DALLAS (AP) — Roope Hintz scored his first career hat trick on an empty netter in the closing minutes, and the Dallas Stars beat the Carolina Hurricanes 4-1 on Tuesday night for their fifth straight win.
Linemates Joe Pavelski had a goal and two assists and Jason Robinson had two assists for the Stars, who were outshot 40-17 and have won six straight home games — the longest current winning streak in the NHL.
Braden Holtby (4-4-1), playing his 500th regular-season game, made 39 saves in recording his second straight win.
Hintz has 10 goals in the last nine games and three game-winners in Dallas’ last six victories after being limited to one assist in his first 11 games.
“Right now, it’s going in,” Hintz said. “I’m getting good passes from my linemates and teammates, so that helps.”
Jesperi Kotkaniemi ended Holtby’s shutout bid with 3 1/2 minutes left in the third period and Frederik Andersen (11-5-0) stopped 13 shots for the Hurricanes, who remain two points out of first place in the Metropolitan Division. They’re 1-3-1 in their last five games and lost consecutive games in regulation for the first time this season.
“We played well today, we had a lot of shots, had a lot of Grade A’s, should have scored more goals — X, Y and Z — but we lost,” Canes defenseman Ian Cole said. “So really, that’s all that matters.”
Stars coach Rick Bowness chose to start Holtby and not 22-year-old Jake Oettinger, who leads the NHL in goals against average, because of Holtby’s experience against Carolina (16-7-1 going in) and his ability to stick handle against the Canes’ forecheckers.
Holtby, whose last shutout came on March 8, 2019, said he wasn’t surprised by the Hurricanes’ heavy shot total.
“The way that Carolina plays, you know that’s coming,” he said. “They work nonstop.”
The line of Hintz, Pavelski and Robertson has 12 goals and 11 assists in Dallas’ last five games, and Pavelski has multiple points in the last three games.
Hintz rushed into the offensive zone down the left side, shot a wrister from the left circle and lifted his own rebound top shelf 1:13 in for the game’s first goal.
Dallas doubled its lead with about 5 minutes left in the second period with Hintz and Pavelski on a two-on-one rush. Hintz hung onto the pass for a second and then lifted the puck over Andersen’s right shoulder.
Pavelski deflected a shot from Robertson at 9:31 of the third period for his seventh of the season.
Hintz’s empty-netter traveled all the way from just inside Dallas’ blue line with about 3 minutes left in the third.
TO THE RESCUE
The Hurricanes were missing defensemen Tony DeAngelo and Brett Pesce, who entered COVID-19 protocols on Monday. DeAngelo is fifth among defensemen in scoring with 19 points. Fellow defenseman Ethan Bear has been in the protocol since last week.
Carolina brought up Jalen Chatfield and Maxime Lajoie from Chicago of the AHL to fill the void, and they played a combined 31 minutes at minus-1.
“I was actually overly pleased with how well they played,” Carolina coach Rod Brind’Amour said. “They seemed to grasp what we were doing.”
Stars coach Rick Bowness was recognized for coaching in his 2,500th regular-season game as a head coach or an assistant, the most in NHL history. That includes 576 games as a head coach with six franchises.
“That was nice,” Bowness said. “I really appreciate it.”
Brind’Amour was fined $25,000 by the NHL on Tuesday for his conduct during Sunday’s loss to Washington. The NHL gave no details, but the News & Observer in Raleigh, North Carolina, cited that Brind’Amour was livid at a third-period penalty called against Carolina.
Brind’Amour said he was shocked by the fine.
“You know I can’t say anything now,” he said.
Hurricanes: Host Ottawa on Thursday.
Stars: Host Columbus on Thursday.
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