Dallas Stars

27th Season First Game Played October 5, 1993
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ip1993/94: After 26 mediocre years in Minnesota, the North Stars moved to Dallas, becoming the Stars after flirting with the notion of the name Lone Stars. On October 5th, the State of Texas finally had an NHL team of its own, after years of Minor League Hockey and the WHA’s Houston Aeros, as the Stars beat the Detroit Red Wings at Reunion Arena 6-4. The Stars would go on to have a solid first season in Dallas as Mike Modano scored 50 goals with the Stars finishing in third place in the Central Division with a solid 42-29-13. In the playoffs, the Stars got off to a fast start sweeping the St. Louis Blues in four straight games. However, in the second round, they would be upset by the Vancouver Canucks in five games.

1994/95: The Stars’ second season in Dallas would be delayed by a four-month lockout that wiped out half the season. When the season did start, the Stars struggled to post a record of 17-23-8, while sneaking into the 8th and final playoff spot. Along the way, longtime Stars hero Neal Broten is traded to the New Jersey Devils. In the playoffs, the Stars would find themselves in a quick hole dropping the first three games to the Detroit Red Wings before falling in five games.

1995/96: The Stars struggle all season as Bob Gainey resigns as Coach to concentrate fully on his duties as General Manager. Under his replacement, Ken Hitchcock, the Stars, would go on to finish in last place with a disappointing record of 26-42-14.

1996/97: With the acquisition of Pat Verbeek and Sergei Zubov, the Stars were improved in all facets of the game, going from last to first while posting a solid record of 48-26-8, eclipsing 100 points for the first time in franchise history. Down the stretch, the Stars would reacquire Neal Broten, who was winding down a stellar 17-year career. However, in the playoffs, the Stars struggled as they were beaten by the Edmonton Oilers in seven games, losing three games, including the finale in overtime.

1997/98: With the acquisition of goalie Eddie Belfour the Stars are even stronger capturing the President’s Trophy for the best record in the NHL at 49-22-11. In the playoffs, the Stars would jump out to a 2-0 lead over the San Jose Sharks. However, after losing the next two games in San Jose, memories of last year’s failures began to crop up. The Stars would recover to win Game 5 by a score of 3-2 and would go on to take the series in six games on Mike Keane’s overtime goal. Facing the Edmonton Oilers in the second round, the Stars dropped Game 2 at home and went to Edmonton tied at a game apiece. Game 3 would go into overtime scoreless when Benoit Houge scored 13:47 in to give the Stars Game 3 and momentum in the series, as they went on to win in five games. In the Conference Finals against the Detroit Red Wings, the Stars would find themselves in a hole dropping three of the first four games. Facing elimination in Game 5, Jamie Langenbrunner would score 46 seconds into overtime. However, the Wings would shut out the Stars 2-0 in Game 6 and would go on to win their second straight Stanley Cup.

1998/99: After falling short in the Conference Finals, the Stars add another weapon by signing Brett Hull, who finishes second on the team in scoring despite missing 22 games as the Stars are moved to the Pacific Division and repeat as President’s Trophy Champions with a 51-19-12 record. Entering the playoffs with a Stanley Cup or bust mindset, the Stars sweep the Edmonton Oilers in four straight games. However, it was not as easy as it appeared as all four games were decided by one goal, including the finale on Joe Nieuwendyk’s goal in triple overtime. In the second round, the Stars would take the first two games at home against the St. Louis Blues but found themselves in a must-win situation in Game 5 as the Blues won the next two games in St. Louis in overtime. Eddie Belfour would come up big in Game 5 as the Stars won 3-1. They would go on to take Game 6 in overtime on a goal by Mike Modano. In the Conference Finals for the second straight year, the Stars were matched up against the Colorado Avalanche. Both teams yielded nothing as ten series was tied 2-2 after four games. However, in Game 5 in Dallas, the Stars found themselves facing elimination as the Avalanche erupted for seven goals. Needing a big road win the Stars forced a seventh game with a dominating 4-1 victory in Game 6. Back home for Game 7 the Stars but away the Avalanche with another 4-1 victory. In the Stanley Cup Finals, the Stars and Buffalo Sabres would battle evenly through four games before Eddie Belfour put forth his best effort in the postseason to take Game 5 at home 2-0. With the cup one win away, the Stars and Sabres battled deep into overtime tied 1-1 in Buffalo before Brett Hull scored a disputed goal with five minutes left in the third overtime to deliver the Stars their first Stanley Cup. With an NHL record six game-winning goals, Joe Nieuwendyk was awarded the Conn Smythe for playoff MVP.

1999/00: Looking to repeat as Stanley Cup Champions, the Stars remained one of the top teams in the West posting a solid 43-29-10-6 record for their fourth straight division title. In the playoffs, the Stars would roll through the first two rounds needing just five games in each series to knock off the Edmonton Oilers and San Jose Sharks to reach the Western Conference Finals. In a rematch with the Colorado Avalanche, the Stars found themselves in another Game 7, which they won 3-2 surviving a late flurry by the Avalanche. In the Stanley Cup Finals, the Stars would get off to a rocky start as they were blown out by the Devils in New Jersey 7-3. After taking Game 2 on a late third-period goal by Brett Hull, the Stars were unable to do anything at home scoring just two goals the Devils grabbed a 3-1 series lead. Facing elimination in Game 5, the Stars continued to struggle, as they were unable to get the puck past Devils goalie Martin Brodeur. However, Eddie Belfour was able to blank the Devils, and the game went into triple overtime, where Mike Modano broke the scoreless tie to give the Stars some hope. Back home for Game 6, the Stars and Devils continued to play tight defensive hockey as the game went into overtime tied 1-1. However, midway through the second overtime Jason Arnott of the Devils beat Belfour on a one-timer to end the Stars Stanley Cup reign.

2000/01: Hoping to win back the Stanley Cup, the Stars again captured their division, posting a solid 48-24-8-2 record. Facing a failure foe the Stars and Edmonton Oilers battled back and forth through the first four games, with each team each game being decided by one goal, including three in overtime. Game 5 would also go to overtime as the Stars took a 3-2 series lead on a goal by Kurt Muller. In Game 6, in Edmonton, the stars would not need overtime as they advanced to the second round with a 3-1 win. However, in the second round, the Stars would suddenly run out of gas as they were swept by the St. Louis Blues in four straight games.

2001/02: Moving into the brand new American Airlines Center, the Stars got off to a slow start as goalie Eddie Belfour struggled through one of his worst seasons facing the prospect of Free Agency. To shake things up, Coach Ken Hitchcock was fired and replaced by Rick Wilson. However, the Stars continued to play catch up. With the prospect of missing the playoffs, the Stars traded 1999 Conn Smythe winner Joe Nieuwendyk and Jamie Langenbrunner to the New Jersey Devils for Rand McKay and Jason Arnott, who scored the heartbreaking game-winning goal in the 2000 Cup Finals. The Stars would go on to post a respectable record of 35-28-13-5. However, it would not be enough for the playoffs as they fell four points short of the final playoff spot. Following the season, Rick Wilson would go back to being an assistant coach as the Stars brought in Dave Tippett.

2002/03: With the departure of Goalie Eddie Belfour, the Stars gave the job to Marty Turco, who had one of the best seasons for a goalie in NHL history, posting the lowest GAA since 1940 at 1.76. However, missing 18 games late in the season likely cost him a shot at the Vezina. Nonetheless, the Stars posted the best record in the Western Conference at 46-17-15-4, along the way two-way star Jere Lehtinen won his third Selke Trophy. In the playoffs, the Stars met a familiar foe in the Edmonton Oilers. Once again, the Oilers would prove pesky winning two of the first three games. However, the Stars would prove the better team again by winning the next three games to take the series in six games. The Stars second-round series against the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim got off to an unbelievable start as the game went deep into overtime tied 3-3. However, Ducks Goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere stopped 60 shots as the Ducks scored early in the fifth overtime. Game 2 would be more of the same as the Ducks stunned the Stars in overtime. Desperately needing a win, the Stars bounced back to take Game 3 in Anaheim. However, the Ducks would take a 3-1 series lead by breaking a scoreless tie late in the 3rd period of Game 4. In Game 5, the Stars finally solved Giguere by scoring four goals to keep their playoff hopes alive. However, the Stars dreams of a return trip to the Stanley Cup Finals would end in heartbreak fashion as the Ducks broke a 3-3 tie with 1:06 left in Game 6, on a goal by Sandi Ozolinsh.

2003/04: Coming off their disappointing playoff loss, the Stars would get off to a shaky start as they played mediocre hockey through the first three months of the season with a losing record. As the calendar turned to 2004, the Stars began to find their game as they posted a 9-4-3 record in January. As the season wore on, the Stars would get stronger climbing up the playoff ladder and eventually into second place in the Pacific Division where they finished with a solid 41-26-13-2 record, as Goalie Marty Turco had another outstanding season with a 1.98 GAA. However, the Stars could not carry their momentum into the playoffs as the Colorado Avalanche beat them in five games.

2004/05: Season Cancelled Due to Lock Out

2005/06: Coming out of the Lock Out the Stars remained one of the strongest teams in the Western Conference as they won four of their first five games on the way to a solid October, November would be even better for Dallas as they won 10 of 13 games an took over first place in the Pacific Division, a position they would hold most of the season, as they went on to finish with a terrific record of 53-23-6. One reason for the Stars’ success was their strong play in shoot outs as Jussi Jokinen was almost automatic when 1-on-1 with the goalie and the game on the line making 10-of-13 shot attempts successful with a dazzling wrister that seemed to have all the NHL’s top goalies bewildered. Also performing strongly in shoot outs was Sergei Zubov, who used a slow but steady backhand to go 7-for-12, as the Stars won 12 of 13 games that went to a shoot out. However, in the playoffs, the Stars would stumble right from the start losing Game 1 by a score of 5-2 as the Avalanche scored five unanswered goals as the Stars jumped out to a 2-0 lead. Game 2 would see the Stars suffer another setback at home as the Stars lost in overtime 5-4 on a goal by Joe Sakic. On the road, in Game 3, the Stars appeared to be on the way to getting back in the series leading 3-2 in the final minute when the Avalanche forced overtime on a goal by Andrew Brunette. At the same time, Alex Tanguay won the game just 69 seconds into overtime to put the Stars in a 0-3 hole. The Stars would avoid the sweep with 4-1 win in Game 4, but overtime would doom them again in Game 5 as Brunette scored the series winner at 6:05 ending the Stars playoffs after just five games.

2006/07: There was a buzz in Dallas when the season began as the Stars were to host the first NHL All-Star Game in three years, while on and off the ice there were changes on the ice as Jason Arnott, Willie Mitchell, and goaltender Johan Hedberg to leave as free agents, while Eric Lindros, Jeff Halpern, Matthew Barnaby, and Darryl Sydor were signed. In addition, Mike Modano was bumped out as captain for Brendan Morrow. Modano, the last remaining player from the team’s days in Minnesota, took the move in stride as the Stars got off to a strong start winning 11 of their first 13 games. Overall it would be a good year for the Dallas Stars as they posted a strong record of 50-25-7. However, in one of the best divisions in the NHL, the Stars would have to settle for third place. While the Stars were making their playoff drive, Mike Modano was making history first becoming the second American Born player to score 500 goals and then breaking Joe Mullen’s record of 502 goals scored by an American Born player. In the playoff, the Stars faced the Vancouver Canucks, in what was billed a battle of great goalies. However, Game 1 in Vancouver was a shoot out as the Stars took 76 shots at Roberto Luongo, losing in overtime 5-4. Game 2 was a little more like the experts predicted as Mart Turco stopped 35 shots as the Stars evened the series with a 2-0 win. The goalies were the story again in Game 3 as the series shifted to Dallas with the Canucks winning again in overtime 2-1. After another 2-1 loss in Game 4, the Stars found themselves facing elimination in Vancouver down three games to 1. After a scoreless regulation 60 minutes, the game went to overtime, where the Stars kept their hopes alive on a power-play goal by Brendan Morrow. Turco would blank the Canucks again in Game 6 as the Stars finally won a playoff game on home ice 2-0. However, back in Vancouver for Game 7, the Stars would be overwhelmed by a 3rd period barrage as the Canucks won the series with three third period goals; turning an early 1-0 Stars lead into a 4-1 win for the Canucks.

2007/08: Brett Hull, the future Hall of Famer, who scored the Stars cup clinching goal in 1999, returned to the organization in the General Manager’s office. After a mediocre start in which the Stars held a 7-7-4 record through mid-November, the Stars caught fire winning six in a row as they entered the New Year with a record of 23-13-4. The Stars would hit a bump in the road in January, but once again caught fire in February, winning 12-of-14 games. Despite their strong February, the Stars felt they needed to improve for the postseason. They made a blockbuster deal with the Tampa Bay Lightning at the trade deadline, landing Center Brad Richards and Goalie Johan Holmqvist for Goalie Mike Smith, Forwards Jussi Jokinen, and Jeff Halpern and a draft pick. At first, the Stars struggled to adjust as they only won one of their next nine games. The March struggles dropped the Stars to third in the Pacific Division, where they posted a 45-30-7 record for the fifth seed in the playoffs. After recent playoff disappointments, the Stars found themselves facing an uphill challenge as they were matched up against the defending champion Anaheim Ducks. However, led by a 4-0 win in Game 1 on the road, the Stars were out to show that things were going to be different as they took the first two games in Anaheim. After a 4-2 setback in Game 4, the Stars took a commanding 3-1 lead with a 3-1 win. After dropping Game 5 on the road, the Stars reached the second round for the first time in five years as they eliminated the Ducks with a 4-1 win in Game 6, scoring four goals in the third period. Facing another Pacific Division foe in the second round, the Stars once again ruled on the road, taking the first two games against the Division Champion San Jose Sharks. However, with a chance to sweep the series, the Stars dropped Game 4 at home 2-1 in a tight defensive battle. Game 5 would bring more frustration for the Stars as the Sharks overcame a 2-0 lead to win in overtime. Things would get even closer in Game 6, as the game went deep into overtime tied 1-1. Brendan Morrow, midway through the fourth overtime, scored the game-winner sending the Stars to the Western Conference Finals. The Stars would dig a deep hole in the Conference Finals, losing the first three games to the Detroit Red Wings. However, as the Sharks fought back against them, the Stars would go down quietly, winning the next two games, as the entered Game 6 at home, hoping to get the series to a seventh game. However, the Red Wings machine was too tough to overcome as the Wings eliminated the Stars with a 4-1 win on the way to winning the Stanley Cup.

2008/09: With the signing of Sean Avery, the Stars hoped to take the next step as they entered the season with the slogan “Our Time, Our Team.” However, the Avery signing would turn into a disaster, as he was gone after just two ineffective months after making crude statements about a former girlfriend. Avery never seemed to mesh with the Stars, who struggled through the first two months with a record of 8-11-4. The Stars also took a big blow when captain Brendan Morrow is lost for the season after playing just 18 games after suffering a torn ACL. After ridding themselves of Avery, who would return to the New York Rangers, the Stars showed some signs of improvement and went into the New Year with a 16-15-5 record. The Stars would continue the momentum in January, as they lost just three games in regulation and got back into the playoff picture. However, in February, the Stars would begin to fall, as they lost five straight games at home. The struggles would continue in March, as the Stars posted a terrible 5-8-3 record and slipped out of the postseason, finishing with a disappointing 36-35-11 record.

2009/10: With new Coach Marc Crawford, the Stars found themselves in a year of transition, as they struggled early in the year, with just six wins in their first 15 games. The Stars would come close to winning most of these games but lost six games early in overtime or on the shootout. These struggles in overtime continued as they entered the New Year with a record of 18-11-11. As January began, the Stars slump intensified as they won just one of their first seven games to start 2010. Off the ice, things were not any better as Owner Tom Hicks’ financial troubles prevented the team from spending more than $45 million on payroll, which prevented them from making any essential deals that could get the Stars back in playoff contention. However, they would land Goalie Kari Lehtonen in an agreement with the Atlanta Thrashers as Marty Turco was benched. The Starts would go into the Olympic Break with a record of 28-21-12, but when play resumed, they won just two of their first ten games in March as they went on to finish in last place in the Pacific Division with a record of 37-31-14. As the season came to an end, so did the Stars Career of Mike Modano, who wore an old Minnesota North Stars Jersey as he was given a standing ovation after the final game of the season, won by the Stars on the road against the Minnesota Wild. Modano would attempt to extend his career and win another title by signing with the Detroit Red Wings. It would be a different story for another longtime star as Jere Lehtinen retired after a 15-year career spent entirely with the Dallas Stars.

2010/11: Change was in the air in Dallas as longtime Stars Jere Lehtinen, Mike Modano, along with Goalie Marty Turco were all let go as the Stars began to rebuild. With the departure of Turco, Kari Lehtonen took over the goaltending duties as the Stars opened the season with a 4-3 overtime win on the road against the New Jersey Devils, overcoming an early 2-0 deficit. The Stars would get off to a strong start winning their first four games, including a 4-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings and Mike Modano in their home opener. The Stars would shine at home in November, as they posted a 5-0-1 record at the American Airlines Center, during a solid eight win month. They would match the eight wins in December, as they ended up heading into the New Year with a solid 22-13-4 record. The Stars continued to play well in December, winning seven of their first eight games, as they reacquired Jamie Langenbrunner from the New Jersey Devils for a third-round draft pick. The Stars, who many predicted would be at the bottom of the Pacific Division, were riding high at the All-Star Break, holding a first-place 30-15-6 record. After the break, the Stars would go into a sudden tailspin, posting an awful 3-8-1 record in February. Hoping to get a jump start, the Stars dealt James Neal and Matt Niskanen to the Pittsburgh Penguins for defenseman Alex Goligoski. However, the slide would continue in March, as the Stars slid out of the playoffs with eight losses in nine games. After leading the division in the first half, the Stars needed to win their last five games to make the playoffs. The Stars would win four straight, but in their season finale, they suffered a 5-3 loss to the Minnesota Wild, to finish the season with a record of 42-29-11, missing the playoffs by a tantalizing two points. With 95 points, the Stars tied a record set by the 2006-07 Colorado Avalanche for the team with the highest point total in a season that failed to make the playoffs. Despite the 95 points, Coach Marc Crawford was fired at the end of the season, as the Stars hired Glen Gulutzan to replace him. At the same time, it would be revealed the team was in bankruptcy and being managed by the league due to Tom Hicks continued financial troubles.

2011/12: The Stars began the season with a new Coach in Glen Gulutzan and a new Owner Tom Gaglardi, as they emerged from the bankruptcy of the previous owner, Tom Hicks. The Stars started the season strong, winning six of their first seven games, including a 2-1 home win over the Chicago Blackhawks in their season opener. Despite the solid start, the Stars only managed to thread mater over most of the first half as they entered the New Year with a record of 21-15-1. January would be problematic for the Stars, as they won just four games and found themselves sitting the rest of the season on the playoff bubble. The Stars would make a mini-run at the end of February as they went 11 straight games, recording at least one point, posting a record of 10-0-1. The streak would put the Stars in a mad four-team Pacific Division for three playoff spots, the winner would take the division title, while second and third would each get playoff spots as a consolation. Sadly the Stars would win just three of their final dozen games, ending up on the outside looking in as the season came to an end with a record of 42-35-5. The slump would drop them to tenth place as they missed the playoffs by six points.

2012/13: Looking to get back into playoff contention, the Stars signed Jaromir Jagr for some veteran presence and goal scoring. The 40-year old Jagr would lead the Stars in goals with 14, but the team still struggled to win games. The season did not start until January 19th due to a lockout, although they edged the Phoenix Coyotes in their first game 4-3, the Stars finished January at 2-4-1. Though they managed to stay near .500 through February and March the Stars decided to hold a fire sale at the trade deadline, sending Michael Ryder to the Montreal Canadiens for Erik Cole, they also would deal Captain Brendan Morrow to the Pittsburgh Penguins, while Jaromir Jagr was sent to the Boston Bruins and Derek Roy was sent to the Vancouver Canucks. The Stars would stay in playoff contention despite the fire sale, winning six of eight games to start April. However, they would go winless in their last five games and finished in last place in the Pacific Division with a record of 22-22-4. Following the season changes continued in Dallas, as General Manager Joe Nieuwendyk was fired and replaced by Jim Nill. Nill would make a blockbuster trade sending Loui Eriksson, Reilly Smith, Matt Fraser, and Joe Morrow to the Bruins in a trade for Tyler Seguin, Rich Peverley, and Ryan Button. The Stars would also name Lindy Ruff as their new head coach while undergoing a complete makeover with a new logo and new uniforms.

2013/14: After missing the playoffs five straight seasons, the Dallas Stars went through a summer of change, as they got a new General Manager, a new coach, a new logo and new uniforms. The first change was a move back to the color green and a more traditional style uniform with a D inside a star. The Stars’ new GM was Jim Nill, who hired longtime Buffalo Sabres Coach Lindy Ruff to stand behind the Stars bench. Also, Nill made some significant trades Tyler Seguin, Rich Peverly, and Ryan Button from the Boston Bruins on July 4th for Loui Eriksson, Reilly Smith, Matt Fraser, and Joe Morrow. A day later, they would land Shawn Horcoff in a deal that sent Phil Larsen to the Edmonton Oilers in return. Besides, they would select Valeri Nichushkin with the tenth overall pick in the NHL Draft. Nearly every move worked out for the Stars as Seguin led the team with 37 goals and 47 assists, while Nichushkin had an outstanding rookie season with 14 goals and 20 assists. The acquisition of Tyler Seguin helped Jamie Benn have a breakout season, as he had a career-high 34 goals and 45 assists, while brother Jordie Benn also had a solid season on defense with 17 assists and a +16. The Stars quickly transformed into one of the most exciting teams in the NHL, as an outstanding November and December had them in the thick of the playoff race, as they entered the New Year holding a record of 20-12-7. However, as the ball dropped on New Year’s Day, so did the fortune of the Stars as they lost their first six games of 2014 while posting a record of 4-9-2 in January. The Stars would get back on track just before the Olympics, winning four of their last five games before the Sochi Break. After the NHL stars returned from Russia, the Stars won three of five games before a March 10th game against the Columbus Blue Jackets. It would be on this night that the Stars had one of the scariest moments in NHL history, as Rich Peverly collapsed on the bench after coming off the ice following a shift. Peverly who had surgery before the season to repair an irregular heartbeat needed to be resuscitated by the Stars, medical staff. After regaining conciseness, Peverly wanted to return to the game. However, the game was postponed as Rich Peverly’s medical incident shook both teams. Peverly would undergo a second heart procedure and miss the remainder of the season. The Stars would struggle in the week following the loss of Peverly but closed March by winning four of their last five games. The Stars would split their final eight games and clinched the last playoff spot in the Western Conference in the penultimate game of the regular season a 3-0 shutout win over the St. Louis Blues at the American Airlines Center, as they finished the season with a record of 40-31-11.

2014 Playoffs: Facing the Anaheim Ducks in the playoffs, the Stars got off to a slow start, as the Ducks scored three goals in the first period on the way to building a 4-0 lead. The Stars would not go down without a fight, scoring three goals to cut the lead to 4-3 with 6:07 left. However, they could not get closer as the Ducks held on to win the opener. With an Alex Chiasson power-play goal, the Stars took an early lead in Game 2, but it would not last as the Ducks got goals by Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry to take the lead. The Ducks would add a shorthanded goal by Andrew Cogliano in the third period to lead 3-1. Once again, the Stars would make it close on a goal by Ryan Garbutt but fell short back, losing 3-2. As the series shifted to Dallas, the Stars got a stellar performance from Kari Lehtonen, who stopped all 37 shots to earn a 3-0 shutout win in Game 3. Falling behind 2-0 in Game 4, the Stars turned the game around with a Jamie Benn goal 27 seconds into the second period. The Stars would get an equalizer from Vernon Fiddler six minutes later. With goals by Cody Eakin and Alex Goligoski in the third period, the Stars would win the game 4-2 to even the series at two games apiece. The Stars could not continue the momentum and suffered a 6-2 loss in Game 5 at Anaheim. Returning to Dallas in Game 6, the Stars had a much better performance jumping out to a 3-1 lead in the first period. The Stars would continue to hold the lead until the closing minute of regulation when Devante Smith-Pelly tied the game 4-4 with 24 seconds left. In overtime, the Ducks would eliminate the Stars on a goal by Nick Bonino at the 2:47 mark.

2014/15: Coming off a playoff appearance, the Dallas Stars looked to make improvements acquiring Jason Spezza and Ales Hemsky in the off-season. The Stars once again were one of the most exciting teams in the NHL, with a dynamic offense led by Jamie Benn, who won the Art Ross Trophy as the scorer in the league. Jamie Benn averaged more than a point per game with 87, scoring 35 goals with 52 assists. Many of those assists landed on the stick of Tyler Seguin, who led the Stars with 37 goals. The Stars were the highest-scoring team in the Western Conference with 261 goals, which was just one less than the Tampa Bay Lightning, who scored the most goals in the entire league. Unfortunately, the Stars allowed almost as many goals against as their 260 goals were worst in the West, and third from the bottom in the NHL. After struggling the first two months, the Stars finished December strong, winning seven of eight to close out 2014 with a record of 17-14-5. After the New Year, the Stars could not sustain their success as their defensive struggles ultimately outweighed their offensive prowess. The Stars would make a late run at the playoffs but fell just short, posting a record of 41-31-10.

2015/16: With one of the highest-scoring teams in the NHL, the Dallas Stars looked to improve their goaltending and acquired Antti Niemi from the San Jose Sharks. The Stars also added some toughness by acquiring Patrick Sharp from the Chicago Blackhawks. Niemi would share the goaltending duties with Kari Lehtonen, with both playing well early, as the Stars posted a 9-2-0 mark in October. Each of the Stars netminders won 25 games, with Niemi posting a 2.67 Goals Against Average, while Lehtonen was at 2.76, with a .906 save percentage compared to .905 for Niemi. While it did not matter who the Stars goalie was, the offense continued to be what drove Dallas to success as Jamie Benn again was among the league’s top scorers with 89 points, second-best in the NHL as he notched a team-best 41 goals. Tyler Seguin and Jason Spezza also had big seasons, notching 33 goals, while John Klingberg had a breakout season with 58 assists as he had team-best +22 on the ice. After entering the New Year, with a record of 28-8-3, the Stars had a January slump, posting just three wins. However, after the All-Star Break, the Stars got back on track, winning six of their first seven games in February. While they had another slump at the end of the month, the Stars finished strong, including eight wins in their last ten games as they won their first division title since 1998 by posting a record of 50-23-9, which was best overall in the Western Conference.

2016 Playoffs: In the playoffs, the Dallas Stars faced the Minnesota Wild. It marked the first playoff meeting between the team that once was called the Minnesota North Stars as the team that later replaced them in the State of Hockey. Kari Lehtonen started in goal in Game 1 and was perfect, stopping all 22 shots as the Stars won 4-0. Lehtonen also got the start in Game 2 and was nearly as sharp, not allowing a goal until the 12:42 mark of the third period, as Dallas got goals from Antoine Roussel and Jamie Benn to win the game 2-1. As the series shifted to Minnesota, the Wild finally got their offense on track, winning 5-3, despite the Stars reaching two early goals from Patrick Sharp. With Antti Niemi getting his first playoff start and making 28 saves in Game 4, the Stars bounced back with a 3-2 to take a commanding 3-1 series lead. Niemi struggled in Game 5 with the Stars looking to close out the series at the American Airlines Center as they suffered a frustrating 5-4 loss in overtime. In Game 6, the Stars showed they meant business early, taking a 4-0 lead in the second period. However, the Wild made a desperate push in the third, scoring three times in five minutes. Alex Goligoski answered at 10:28, but the Wild kept pushing and again cut the lead to one on a goal by Jason Pominville. Kari Lehtonen would stiffen and not allow another as the Stars won 5-4 to reach the second round. The Stars would face a familiar foe in round two in the St. Louis Blues; the two franchises had split 12 previous playoff matchups. In Game 1, Kari Lehtonen was solid, stopping 31 of 32 shots as Radek Faska’s goal with just under five minutes left was the difference in a 2-1 win. Lehtonen struggled early in Game 2 and was replaced by Antti Niemi after allowing three goals on the game’s first five shots. Niemi would not allow any more goals in regulation as the Stars rallied to force overtime. However, in OT, the Blues would get a 4-3 win on a power-play goal by David Backes. Game 3 would just be ugly for the Stars as neither Niemi or Lehtonen were sharp as the Blues won the game 6-1. Kari Lehtonen got the start in Game 4 and was solid as the Stars bounced back to win in overtime 3-2 on a goal by Cody Eakin to even the series at two games apiece. Game 5 in Dallas would be a significant letdown as the Blues took control of the series with a 4-1 win. Facing elimination, the Stars would put up a big performance of their own on the road Mattias Janmark, Vernon Fiddler, and Jason Spezza each scored in the first period. At the same time, Kari Lehtonen made 35 saves to lead the way in a 3-2 win that sent the series to a decisive seventh game. Despite a home crowd edge, the Stars would unravel in the finale, suffering another 6-1 loss as both goalies again struggled.

2016/17: After setting the ice on fire in 2016, the Dallas Stars looked to erase the bad taste of a Game 7 loss in the second round. Right from the start, the Stars failed to match their goal-scoring ability from the previous season as they struggled through the early part of the season, holding a record of 11-13-6 in their first 30 games. Dallas would begin to play better as December came to an end, as they started the New Year with a record of 16-15-7. However, in January, the Stars went back into their slump, as they managed just five wins. Things got even worse in February as the Stars lost seven of eight and began to drift away from the playoff chase. No matter what Dallas did, it never seemed to work as they ended the season with a record of 34-37-11, missing the playoffs by 15 games. The Stars top scorer was Tyler Seguin, who had 72 points, with Jamie Benn matching Seguin for the lead in goals at 26.

2017/18: As the Dallas Stars approached its Silver Anniversary season in North Texas, the team took a throwback approach by parting ways with head coach Lindy Ruff and replacing him with Ken Hitchcock, who guided the Stars through the highs of the Mike Modano era including its 1999 Stanley Cup title. It would not be the only move of note as the Stars added free agents Alexander Radulov from the Montreal Canadiens and Martin Hanzal from the Arizona Coyotes to bolster its scoring line, while trading for goaltender Ben Bishop from the Los Angeles Kings and defenseman Marc Methot from the Ottawa Senators to boost its defense. The homecoming season for Hitchcock, however, started on the wrong foot as the expansion Vegas Golden Knights would win their first-ever regular-season game 2-1 against the Stars in front of a sold-out crowd in Dallas. Nevertheless, the rest of the first half of the season would indeed be a strong one as the first three months would produce a 22-15-3 record bolstered by a strong 14-4-1 performance at American Airlines Center, almost always in front of sellout crowds. Highlights included Tyler Seguin scoring his 200th NHL goal in a 3-0 sweep of the Golden Knights on November 24th in Las Vegas, veteran goaltender Kari Lehtonen earning his 300th NHL win in a 5-2 defeat of the New York Islanders in Brooklyn. Ken Hitchcock earned his 800th coaching win on December 21st in a 4-0 sweep of the Chicago Blackhawks at home. Indeed, it seemed the Stars would be on the fast track to returning to the playoffs, sitting at 28-18-4 before an All-Star game that would feature star center Seguin and defenseman John Klingberg (who ultimately would lead the Stars in assists at 59). Holding a wild card spot and sitting just outside the Top three of the fiercely competitive Central Division with a record of 36-23-4 at the start of March. However, with fierce competition ensuing for the remaining playoff spots in view, the team would hit a snag the rest of the way, going 6-9-4 as the Stars suffered four overtime losses and went winless on the road in March. This ultimately proved costly as the Stars playoff hopes were put in peril by an eight-game losing streak in the middle of March, essentially ending their playoff hopes. Despite salvaging two of three on a West Coast road trip to cap off the season at 42-32-8, it would not be enough as the Stars finished sixth in the Central Division and three points behind the Colorado Avalanche for the second Wild Card spot in the Western Conference. The powerful scoring tandem of Jamie Benn (36 goals) and Seguin (40 goals) would be joined by Radulov (27 goals), as Bishop (2.49 GAA) and Lehtonen (2.56 GAA) provided a solid goaltending tandem throughout the season that combined for all but one of the team’s wins. Following the season, head coach Ken Hitchcock would announce his retirement, riding off into the sunset as the third-winningest coach in NHL history with a solid 823-506-88 record.

By Kyle Stanley

2018/19: Jim Montgomery was named the new coach of the Dallas Stars, who looked to rebound from a late-season collapse. Blake Comeau was their significant offseason acquisition, signing a three-year contract. The Stars made Montgomery’s coaching debut a success, as they beat the Arizona Coyotes 3-0 at American Airlines Center. The Stars won three of their first four games, but spent much of their early portion of the season hovering new .500, as they went into the New Year with a record of 20-16-4. In January the Stars, won half their games again, as they often played well at home and struggled on the road. When the season was over, Dallas posted a 24-14-3 at American Airlines Center, while going 19-18-4 on the road. On month would make a difference and would change the fate of the Stars. That month would by March when won six games on the road, which helped the Stars earn a Wild Card with a record of 43-32-7. A big part of the team’s strong finish was thanks to Ben Bishop, who had three straight shutouts in March. Bishop was among the league’s top goalies, with a 1.98 GAA and .934 save percentage. Tyler Seguin was the leading scorer for Dallas, with 33 goals and 47 assists. Alexander Radulov also had a strong season with 29 goals and 43 assists.

2019 Playoffs: The Dallas Stars would face the Nashville Predators in the first round. In the opener, Ben Bishop was at the top of his game, making 30 saves, as Mats Zuccarello scored late to give Dallas 3-2 win. The Predators would rebound win a 2-1 overtime win in Game 2. After a 3-2 loss at home in Game 3, the Stars offense came alive as they won 5-1 to square the series at two games apiece. The Stars had five different goal scorers in their series-defining win. In Game 5, in Nashville, the Stars again scored five goals with Alexander Radulov and Jason Dickinson each scoring a pair in 5-3 win. Game 6 in Dallas went to overtime, with Ben Bishop making 47 stops before John Klingberg netted the game-winner to send the Stars to the second round with a 2-1 win. Moving on to face the St. Louis Blues, the Stars suffered a 3-2 loss in Game 1. They would bounce back to take Game 2 by a score of 4-2 as Roope Hintz iced the game with an empty netter, his second goal of the game. After losing Game 3 at home 4-3, the Stars again bounced back with a 4-2 win. In Game 5, it was all Ben Bishop, as the Stars goalie made 38 saves to steal a 2-1 win, as Dallas needed just one more win to reach the Western Conference Finals. Bishop was unable to match his Game 5 magic, as the Blues won 4-1. In Game 7, in St. Louis, each team netted a first-period goal from there; it was a battle of the goalies as the game went deep into the night tied 1-1. Bishop made 52 saves but was not enough as Patrick Maroon won the game at 5:52 of double overtime to send the Blues to Western Conference Finals, as the Stars season ended with a gut-wrenching 2-1 loss.


©MMXX Tank Productions. Stats researched by Frank Fleming, all information, and team names are property of the National Hockey League. This site is not affiliated with the Dallas Stars or the NHL. This site is maintained for research purposes only. All logos used on this page were from Chris Creamer’s Sports Logos Page.
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