Of all the records in Stars franchise history, I’m not sure there was a more perplexing one than their longest win streak.

Through 56 seasons, the Stars had never won more than seven straight games. That’s 56 different teams, a plethora of Hall-of-Famers, numerous coaching staffs and some of the top teams in NHL history. Through it all, they never got past seven.

For comparison, the Seattle Kraken won nine in a row this year in just their third season in existence. The Vegas Golden Knights, currently in season seven, won 10 straight in 2021. Heck, the Edmonton Oilers just won 16 in a row a few months back.

It was the NHL’s shortest and most baffling win streak. To make things even wackier, it was forgotten for over a decade until the Stars tied the mark in 2019-20. That one was broken by Chicago. They did it again in 2021-22, but couldn’t get past Vegas to set a new high.

So, when they once again hit seven on Saturday in Seattle, it came with a dose of cautious enthusiasm. Sure, it helped cap off an 11-2-0 tear in March, but with three days off and a red-hot Oilers team on deck, would they be stumped yet again?

That caution disappeared in a span of 5:48 on Wednesday night. The Stars scored four unanswered goals in the second period on their way to a 5-0 victory. With the win, Dallas set a new record, tightened their grip on first in the Western Conference and kept pace with the New York Rangers in the Presidents’ Trophy race.

But more importantly, they further solidified their case as the NHL’s top team.

Sure, the run is impressive. This is the first time since 2002-03 that Dallas has been within four points of the NHL’s top spot this late in a regular season. All four lines are rolling, the defense and goaltending have been on a top-tier tear over the past few weeks and the Stars have all the makings of a true Stanley Cup contender.

But as the movie Moneyball reminds us, they’re not in it for a record. After all, if you don’t win the last game of the season, nobody gives a bleep.

“We didn’t talk about it in the dressing room, but most of the guys saw it on social media or something like that,” Radek Faksa said following the win. “We didn’t have it in our head because you don’t want to think about stuff like that.”

Radek Faksa speaks to the media after the game

It’s hard not to be in awe of what the Stars are doing right now. But what’s even more impressive is how they’ve done it.

“Forget the wins and the winning streak, I like the detail in our game,” Stars coach Pete DeBoer said after Wednesday’s win. “I like how we’re playing for the most part. That’s a good thing. Everyone wants to be doing that this time of year. The wins are a by-product of that. It’s a great lesson that if you take care of those things, the results take care of themselves.”

Pete DeBoer speaks to the media after the game

If Wednesday night was anything, it was a microcosm of how this historic win streak has been crafted.

For starters, their fourth line was their best line. On their first shift of the game, an aggressive forecheck led to a turnover. Craig Smith got the puck and fed it to Sam Steel, who fed it to Faksa for the opening goal just 2:08 into the game.

Later in the second, the line took the first shift following Jamie Benn’s goal and once again used a fierce forecheck to gain possession and capitalize with a goal by Steel. The trio ended with two goals and five assists on the night.

Recap: Oilers at Stars 4.3.24

After years of mixing and matching, the Stars seem to have finally crafted a top-tier fourth line that can match up against any other in the League. The ability to roll all four lines at will in a given game is a serious strength in today’s NHL.

Speaking of depth, all 12 forwards have a goal during the win streak. Leading the way with eight is Benn, who is on a season-best tear with 25 points in his past 21 games. He hasn’t gone more than two straight games without a point since mid-February and is on the doorstep of another 20-goal season.

Next in line with five is Wyatt Johnston, who became the second youngest 30-goal scorer in franchise history with a tally on Wednesday. At the crisp age of 20, the sophomore leads the team in goals. There’s something to be said about the third-oldest and the youngest player leading the way during this surge.

In total, 14 players have a goal and all 18 have a point during the streak. Depth is paramount in the postseason, and the Stars arguably have the deepest team in the League down the stretch.

And how about the fast starts? At the All-Star Break, the Stars sat 20th in first period goal differential at -3. But in the 27 games since the break? They are +16 with 32 goals in the opening frame. Both lead the NHL. They’ve also scored first in six of the last eight games and have not trailed since the first period against Pittsburgh on March 22. That’s an active stretch of 352:44.

Dallas has outscored the opposition a combined 34-11 in the past eight games, with every win coming by multiple goals. And while we’ve talked a lot about the 34, let’s dive into the 11 for a moment.

For the longest time, this season’s discussion has centered around the offense leading the charge and giving the defense and goaltending time to “figure it out.” The goals against per game sat at 3.06 at the break (14th in the NHL), an unexpected spike from the 2.62 (3rd) mark last season. They were winning 4-3 a lot more often than 3-2 and it felt like if/when the back end returned to its usual caliber, the team would hit a new stride.

It’s safe to say they found that stride.

Since the break, the Stars are averaging 2.52 goals against per game (4th in the NHL) and 26.7 shots against per game (3rd). On this win streak alone, they’ve trimmed the number to an impressive 1.38. That’s a seismic turnaround that puts the Stars on par with the airtight, defensive style of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

A good chunk of credit goes to the goaltending. After an up-and-down year involving offseason surgery, modified training and a midseason injury, Jake Oettinger looks to be back in elite form. He’s won six straight starts and has allowed just seven total goals over the span. Included is a career-long active shutout streak of 152:21.

Jake Oettinger speaks to the media after the game

It’s the team’s first time posting back-to-back shutouts since Jan. 19-21, 2023. Whether it’s Oettinger or Scott Wedgewood (who is 5-2-2 since Oettinger’s return) taking the crease, Dallas seems to have the edge right now.

The same goes for special teams. The Stars have a power play goal in six of the last eight games and are 7 for 24 (29.2%). Five different players have scored. On the other end, the penalty kill has been on a suffocating tear, allowing just one goal (against San Jose) and 15 total shots on 20 opportunities (95.0%). Six of the games have come against a top-15 power play in the NHL.

Mix it all together and Dallas has crafted a streak worthy of attention and admiration. In a season centered around shattering team records, the new win streak seems to be the pièce de résistance. With six games to go, a shot at the Presidents’ Trophy and the Stanley Cup Playoffs on tap, this Stars team is hitting a historic stride at a perfect time.

And the shot at records doesn’t stop here. The franchise record for wins in a season is 53, set back in 2005-06. Dallas currently sits at 48. The points record? 114 back in the Cup-winning season of 1998-99. They’re at 105 right now with 12 points left on the table. They also have 25 wins and 55 points on the road (both tied for the franchise record) with two more away games on tap.

I’m not sure there’s a better story in professional sports right now than the Dallas Stars. Just let that sink in for a moment.

And as the postseason shifts into focus, there’s plenty of reason to believe that this could be just the beginning of a truly memorable run.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club.

Related Content