Recap: Blues at Stars 4.17.24

DALLAS -- The Dallas Stars clinched first place in the Western Conference in a 2-1 shootout win against the St. Louis Blues at American Airlines Center on Wednesday.

The Stars needed one point to finish the season ahead of the Vancouver Canucks, who have clinched the Pacific Division title. Dallas will face either the Vegas Golden Knights or Los Angeles Kings in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, which begin Saturday.

“It feels like we did what we had to do. It’s definitely an accomplishment we should be proud of,” Stars forward Jason Robertson said. “It’s not going to be an easy team whoever you play in the playoffs, so we’re just happy we gave ourselves home ice in Round 1 and gave us a good chance in the playoffs.”

Mason Marchment scored, and Jake Oettinger made 25 saves for the Stars (52-21-9).

“It’s been a tough year at some points,” Oettinger said. “Learned a lot about myself and the people around me that are there for me, my goalie coach Jeff Reece, other goalie coaches I have that believe in me wholeheartedly. They helped me through those tough times. I think the people close to me believed that I could turn my game around and get it to where it is now. I’m just proud of how I finished the season and thankful for the people that really believed that I could get here when some people didn’t think I was going to. I’m proud of myself, my team around me, and I feel good about my game right now.”

Robert Thomas scored, and Jordan Binnington made 36 saves for the Blues (43-33-6) in their season finale.

“I was proud of how we competed in that game against that hockey club,” St. Louis coach Drew Bannister said. “To come in here, for us with the season ending, I thought our guys competed hard. They came here to win, so I was really happy with the effort tonight. I think there’s a lot of positives that guys can take out of the season. It’s going to be a long summer for them, but I think they can reflect back on some things we did well and some things we need to change.”

STL@DAL: Marchment scores goal against Jordan Binnington

Marchment tied it 1-1 at 5:11 of the third period during a goalmouth scramble. He found a loose puck and scored on a spin move at the top of the crease.

“Those are the type of goals you’re going to have to score in playoffs too, in tight games," Marchment said. "They’re not all going to be highlight-reel goals. It’s nice to get that one in. We always have confidence. It’s a little bit of a swagger thing too. We know when we play our game and everyone’s chipping in and playing their role, we’re a hard team to beat. That’s why we are where we are this year.”

Thomas gave the Blues a 1-0 lead at 17:19 of the second period. Robertson turned the puck over inside the offensive blue line, and Thomas was able to gain possession and score on a shot from the top of the left face-off circle.

“Those aren’t easy games to play,” Stars coach Pete DeBoer said. “Give St. Louis credit, they didn’t mail it in. They showed up and played hard. Binnington was outstanding. They made us earn it. I’m glad it was that kind of game and not a blowout or an easy one. I think you want to play competitive games down the stretch going into the playoffs, and we’ve had a bunch of them.”

Thomas said, “Ups and downs [this year]. We had our chances. I think [we made] progress from last season. I think we took a step forward and we’re getting close to what we wanted, and that’s being in the playoffs every year. I think we took a good step forward obviously from last year to this year. It’s just on building on that, and we’ll be back soon.”