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Season at a glance: Stars in prime spot for playoff berth

Despite its fair share of ups and downs, Dallas has maintained a firm grip as it eyes another strong postseason run

by Jeff Odom @jeffodom /

With the 2019-20 season currently on hold as a precaution due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, takes a look back at the Stars' season so far:


The skinny

Overall record: 37-24-8, 82 points

Current standings: Third place in Central Division; two points ahead of Winnipeg (WC1)

Playoff probability: 95.4 percent, according to Hockey Reference

Following a near-disasterous 1-7-1 start, the dismissal of second-year coach Jim Montgomery in mid-December and a roller-coaster ride of a season that has seen both seven-game win streaks and six-game winless skids, the Stars currently find themselves in great position for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Video: Open Ice: Stars' hunt for playoff spot continues

Though currently outside the race for the Central Division crown -- 12 points behind first-place St. Louis and 10 points back of Colorado for second -- Dallas has kept a fairly tight grip on third despite a pack of wild-card contenders nipping at its heels during a bumpy start to the month of March. As of the season's temporary stoppage on March 12, if the playoffs started today, the Stars would face Colorado -- a team they swept in four meetings during the regular season -- in the first round.


Leading the way

Video: DAL@STL: Gurianov forces turnover and beats Allen

Denis Gurianov: The rookie speedster has been everything and more for Dallas since establishing himself in the lineup as a regular contributor following a short stint with the team's AHL affiliate in October. Just how good has Gurianov been? The former first-round pick leads Dallas with 20 goals through 64 games -- the most of any first-year player in franchise history since future captain Jamie Benn netted 22 in 2009-10 -- ranks eighth in points with 29 and has proven himself as a threat to score any time he touches the puck.

Video: EDM@DAL: Khudobin stops McDavid in overtime

Anton Khudobin: Completing arguably the best one-two goaltending punch in the league -- and one of the greatest the franchise has ever seen -- Khudobin has redefined the "backup" role with the Stars. Sharing duties with last year's Vezina Trophy runner-up Ben Bishop, the 33-year-old leads the NHL with a .930 save percentage and ranks third with a 2.22 goals against average over 30 games played this season.

Video: DAL@CAR: Hintz nets nifty backhander for PPG

Roope Hintz: The young Finn has picked up right where he left off during the second half of 2018-19. Emerging as one of the Stars' best young players, Hintz continues to shine for Dallas offensively. He is currently tied for second with Benn in goals with 19, sitting second in game-winning goals with five and fifth in points with 33 through 60 games played.


Biggest victory

Video: Radulov has hat trick, Stars storm back to top Wild

October 29 vs. Minnesota: With its early-season swoon still hanging above like a dark cloud and needing an answer to avoid seeing the slide creep into another month, Dallas provided arguably its biggest win of the season in unlikely fashion. Trailing 3-0 late in the second period and hearing the displeasure from the American Airlines Center faithful, the Stars cranked out six -- yes, six! -- unanswered goals and got a second-career hat trick from Alexander Radulov to complete an unbelievable 6-3 rally past their division foe.

Video: MIN@DAL: Radulov fuels Stars' comeback with hat trick

"We stuck together as a group in here," Benn said afterward. "Players and coaches, from top to bottom, went out there in the third period with a good mindset of just working hard. We got some bounces from it and good things happened. It was nice to get the fans back on our side. That felt pretty good."

The win catapulted Dallas -- then owners of a 5-8-1 overall record -- onto a 12-game point streak (11-0-1) that lasted well into November and completely turned its season around.


Most memorable moment

Video: Stars complete comeback to win 2020 Winter Classic

2020 NHL Winter Classic at Cotton Bowl Stadium: On the grandest stage in the sport, the Stars made a Texas-sized statement to the the league and the rest of the world that this is a hockey city. Before a capacity crowd of 85,000-plus at the historic Cotton Bown, Dallas rallied from an early 2-0 deficit with four unanswered goals to beat the rival Predators and take the first Winter Classic ever held in a southern market.

As longtime team beat reporter Mike Heika wrote for following the 4-2 outdoor game victory, everything about the day -- the attendance, the weather, the fans and the result -- was simply perfect:

Video: NSH@DAL: Stars erupt for three goals in 3rd for lead

Stars players embraced the ambiance by wearing western clothing provided by Lucchese as they walked in (and also in many of the postgame interviews), and the arena was decked out like an old gun fight in a panhandle town. Mix in the nods to hockey history in Dallas and Nashville, and the stage was set for something special.

The game then delivered.

Special indeed.

For more information on the NHL season, including game information, updated ticket policy details and more, click here.

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

Jeff Odom is the manager of and writes about the Stars/NHL. Follow him on Twitter @jeffodom.

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