Stars beat Golden Knights 4-0 in DeBoer’s return to Vegas
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Dallas coach Pete DeBoer promised his team Sunday night to down a Bud Light if the Stars won the next day.
The Stars knew what Monday’s game meant to DeBoer — his first back in Vegas since being fired by the Golden Knights. And after the 4-0 victory behind Jake Oettinger’s 27 saves, DeBoer also knew he had to follow through on his promise.
“We have a little bit of a thing in our dressing room that if you win a big game, you’ve got a chug a beer,” said DeBoer, who kept his Las Vegas home. “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 to do it. So I went cold turkey today. Nailed it.”
DeBoer went 98-50-12 in 2 1/2 seasons in Vegas, made the playoffs twice and won the Pacific Division once. The Knights played a video tribute to DeBoer and assistant coach Steve Spott at 6:48 of the first period, and both received a warm applause from the crowd.
But not nearly as hot as the celebration in the locker room afterward.
“If only you guys were in here to see it,” Stars captain Jamie Benn told reporters. “It’s pretty unique what just happened.”
DeBoer was behind the Knights’ bench when they were last shut out, 4-0 by Edmonton last April 16. Dallas recorded its first shutout since beating Anaheim 5-0 on Dec. 1.
The Stars moved into a tie with Winnipeg for first place in the Central Division with 59 points, but the Jets have a game in hand. Vegas remained in first the Pacific with 58 points.
The Stars took a 1-0 lead 5:45 into the game when Benn scored from the slot. He moved past Neal Broten for second place on the Stars’ career games played list with 993. Mike Modano, who played for the Stars from 1993-2010, holds the franchise record with 1,459 games.
The other Stars goals came from Joel Kiviranta, Ryan Suter and Tyler Seguin. Seguin’s goal, an empty netter, extended his goals streak to three games. Ty Dellandrea had two assists.
Oettinger got his third shutout of the season and fifth of his career.
“I’m sure everybody else is thinking (shutout),” Dellandrea said. “I don’t want say the shutout word leading into those (late) minutes.”
Dallas dominated play, other than a late second-period surge by the Knights when they had their best chances to get the puck past Oettinger.
The Knights struggled to find much of an offensive rhythm, and that could be expected because they again had to juggle their lines with left wing William Carrier out after suffering an upper-body injury Saturday against Edmonton. He has five goals and 11 assists in 43 games.
Vegas typically opens each game with the fourth line on the ice to set a more physical tone, but opted to go with the first line in this game. Dallas handled whatever lineup the Knights put out there.
ANOTHER VEGAS INJURY
Knights defenseman Alec Martinez was injured in the second period, the third game in a row Vegas has lost a player to injury — Carrier on Saturday and Mark Stone on Thursday.
Injuries were a factor in the Knights falling short of the playoffs last season, and they now have lost three of four games.
“I don’t know if there’s the mental part of, ‘Here we go again with the injuries’ because I wasn’t here last year,” Knights coach Bruce Cassidy said. “You’ve got to be mentally tougher if that’s the case. You don’t want a repeat of last year.”
Stars: At San Jose on Wednesday.
Golden Knights: Host Detroit on Thursday.
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