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Game 7 overtime is once again the death of the Dallas Stars’ season. One player stood out above the rest in the First Round. Jake Oettinger wasn’t human in the entire series let alone Game 7. His historic performance is now ruled moot by the Stars’ lack of ability to score. He stared down the Calgary offense for 435 minutes and only allowed 13 goals. His 64 saves in Game 7 is a franchise record. Johnny Gaudreau adds his name to the enders of a Dallas Stars season. Now Calgary’s Second Round series is proof of how the Stars came oh so close to winning.

A Whole Different Series

This series was the complete opposite of the other seven. 29 goals from both teams in seven games is low. Jacob Markstrom battled with Oettinger in a duel for the ages. The Stars scored 14 while the Flames’ overtime-winner was their 15th. Friendly reminder that there were also empty-netters. This was a well-contested series and the final of five Game 7s in the First Round. The Flames were a heavy favorite but the Stars still took them to the brink.

Otter by the Numbers

Oettinger faced the prominent Flames offense for 435+ minutes and only allowed 13 goals. A .940 save percentage in the playoffs is above elite and his was .954. Social media is still abuzz about Oettinger. The consensus is that he deserved better. He faced 285 shots and stopped 272 in seven games. 64 saves in a playoff game is a franchise record. 64 saves in any playoff game is outrageous but in a Game 7 is ludicrous.

What will pain Stars fans is that Oettinger only allowed 1.85 goals per game. Something is wrong with the offense if your goaltender only gives up 1.85 goals per game and you lose that series.

The Offense Fails Again in Game 7

Two goals per game on average in a playoff series gets you nowhere. It’s amazing that the series even went 7 games with those numbers. 14 goals in 7 games was almost the right number. 15 wins them the series. The Game 1 1-0 crippler is going to sting for a long time but still much less than the overtime Game 7-loser. They had their chances in the overtime period but Gaudreau’s shot ended the season. His game-winner was a puck on edge that found its way past the ear of Oettinger, off the crossbar, and in.

Two Game 7 overtime losses in four years is less than ideal. Stars goalies left it all on the line. The 2019 Stars ended their season in double overtime of Round 2 Game 7 @ the St. Louis Blues. Ben Bishop gave an incredible performance in that game but the offense only put up 30 shots in five periods. The Blues went on to win the Stanley Cup two rounds later.

The Stars Had a Realistic Chance

The Flames netted 9 goals in their first game against the Edmonton Oilers. The Oilers scored 6 against Jacob Markstrom. Both of these goal totals alone was more than any game in the Stars/Flames series. The 9-6 Game 1 in the Battle of Alberta should annoy Stars fans. It proves two things. 1) Oettinger stole the show with his performance, and 2) The Stars’ offense could have beaten Markstrom. One goal was all they needed despite tilted ice, they didn’t get it.

The Stars lost four out of the last five Games 7s dating back to 2007. Three of those went to overtime with them having one win. Oettinger is the only reason this series went to overtime in Game 7. This elimination hurts because they still seemed to have a chance despite being the inferior team.

Another year has ended with a bright future ahead. Oettinger is a restricted free agent and Jim Nill is crazy not to re-sign him. Oettinger can be the one to lead to team to a Stanley Cup if his offense helps out.

Photo Credit: Dallas Stars Twitter 

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