Peter DeBoer continues homecoming tour as Stars visit Sharks
After handing the Vegas Golden Knights their first shutout loss of the season, the Dallas Stars continue their Western road trip against the San Jose Sharks on Wednesday.
Monday’s 4-0 blanking of the Golden Knights in Las Vegas snapped a two-game losing streak for the Central Division co-leaders, who enter Wednesday’s action tied with Winnipeg with a Western Conference-best 59 points.
Goalie Jake Oettinger made 27 saves for his third shutout of the season and Tyler Seguin extended his goal streak to three games with an empty-netter as Dallas improved to 14-7-4 on the road this season.
It marked the first time since April 16, 2022, that Vegas was shut out. Edmonton’s Mike Smith accomplished that feat and Stars head coach Peter DeBoer was there to witness it as head coach of the Golden Knights. DeBoer was fired a month later, which made Monday’s victory in his return to T-Mobile Arena even more special for him and longtime assistant Steve Spott.
“The guys know that’s an important game for Steve Spott and I coming back the first time and I thought they played like it,” said DeBoer, who along with Spott received a first-period video tribute from the Golden Knights.
Afterward, DeBoer took part in a team tradition that goes with returning to beat your old team.
“We have a little bit of a thing in our dressing room that if you win a big game, you’ve got to chug a beer,” the 54-year-old DeBoer said with a smile. “And I haven’t chugged a beer in 30 years. I was thinking about practicing last night but I didn’t have a beer in the house so I went cold turkey. Nailed it. It was a big win.”
Wednesday’s game with San Jose also is a homecoming of sorts for DeBoer, who coached the Sharks to the 2016 Stanley Cup Final during a four-plus- year stint. And Stars center Joe Pavelski, who is tied for second on Dallas in scoring with 44 points, played his first 13 seasons (2006-19) with the Sharks before signing a three-year deal with Dallas as an unrestricted free agent.
San Jose is an NHL-worst 4-12-7 at home this season and comes in off a tough 4-3 shootout loss to New Jersey on Monday. It was the third straight loss for the Sharks and their fifth in the last six games.
Making the setback even tougher to digest for San Jose was the fact that New Jersey rallied to tie it with a 6-on-5 goal by Jack Hughes with just 10 seconds left in regulation. Tomas Tatar scored what proved to be the game-winner in the first round of the shootout.
Still, the Sharks, who are seventh in the Pacific Division with 35 points, managed to garner a point against a New Jersey team that is 18-2-1 on the road and has the third-most points (61) in the NHL.
“A loss is a loss,” said San Jose center Mikey Eyssimont, who had two assists. “It’s not something to be happy about whether you lose in a shootout or regulation. It’s tough to get in your car and stomach it. It sucks. But tonight I think we can look at ourselves and say we did some good things and we played hard.”
San Jose plays eight consecutive road games after Wednesday’s contest with Dallas and doesn’t return to the SAP Center until Valentine’s Day when they host the Pittsburgh Penguins.
–Field Level Media