Dallas Stars face last year's playoff demon in the first round of the playoffs

It was not the outcome the Stars hoped for on the last day of the regular season. The Stars found out at midnight that they would be taking on the defending champions, the Vegas Golden Knights. Here's a preview of the upcoming playoff series.
Nov 22, 2023; Dallas, Texas, USA; Vegas Golden Knights right wing Mark Stone (61) shoves Dallas
Nov 22, 2023; Dallas, Texas, USA; Vegas Golden Knights right wing Mark Stone (61) shoves Dallas / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

If you polled 100 Dallas Stars fans at midnight, most fans would say the Stars didn't get the playoff matchup they wanted. After losing all three matchups during the regular season, the Stars will be taking on the Vegas Golden Knights. I'm sure fans remember last year's series in the Western Conference Finals, where Vegas ended the Cinderella run the Stars were on. Some fans won't be happy that the 8:30-9:30 start times are back.

Previewing the Dallas Stars

This series will be interesting this year. The Stars have vastly improved on the offensive side of the ice. They have eight 20+ goal scorers scattered amongst their top three lines. It starts at the top with Joe Pavelski, Jason Robertson, and Roope Hintz. It then trickled down to the second line with Tyler Seguin, Mason Marchment, and Matt Duchene. Jamie Benn and Wyatt Johnston wrap up the eight players. The Golden Knights will have a tough time slowing down the Stars' offense this year.

Another thing that the Golden Knights must deal with is a healthy Jake Oettinger. During last year's playoff series, Oettinger was exhausted and injured. Since March 1st, Oettinger has a 10-1 record with a .941 save percentage and a 1.54 goals-against average. He looks healed from that injury in the playoffs last season and is ready for another deep run this year. If Oettinger is locked in and is ready to face the demons from last season, this could be a quick series.

Previewing the Vegas Golden Knights

There will be some familiar faces that the Stars will see in the first round, such as Adin Hill. He is 19-12-2 this season with a .909 save percentage. However, Logan Thompson had the better season with a 25-14-5 record and a .908 save percentage. Who the Stars will face against on Monday night is a mystery. Right now, either goaltender will provide a challenge for the Stars. It would feel good to see the Stars get their revenge on Hill.

As for goal scoring, Vegas has three players with 30-plus goals this season. It all starts with their top goal scorer, Jonathan Marchessault. He has 42 goals this season and doesn't plan on stopping after 82 games. The Stars have to make sure he's covered at all times in the Stars' zone. Jack Eichel and William Karlsson will also provide some issues for the Stars. It's going to be a grueling first-round series for the Stars.

The only thing good for the Stars is that they are taking on the Golden Knights in the first round healthy instead of the third round injured and tired. Stay tuned to Blackout Dallas as we look to bring you more articles on the Vegas Golden Knights and what the Stars must expect from them in the first round of the playoffs. This series might go to seven games, so buckle up for an exciting first round of the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

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