Ross James/ALOST

akoiki-passport2 – by Adesina O. Koiki
A Lot of Sports Talk editor-in-chief

DALLAS — A couple of nights ago, the Dallas Stars got to celebrate their star player, Jason Robertson, hitting the 100-point mark. In short order, the Stars turned their attention to reaching 100 points as a team, which they did in style and, in doing so, put themselves back into position where they hope to be by the end of next week: at the top of the Central Division.

Robertson scored two more goals while linemate Joe Pavelski added a goal and two assists as the Dallas Stars dominated the Philadelphia Flyers 4-1 on Thursday evening inside the American Airlines Center. The win puts the Stars at 100 points on the season, the fourth Western Conference team to reach that mark and the first in the Central Division.

Jake Oettinger made 24 saves as Dallas has won its first two games of a three-game homestand by a combined 9-2 score after a 5-1 dispatching of Nashville on Monday night.

“We took care of business,” Stars head coach Pete DeBoer said. “I didn’t like our start, but we reset, took control in the second period, and took control of the game. [Jake Oettinger] was great and our special teams were good. We won an important game and an important two points. Those are tough games to play but we won, and we’ll move forward.”

Dallas was clearly on the back foot for most of the first period, and had to kill two power plays in the first period, but found the breakthrough right before the intermission after a tripping penalty on Rasmus Ristolainen gave the Stars their first man advantage of the game. Robertson went on a solo burst up the ice and, after seeing his initial shot blocked by Flyers defenseman Nick Seeler, Robertson pounced on the rebound and snapped a wrist shot above the shoulder of goaltender Carter Hart and into the net with 1.3 seconds remaining in the period to break the scoreless deadlock.

That goal was the first of four unanswered for the Stars, who were on the front foot for most of the second period. A too many men on the ice call on Philadelphia just 50 seconds into the frame led to Pavelski’s goal just 14 seconds later to double the Stars’ lead. Colin Miller scored at 8:53 for a 3-0 lead before Robertson shipped home his second of the game — and 45th of the season — for a 4-0 Dallas advantage.

Kevin Hayes scored his 18th goal of the season at 13:16 of the second for the Flyers’ only tally. Hart made 26 saves for Philadelphia, who are now 0-8-1 in their last nine away games.

*Editor’s note: Above the byline is the photo gallery from Thursday 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 29 pictures in total.

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