Robertson Hintz DAL celebration

EDMONTON -- Jason Robertson had just scored the go-ahead goal at 11:54 of the third period Monday and he was pumped. The Dallas Stars forward had ended a 10-game goalless streak in style by completing his first career Stanley Cup Playoff hat trick to give his team the lead for good against the Edmonton Oilers and man, was he ready to celebrate.

The same could not be said for the hostile crowd of 18,347, however. In the end, nary a hat floated to the ice in response to Robertson’s third goal of the night, not even from one of the few rogue Dallas supporters in a sea of orange-and-blue clad Oilers fans.

“That’s ok,” joked teammate Tyler Seguin after the Stars' 5-3 victory over the Oilers. “I mentally threw mine.”

Seguin’s line ignited laughter throughout the victorious Dallas dressing room. In the end, it might have been the only chuckling heard throughout Rogers Place after the final horn had sounded on the Stars’ Game 3 victory in the Western Conference Final.

Indeed, after being dominated in a first period in which they were down 2-0, the Stars bounced back with the type of resiliency that now has them up 2-1 in the best-of-7 series and once again holding home-ice advantage.

In the process, they sucked the life and energy out of a building that was raucous and rocking in the early going. Thanks in part to the sharp-shooting Robertson and the returning Roope Hintz, the Stars once again managed to silence an opposing arena en route to improving their road record to 6-1 in the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

“You definitely want to score goals,” Robertson said. “Somebody asked me this morning if it felt like it’s been a while. I mean, you’re still contributing but you want to help the team by scoring goals.”

He did exactly that, with a little help from Hintz who assisted on each of Robertson’s first two goals.

The NHL Now tape room focuses on Robertson and Hintz

Hintz, Dallas' first-line center, had missed the previous four games with an upper-body injury he sustained in Game 4 of the Western Conference Second Round against the Colorado Avalanche on May 13. He entered the game Monday with six points (two goals, four assists) in 11 games this postseason and was a welcome addition to the Stars’ top power-play unit and penalty kill.

“I wasn’t out that long. I was skating every day so I could get up to speed there,” Hintz said. “Of course it’s fast, fast, fast and everything but we didn’t have the best first period. So, it was great to see that we came back in the second and started winning battles.”

The game certainly didn’t start that way.

The Oilers came out of the gates flying led by captain Connor McDavid, who looked the part of the NHL’s best player in the opening 20 minutes by dominating with the puck and with his speed. During the first intermission, one scout quipped that “No. 97 for Edmonton should be playing a league up,” before adding “Wait a minute, this is the highest league there is in the world.”

With McDavid compiling a goal and assist in the opening 20 minutes, the Stars knew they needed to regroup.

Mission accomplished.

Dallas swarmed Edmonton from the opening face-off of the second period and soon turned a 2-0 deficit into a 3-2 lead in a span of just 3:33, thanks to a pair of Robertson goals and one from Wyatt Johnston.

After Edmonton’s Adam Henrique tied the game 3-3 with 53 seconds remaining in the second, the stage was set for Robertson’s heroics in the third. Miro Heiskanen then sealed the deal with an empty-net goal at 18:08.

Asked about Robertson breaking out of his funk, coach Pete DeBoer said the net probably looked "as wide as a soccer goal" once the first one went in.

This much is certain: Robertson does not lack for goal-scoring prowess.

Or confidence, for that matter.

In his team. And in himself.

“Well, honestly, we’re here for a reason,” he said. “We know we’re a great hockey team. And if we do what needs to be done, and everyone does their jobs and trusts the system, it’s going to be successful.”

It was exactly that Monday, hats or no hats.

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