Two streaking teams face off on Monday, as the Ottawa Senators will try to hand the visiting Dallas Stars their first regulation loss of the season.
The 4-0-1 Stars fell 3-2 in overtime to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday but bounced back with a decisive 5-2 road win over the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday. Joe Pavelski led the way with four points, including the sixth regular-season hat trick of his NHL career.
Pavelski scored a goal in each period to become the oldest player in Stars franchise history to collect a hat trick at 38 years, 103 days. After recording a career-best 81 points last season, Pavelski isn’t showing any signs of slowing down in his 17th NHL season.
“It’s incredible what (Pavelski) is doing, really. He looks exactly like he did five-six years ago, like the clock stopped,” Dallas coach Pete DeBoer said. “He looks like he can do it for another five years. It’s hard to explain. He’s just a special athlete.”
Playing with two dynamic linemates has surely helped Pavelski remain dangerous. Jason Robertson had a goal and an assist, while Roope Hintz added two assists.
While the veteran Pavelski sparked Dallas’ offense, the Senators’ young lineup has been dominant on home ice. The Senators are on a three-game winning streak (all in Ottawa), while outscoring opponents by an 18-9 margin.
The latest win was a 6-2 result over the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday. Ottawa held only a 3-2 edge going into the third period, yet forward Shane Pinto said the team was determined to seal the victory.
“We just told ourselves to kind of be mature about it,” Pinto said. “We’re in our building, we were up 3-2, so we just had to shut the door down. … It was just all positive talk from our leaders, all the big guys. They just told us to be patient, and don’t get too rattled and just play our game.”
Pinto was again a factor, collecting a goal and an assist. After scoring just one goal in 17 career NHL games prior to this season, the 21-year-old Pinto has broken out with a four-game scoring streak.
Senators captain Brady Tkachuk has seven points (three goals, four assists) during a three-game multi-point streak.
Ottawa’s Josh Norris is questionable for Monday’s lineup after suffering an apparent wrist injury in the third period against Arizona.
Goaltender Anton Forsberg has played every minute of Ottawa’s five games. Forsberg could again be in net against Dallas since the Senators don’t play again until Thursday, though coach D.J. Smith hinted prior to Saturday’s game about wanting to give backup Magnus Hellberg some ice time.
Since the Stars also play Tuesday against the Boston Bruins, goalies Jake Oettinger and Scott Wedgewood will likely split the back-to-back games, though the order has yet to be determined.
Oettinger stopped 32 of 34 shots against the Canadiens, continuing his excellent start to the season. Oettinger is a perfect 4-0-0 with a 1.25 goals-against average and a .959 save percentage.
The Senators are 9-3-0 in their last 12 games against Dallas, dating back to the 2015-16 season
–Field Level Media