Johnston, Oettinger lead Stars to 3-0 win over Kraken

SEATTLE (AP) — Wyatt Johnson had a goal and an assist, Jake Oettinger stopped 17 shots for his second shutout of the season and the Dallas Stars beat the Seattle Kraken 3-0 on Saturday night for their seventh straight win.

Joe Pavelski and Roope Hintz also scored to help the Stars remain on top of the Central Division and Western Conference Standings, three points up on Colorado. Dallas, which clinched its third straight playoff berth with win over Vancouver two nights earlier, trails the New York Rangers by one point in the race for the Presidents' Trophy.

“You want to be playing well right now and winning games,” Pavelski said. “And you have to string them together. You can win a bunch of games and it feels like you make up no ground. The focus is just keep winning — keep doing it the right way and keep building our game toward the playoffs and make sure we’re ready.”

Oettinger got his ninth career shutout and improved to 30-13-4 on the season.

“He’s been awesome,” Johnson said. “It gives you a lot of confidence when he’s playing like that. He’s been huge. He’s been huge all year.”

Joey Daccord finished with 27 saves for the Kraken, who had won two straight after eight consecutive losses. Seattle will finish the regular season as the only NHL team winless at home on Saturdays.

“In terms of effort, the effort was definitely there,” Kraken coach Dave Hakstol said. “Are they a good opponent? Absolutely. They’re fighting for the Presidents’ Trophy for a reason. It’s still disappointing to walk away with a loss. Not disappointed in the effort, but we’re here to win.”

Johnston scored with 1:48 remaining in the second period to give Dallas a 1-0 lead.

“We stayed patient and we found a goal,” Pavelski said. “It came. We didn’t cheat for it. When we found that one, our game seemed to get a little bit better.”

Adam Larsson was assessed a five-minute major penalty and a game misconduct early in the third period. Pavelski then increased the lead with a power-play goal 26 seconds into the third period. Seattle hadn’t allowed a power-play goal in four games before Saturday, going 8 for 8 on the penalty kill during that span.

“We kept it close,” Seattle’s Oliver Bjorkstrand said. “It’s just a matter of us pushing the tempo and trying to create chances. They’re a hard team to play against. They play well defensively. I think maybe we just need to get more shots through and a little bit more traffic.”

Hintz scored an empty netter with 1:17 left to seal the win.

“We had good legs,” Dallas coach Peter DeBoer said. “We had good energy. It was a tough 60 minutes. They made it tough for us, but we stuck with it.”


Stars: vs. Edmonton on Wednesday.

Kraken: at San Jose on Monday.