Netminder Jake Oettinger made 33 saves and stopped seven penalty-shots to record a 3-2 win in the Dallas Stars’ biggest game of the NHL season on Tuesday against the Vegas Golden Knights.
Afterwards, the 23-year-old said he’s happy to be relied upon by the Stars who are 33/1 to win the Stanley Cup in 2021/22.
With victory over the Golden Knights, the Stars (45-30-5) need just one point from their final two games to claim the second wild card spot from the Western Division.
Both games are at home and against teams out of playoff contention, the Arizona Coyotes (Wednesday) and Anaheim Ducks (Friday).
If Dallas achieve the point, Vegas won’t be able catch the Stars and will miss out on the playoffs for the first time in their short history.
In 47 games (45 starts) this season, his second in the NHL, Oettinger has recorded 29 wins, a .915 save-percentage and 2.54 goals-against-average.
The Stars missed out on the playoffs in Oettinger's first season, a year after going all the way to the Stanley Cup Final.
Oettinger said to the media after the win over Vegas: "Those are the opportunities you want as a professional athlete, to be able to step up for the guys that are in the room.
"This time of year, you want to be a guy that's looked upon [to win]. The guys look down in the net and they know I'll be able to step up for them and be big."