The Stars contend they don’t feel that different on the road vs. at home, but the numbers say they are.

Dallas is 4-6 at home during the playoffs and 6-2 on the road. They allow almost three goals per game at home and 2.13 on the road. And Jake Oettinger? He’s among the NHL playoff leaders with a 1.71 GAA and .941 save percentage on the road. At home, he has a 2.69 GAA and .895 save percentage.

That’s significant.

The 25-year-old goalie said he has no explanation for why the numbers are so different. He said he’s trying to play the same way every game. But teammate Tyler Seguin said Oettinger likes to play the villain in road arenas, and that is the team’s secret weapon.

“He’s probably the mentally toughest guy in this locker room,” teammate Jason Robertson added. “It’s the hardest job in hockey to be a goalie. He takes a lot of pride in his work. He’s very mentally tough.”

Much of Oettinger’s strong work on the road has been rebounding from a performance he might not have liked. He allowed three goals Friday, and while two were on the power play, the third was a shot from distance. Those are the kinds of things that make Oettinger find that extra gear in response. He has had an up and down season, and has learned a lot about himself in the process.

Now, he feels he knows how to handle the pressure better.

"You learn a lot about yourself," Oettinger said. "You appreciate just being in the net and being healthy that much more."

Oettinger is a huge golf fan and loves to go to the course or the driving range on off days. He said he has learned from golf that you have to concentrate on your next shot.

“You can’t change the last one, so you have to look forward,” he said.

He’s been doing that in the playoffs and that’s why he has a 13-5 career record after a loss in the playoffs.

“He’s a response guy. He has been in my entire time with him,” DeBoer said.

The path to become that player hasn’t always been easy. Oettinger had offseason surgery and had both strong and tough stretches during the season, but DeBoer said he learned a lot about his goalie during those down times.

“I'd be lying to you if I said there wasn't some concern at one point in the year. You saw a little bit of vulnerability,” DeBoer said. “But I always took comfort in knowing that he had a foundation there that he could rely on, that his character is second to none, his leadership's second to none, that he was going to get back there."

And that’s one of the main reasons the Stars have faith they can win Game 6 in Edmonton and get back into this series.

“That’s what playoffs is all about,” Oettinger said. “It’s not always going to go your way every night. It’s just about not letting it be two nights in a row.”

Key Numbers

Defenseman Thomas Harley is averaging 23:52 in time on ice, third most on the Stars. He also is tied for the lead in plus-minus at plus-8. Harley has not been called for a penalty in 18 games this postseason.

Edmonton leads the playoffs in scoring first with 13 times. The Oilers are 9-4 when scoring first.

Edmonton is second in home playoff scoring at 4.25 goals per game. The Oilers rank 12th in home goals against at 3.25.

He Said It

“I’m sure he’s really sore today, but he’s a warrior and I’m sure he’ll be out there tomorrow night.”

- Stars coach Pete DeBoer on defenseman Chris Tanev playing through a foot injury in Game 5 and his expected availability for Game 6

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

Mike Heika is a Senior Staff Writer for and has covered the Stars since 1994. Follow him on Twitter @MikeHeika.

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