DALLAS — It will take at least a couple of more years together for the triumvirate of Jason Robertson, Roope Hintz and Joe Pavelski, already considered one of the best line combinations in hockey, to possible be talked about as one of the all-time great units in league annals. They can expedite those additional plaudits that are due to them with a run to the Stanley Cup, and each of the three made a huge impact on Thursday night to send the Stars to the doorstep of the conference finals.
All three had multi-point games, with Hintz leading the charge with two goals, as the Stars defeated the Seattle Kraken 5-2 in Game 5 inside American Airlines Center to take a three-games-to-two series lead in the Western Conference semifinal series. Jake Oettinger made 29 saves for Dallas, who have won two straight games after falling behind 2-1 for a second consecutive series. Like their first-round series win against the Minnesota Wild, the Stars have a chance to close out the series with three consecutive wins when they travel to Seattle for Game 6 on Saturday night.
Led by Robertson’s 46 goals and 109 points in the regular season, the trio of Robertson, Hintz and Pavelski combined to make up 35.1 percent of the teams scoring in 2022-23, though that line was temporarily broken up when Pavelski was knocked out of the first game of Dallas’ first round series against Minnesota with a concussion. Pavelski came back to the lineup to start this series last week, and netted four goals in a Game 1 defeat, and he was back on the scoresheet tonight after deflecting a shot from Robertson and into the net just 35 seconds into the second period for a 3-0 lead.
We’ve been on the same line a couple years now, so when [Pavelski] hops in and we get back together, everything comes natural,” Robertson said. “In the playoffs we need that.”
*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 13 pictures in total.