Miro Heiskanen made the only shot in a seven-round shootout and the Dallas Stars moved closer to clinching a playoff spot with a 3-2 victory Tuesday night over the Vegas Golden Knights, who are still hanging on to slim playoff hopes.
Jason Robertson reached the 40-goal mark by scoring twice for the Stars. Dallas and Nashville are tied atop the Western Conference wild-card standings with 95 points (the Predators lost in overtime to Calgary on Tuesday), and both have two games left. The top two teams advance.
Vegas has 91 points, but must win its last two games and get some help to make the playoffs again. The Golden Knights made the Stanley Cup Final in their inaugural season in 2017-18 and have been in the playoffs the past three seasons.
Dallas goalie Jake Oettinger stopped 33 shots, including a spread-eagle glove save with 2:37 left in regulation of Shea Theodore’s long slap shot. Only one puck got past him in the shootout, but Jonathan Marchessault’s attempt banged off the left post.
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Logan Thompson had 28 saves, with a glove stop of his own when Roope Hintz drove hard and ripped a shot with 3:08 left in overtime. Thompson was briefly shaken up about a minute later when Vladislav Namestnikov slid through the crease, knocking the goalie down and dislodging the net.
Robertson had a nifty play skating through the circle for his first tally, then got the Stars even at 2 just more than three minutes into the third period. John Klingberg took a shot and Robertson, near the front of the net, redirected the puck past Thompson.
The 22-year-old Robertson became only the third 40-goal scorer in Dallas Stars history, and the first since Tyler Seguin’s 40 in 2017-18. The others were Mike Modano’s club-record 50 in 1993-94 and captain Jamie Benn’s 41 in 2015-16.
Vegas took a 2-1 lead on Chandler Stephenson’s power-play goal with only two seconds left in the second period.
Oettinger was out of the crease to the right of the net after making a pad save with his extended leg when Stephenson, only a few seconds after missing a shot, knocked the ricocheted puck into the open net past defenseman Esa Lindell’s desperate sliding attempt to prevent Stephenson’s 21st goal of the season.
Earlier in the second period, Robertson got his 39th goal when he weaved through the circle, going right to left to set up a low forehand shot over Thompson’s glove and just inside the post to the goalie’s right.
Thompson played for the fifth time in six games, but the first since the Golden Knights said Monday that starting goalie Robin Lehner would undergo season-ending left shoulder surgery. Lehner initially got hurt Feb. 9.
The Golden Knights were coming off a 5-4 shootout loss to San Jose in their regular-season home finale Sunday night, when they squandered a two-goal lead in the final 2:06 of regulation and got one point instead of two.
There was a late scuffle with 2:27 left in regulation after Hintz went by the Vegas net. The Stars center was first pushed by Alec Martinez, but after he was pulled back by 37-year-old Stars center Joe Pavelski, Jack Eichel got face-to-face with Hintz. Eichel and Hintz both got roughing penalties. ... The Golden Knights had won the first two games against Dallas this season, and are 8-2-1 all time against the Stars.
Golden Knights: At Chicago on Wednesday night in the second of three consecutive road games to end the regular season.
Stars: Host Arizona on Wednesday night. The Stars are 2-1 against the Coyotes this season, but lost 3-1 in the most recent meeting Feb. 20.