Robertson beats emergency replacement goaltender, Stars win
Jason Robertson scored on the power play against an emergency replacement goalie midway through the third period and the Dallas Stars beat the Anaheim Ducks 4-2 on Friday night in the regular season finale for both teams .
Robertson gave Dallas a 3-2 lead with his 41st goal of the season, the puck coming off an Anaheim stick and Thomas Hodges, making his first appearance in an NHL game after goaltenders John Gibson (top body) and Anthony Stolarz (lower body). ) have been hurt.
Defenders Thomas Harley and Joel Hanley scored second-period goals for Dallas, and Vladislav Namestikov scored into an empty net with a minute left. The Stars ended up with the top wild card in the West and will face Calgary in the first round of the playoffs.
Max Comtois scored for Anaheim 7:33 into the game, and Troy Terry tied the game in the second period.
Gibson made five saves, Stolarz eight and Hodges two. Hodges served as emergency goaltender for the Stars for three seasons. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, he rarely trained with the team. His previous professional hockey experience was one minute in one game for the ECHL Allen Americans in 2016-17. He stopped the only shot he faced that night.
After life insurance salesman Hodges learned he would be entering the game, he had to put down a hot dog and drive to his car to collect his gear and reappear as No. 68.
“It’s probably as nervous as I’ve ever been,” he said. “It’s something I will remember for the rest of my life. I’m so grateful for this opportunity.
Dallas fans applauded Hodges’ saves. He suffered a loss, but received a game puck and his third star.
Hodges, 28, born in England, may have given up the sport after losing sight in his left eye after being hit by a puck aged 12. who happened to be the goalie coach of the Allen Americans.
Harley said scoring wasn’t easy against Hodges. “He made a nice save on Roope (Hintz), sliding through, and the goal (from Robertson) was an unlucky rebound for him. We just needed to get one.
Stars coach Rick Bowness was surprised to see a new goaltender in the third period. “I had no idea who he was. It’s a great story. I’m very happy for him.”
Dallas goalie Jake Oettinger made 19 saves.
Radek Faksa assisted on both second-period goals — Harley’s first in 34 NHL games and Hanley’s second in 125 career games.
“It’s so cool to see, especially Thomas Harley’s first NHL goal,” Faksa said. “We are always so happy for these guys. It’s really good for us and to see them being part of it.
“There are definitely a lot of ups and downs this season,” Hanley said. “A win will go a long way, just feeling good about yourself.”
When Harley was asked what his family and friends in Syracuse, New York thought, he replied, “About time.”
The Stars finished 46-30-6 for 98 points. Anaheim missed the playoffs with a 31-37-14 record.
Dallas will switch gears in the playoffs.
“Tuesday night it takes a whole different end of the spectrum,” Bowness said. “The intensity and everything you need to increase.
“We got 98 points; it’s been a hell of a year. At some point, you go through Colorado, whether it’s round one or round two. It’s a great team; we know it. Calgary is a great team. There is no easy solution here.
NOTES: Dallas D John Klingberg (lower body injury) missed the game. ,,, Anaheim’s second goal was a collaboration of their leading scorers, Terry with 37 goals and 67 points, and Trevor Zegras with his 38th assist. The Stars are 5-0-2 in their last seven home games. … Masters champion Scottie Scheffler, ranked No. 1 in golf and a three-time state champion at Highland Park High School in Dallas, performed the ceremonial faceoff.