DALLAS — Dallas Stars head coach Rick Bowness is not shy about where he thinks many experts believe his team should be at this point in the season — and it would have nothing to do with the ice — and not shy to use it to motivate his charges, who are now one win away from pulling off a big surprise in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Jake Oettinger continued his stellar play with 36 saves while Roope Hintz had a goal and an assist in the Stars’ 4-2 victory over the Calgary Flames, taking their first-round series to a Game 7, which will be on Sunday.
It took until Game 81, the next-to-last game of the season, for the Stars to finally secure a playoff berth, and when their position in the standings had them staring a series against the Colorado Avalanche or the Pacific Division champion Flames, the odds of Dallas advancing past the first round seemed to be long.
Now this low-scoring, feisty series is going the distance.
“I know we’re not supposed to still be playing. We’re supposed to be on a golf vacation right now, but that wasn’t our intention going in,” Bowness said after the game. “As I said right off the bat, we didn’t get into the playoffs to be somebody else’s steppingstone in the second round. Here we are, going into a Game 7, and our guys deserve a lot of credit.”
*Editor’s note: Above the byline is the photo gallery from Friday evening’s game, with all photos taken by Dallas-area photographer Ross James. After clicking on the first photo to enlarge the picture, make sure to press the left and right arrow buttons to scroll through the rest of the pictures. There are 32 pictures in total.