Coach Rick Bowness says the Dallas Stars are confident that rookie goalie Jake Oettinger can lead them to success in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
(This article was originally published on 08.05.2022)
The Stars, 35/1 to win the Stanley Cup in 2021/22, had 29 saves from Oettinger in a 2-0 victory in Game 2 to tie their First Round Western Conference Series with the Calgary Flames at 1-1 on Thursday.
The 23-year-old Oettinger has kept the high-scoring Flames at bay for 114.59 minutes, making 49 consecutive saves going back to the first period of Game 1, the Flames' only goal of the series so far which won the opener.
The six-foot-five American was drafted in the first round (26th overall) of the 2017 NHL draft and this season established himself as Dallas' number one, making 46 starts in the regular season with 30 wins, a .914 save-percentage and 2.53 goals-against-average (GAA).
Over his two seasons in the NHL, Oettinger has made a total of 70 starts with 41 wins, a .913 save-percentage and 2.46 GAA.
Oettinger was back-up to Anton Khudobin in 2019/20 as the Stars made the Stanley Cup Final where they lost 4-2 to the Tampa Bay Lightning.
During that play-off run, Dallas defeated the Flames in six games at the same stage that they face each other this season.
The Stars entered the current best-of-seven series with the Flames as holders of the first Wild Card spot into the playoffs from the Western Conference after finishing fourth in the Central Division with a 46-30-6 record.
Bowness said to the media about Oettinger: "We're putting a rookie in a tough situation and we don't know how he's going to react until we give him that opportunity to play in the playoffs.
"We're very confident with him, clearly, but he's handled it very well. He's very confident and we love his poise in the net."