’s nifty crossing pass to Michael Stone for the easy tip-in.

“They get two, and we climb back. It’s a tight game but I’d say that 3-2 goal late in the second was tough,” Flames center Elias Lindholm said. “Obviously, we’d like to win this game, but it’s a new day tomorrow and a game on Sunday, and that’s why we fought so hard all year to have home ice on Game 7.”

The Stars had a 2-0 lead about six minutes into the second period when Raffl finished off a wild play in front of the net.

Joel Kiviranta was trying to follow up his own shot, even reaching back after skating past the net, while two Calgary skaters and Markstrom all went down on the ice. Defenseman Christopher Tanev was one of the ones down, and tried to push the puck away with his hand before Raffl was able to stuff it just inside the post

Hintz got his second goal of the series with 5:08 left in the first period, right after Oettinger withstood a flurry of shots at the other end.

Matthew Tkachuk and Gaudreau, both 100-point and 40-goal scorers in the regular season, got off quick shots in succession that had Oettinger scrambling and diving across the crease.

Once the Stars had the puck going the other way, Pavelski had a drop-back pass for the charging Hintz, who sent a quick wrister under the legs of Markstrom.

Tkachuk took a backhander off his knee early in the first period that ricocheted off the post.

GAME 7 HISTORY

Calgary is 5-7 in Game 7s, but has lost six of the last seven it has played. The only Game 7 victory for the Flames since 1990 was in the first round against Vancouver in 2004, before they then advanced to the Stanley Cup Final and lost to Tampa Bay in the seventh game.

Dallas is 6-8, including a Game 7 win over Colorado in the second round of the 2020 playoffs, when the Stars went on to make the Stanley Cup Final in the postseason played in a bubble in Canada because of the pandemic.

Andrew Mangiapane and Mikael Backlund led a third-period surge by the Calgary Flames in Wednesday’s 3-1 win over the Dallas Stars to take a 3-2 lead in their playoff series.

Mangiapane and Backlund each had a goal and an assist and Trevor Lewis added an empty-net goal for the Flames, who pushed the Stars to the brink of elimination in the best-of-seven conference quarterfinal.

Game 6 is Saturday in Dallas.

“It feels a lot better than if we were down, but we know it’s going to be a really hard game” Backlund said.

“Of course, we feel confident and excited going there. It’s a big game.”

Game 7, if necessary, is Sunday back in Calgary.

Calgary goaltender Jacob Markstrom made 20 saves for the win. Jason Robertson scored the lone goal and Jake Oettinger stopped 29 shots for Dallas.

Calgary (50-21-11) topped the Pacific Division, while Dallas (46-30-6) entered the post-season via the top wild-card spot in the Western Conference.

Both teams earned splits in each other’s arenas to send the series to Calgary deadlocked at 2-2.

Their playoff series reverted to low-scoring at the Saddledome, where Calgary won 1-0 and lost 2-0 to start the series.

Dallas won 4-2 and lost 4-1 at American Airlines Arena.

The Stars didn’t allow Calgary many clean exits from their own end, or entries into the offensive zone, with sound positional hockey for the first 40 minutes to lead 1-0.

But the line of Mangiapane, Backlund and Blake Coleman struck in the third for a 2-1 Flames lead.

“We knew they were going to come hard. We tried to minimize their speed to the neutral zone and we didn’t and it cost us,” Robertson said.

Backlund in the neutral zone fed a backhand pass to Mangiapane at the Stars’ blue line.

Mangiapane took three strides in and whipped a high shot over Oettinger’s glove at 13:20 to ignite the Saddledome.

“It was loud,” Mangiapane said. “It was great even when Backs scored. You could hear the building erupt. I think the fans were waiting for a goal. Our whole team just fed off that energy from the fans.”

Calgary drew even 1-1 at 6:49 of the third period when Mangiapane collected the puck from Coleman’s drive to the net.

Mangiapane circled out from behind the goal-line and centered the puck for Backlund’s redirect by Oettinger.

“I was screaming my emotions, too. I don’t think anybody heard me,” Backlund said. “I haven’t scored much down the stretch here. It felt really good to put the puck in the net and such a big goal as well.”

Robertson, a team-leading 41-goal man in the regular season, scored his first NHL playoff goal at 13:21 of the second period.

Stars head coach Rick Bowness had moved the 22-year-old off the top line alongside Joe Pavelski and Roope Hintz to join Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin.

Robertson drove in from the boards and wristed a shot that deflected off Markstrom’s glove and then off defenceman Noah Hanifin into Calgary’s net.

The Stars didn’t score on three power-play chances and were 2-for-20 in the series. Calgary went 0-for-2 on Wednesday and was 2-for-19.

Flames coach Darryl Sutter deployed 11 forwards and seven defenceman for a second straight game with Michael Stone remaining in the lineup for Brett Ritchie.

Flames winger Johnny Gaudreau took a deflected puck in the side of the head at the Stars’ blue line late in the first period.

He went to the dressing room for treatment late in the period, but returned in the second period.

When a best-of-seven series is tied 2-2, the winner of Game 5 holds an all-time series record of 219-58, according to NHL statisticians.

When the home team wins Game 5 to take a 3-2 lead, it closes out the series 80.7 per cent of the time (138-33). When the road team does so, it wins 76.4 per cent of the series (81-25).

“We’re going to look at some stuff from this game and get ready for the next game and it’s not over yet,” Hintz said.

Bowness altered his Game 5 lineup, scratching forwards Denis Gurianov and Alexander Radulov.

Jacob Peterson, 22, made his NHL playoff debut and Marian Studenic, 23, drew in for his second game in the series.

Notes: With 92 career playoff wins, Sutter is two back of Pat Quinn for the sixth-most among NHL coaches . . . Joe Pavelski’s 166th career playoff game surpassed Brian Rafalski for fifth in NHL history among U.S.-born skaters.

Rasmus Andersson, Johnny Gaudreau and the Calgary Flames felt much more like themselves, and got even in their first-round playoff series with an onslaught of shots.

It helped that they also got to play a lot of 5-on-5 hockey, though Andersson did score Calgary’s first power-play goal since early in the playoff opener, as the Flames beat the Dallas Stars 4-1 in Game 4 on Monday night.

“We had a lot of long shifts in their zone and overall a good game, a good 60 minutes,” said Andersson, who had only two of Calgary’s 54 shots. “We didn’t take too many penalties tonight too, so we get to play 5 on 5, and that’s that’s what we were, a really good team.”

Gaudreau converted a penalty shot with 12:13 left in the game to make it 2-0 Calgary, and later assisted on Elias Lindholm’s third goal of the series as the Pacific Division champions regained home-ice advantage over the wild-card Stars. Mikael Backlund added an empty-netter in the final minute.

It was the first goal of the series for Gaudreau, who in Game 3 was rejected by Jake Oettinger on a late breakaway that would have tied that game.

The Flames forward, a 100-point scorer, was on another breakaway with just over nine minutes left Monday night when John Klingberg was penalized for hooking. Gaudreau made a nifty move on the penalty shot to push the puck through the legs of Jake Oettinger, the 23-year-old goalie who had 50 saves.

“I feel like since Game 1 I’ve been playing well, playing hard against this team,” Gaudreau said. “Last game had a breakaway …. tonight a little different story, found the net. That’s the way hockey is”

Game 5 is Wednesday night in Calgary, where the teams traded shutouts in the first two games while combining for only three total goals — one of those an empty-netter at the end of the Stars’ 2-0 win in Game 2. The series returns to Dallas on Friday night for the sixth game in the best-of-seven series.

“We were off a little bit, and when we’re off a little bit against a top-tier team like that, a big favorite in this league … they’re going to make you pay, and they made us pay tonight,” said Tyler Seguin, who had a late power-play goal for the Stars.

That was the only shot to get past Jacob Markstrom, who had 34 saves.

The Flames were just more than a minute into a 5-on-3 opportunity midway through the second period when Andersson traded passes with Matthew Tkachuk before his shot from the top of the slot made it 1-0.

“It was a solid game for us,” Calgary coach Daryl Sutter said. “The strength of our team is 5 on 5. Our special teams function from what we do 5 on 5.”

Calgary had failed to convert on 13 consecutive power-play attempts before that, including two earlier in the game, since scoring five seconds into their first power play of the series. That was five minutes into Game 1, and the only goal in that 1-0 win.

Before Calgary had a two-man advantage, that power play opened on a split save by Oettinger, who had his right leg fully extended against the post when he pushed away a shot by Andersson.

The Stars have also struggled on the power play, going 0 for 4 with a man advantage in Game 4 before Seguin scored with 4:57 left to get the Stars within 3-1.

Both teams are 2 for 17 on power plays in the series.

“As badly as we played, there was times that we had a chance to give us some momentum, and we didn’t, we didn’t capitalize,” Stars coach Rick Bowness said.

Oettinger has faced plenty of shots in his first four NHL playoff starts. He had 25 saves in the opener, 29 in his shutout win and then 39 more in Game 3.

Midway through the first period Monday, after being peppered with a sequence of shots and unable to secure a loose puck, Oettinger made a impressive save when he reached back while falling down to snag the puck with his glove to deny Tyler Toffoli.

That was only a couple of minutes after Stars defenseman Miro Heiskanen hit the crossbar with a shot.

“Thought we started well, thought our first period was good,” Andersson said. “We stuck with it. We got a big power play good there, and then obviously got the second one and the third one. So overall, it was a good game and you know, it all started with a good start in the first.”

The old goal scorer and the young goalie have put the underdog Dallas Stars out front in their first-round playoff series against the Calgary Flames.

Joe Pavelski scored twice and got the game-winner on the first power-play goal in the series for Dallas, and Jake Oettinger had 39 saves as the wild-card Stars won 4-2 on Saturday night to take a 2-1 series lead over the Pacific Division champs who have three 40-goal scorers.

Two nights after making 29 saves in a 2-0 win at Calgary that evened the series, the 23-year-old Oettinger got his second playoff victory in his first playoff game on home ice — and the first for the Stars in more than three years. That included a tremendous stop on a breakaway chance by Johnny Gaudreau with 3 1/2 minutes left.

“That’s one big timely save,” coach Rick Bowness said. “Jake’s doing fantastic. He just rock solid back there, not intimidated by the surroundings and the noise.”

The Stars were 0 for 10 with an extra skater in the series, though one of those power plays had been for only 4 seconds earlier in Game 3, before the 37-year-old Pavelski’s tiebreaking goal with 9:55 left made it 3-2.

Pavelski had made a cross-ice pass on a rush to Vladislav Namestnikov, who then took a shot that bounced of of goalie Jacob Markstrom. The puck was knocked in by Pavelski, whose 64 career postseason goals are the most by an American-born skater.

“It’s big. It’s another step,” Pavelski, who also had the game-winner in Game 2, said of taking a 2-1 series lead. “There’s a lot of effort from up and down the lineup. Lots of physicality. Guys handing in, taking checks, making plays.”

Like Oettinger, it was the first home playoff game at the American Airlines Center for Pavelski. His first season with the Stars in 2019-20 ended with them making it to the Stanley Cup Final when the entire postseason was played in a bubble in Canada because of the pandemic.

Game 4 is Monday night in Dallas, before the series shifts back to Calgary for Game 5 on Wednesday.

“Our group still feels really good. Really confident in our entire ability,” said Calgary veteran center Blake Coleman, who played his first playoff game in Dallas, about a half-hour from where he grew up in Plano, Texas. “We win one game and we have home ice back. That was our goal here. There’s no panic in our room.”

Radek Faksa scored the first goal for Dallas, and Roope Hintz added an empty-net tally just before the final horn. Miro Heiskanen had two assists for the Stars, who also finished with a 44-23 advantage in hits.

Elias Lindholm and Trevor Lewis had goals for Calgary.

After the teams traded shutouts and combined for only three goals in the two games at Calgary, they had another physical and brawling game. Matthew Tkachuk and John Klingberg fought only 1:22 into the game, trading blows and getting 5-minute majors as Oettinger made a glove save of Gaudreau’s wrister on Calgary’s first shot.

Pavelski’s first goal of the game tied it at 2 about midway through the second period, when he knocked in Heiskanen’s shot that ricocheted off Markstrom. That came only seconds after Markstrom’s off-balance rejection of a shot by Heiskanen, though the Stars were able to keep the possession alive.

Markstrom stopped 28 shots.

Faksa put the Stars up 1-0 about 8 1/2 minutes into the game when he used his stick to redirect Esa Lindell’s shot on a pass from Heiskanen right after a faceoff.

Just before that, Faksa was leveled in front of the net by Noah Hanifan before Markstrom was able to control the puck after a shot by Heiskanen.

Calgary got even at 1-1 on a goal that Bowness thought came because of goalie interference, with Oettinger laid on his side after contact with Milan Lucic. Dallas lost the replay challenge.

It appeared that Lucic, who was engaged with Tyler Seguin, tried to avoid the Dallas goalie. The contact happened just outside the crease and Lucic was able to push the puck back front, where it was knocked in by Lewis.

The Flames took a 2-1 lead when Lindholm scored from just inside the circle early in the second period.

“Hard fought. Close games,” Calgary coach Darryl Sutter said. “You’ve got to play the whole game. We knew they were going to come out.”

NOTES

Klingberg got a game misconduct at the end of the first period in Game 1 of the series, at the same time Tkachuk was in a fight with Michael Raffl. Klingberg also got a roughing penalty in Game 2, and added an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty later in Game 3. He has 26 penalty minutes in this series, after 34 penalty minutes in 74 regular-season games. … Oettinger had stopped 57 shots in a row over a span of nearly 129 minutes, ending the seventh-longest postseason scoreless streak ever by a Stars goalie. … There have been 45 penalties and 124 penalty minutes combined in the three games.