Line change helped Jason Robertson relax, score first NHL playoff goal with veteran help

Stars forward Jason Robertson broke out of his mini-slump with a goal during the Stars’ 3-1 loss in Game 5 to the Flames, scoring his first goal of the series and his first Stanley Cup Playoffs goal.

In the first four games of the series, Robertson’s only point was on a primary assist of Joe Pavelski’s goal in Game 2. The four-game goal drought matched a season-high for Robertson, who had 41 goals in the regular season.

“I think I just turned the page from last game, forgot about it,” Robertson said after Game 5. “Just re-watched it and take the next step and I thought I did it pretty well. But I’m going to need more from Game 6. ”

For the first time all season, Robertson played on a line without Roope Hintz and Joe Pavelski. The Stars top line had carried them all season, but Stars coach Rick Bowness searched for a way to try to jumpstart Robertson.

After spending more than 80% of his 5-on-5 ice time with either Pavelski or Hintz, Robertson played on a line with Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin in Game 5.

“He just seemed more relaxed playing with those two guys,” Bowness said. “Sometimes, you get a little uptight when things are going good. Change of scenery always helps. I talked to Jamie and Seggy about dragging him into the fight. ”

Benn picked up an assist on Robertson’s goal, which was Benn’s first point of the playoffs. Seguin has two points this series: an assist on Michael Raffl’s empty-netter, and a 6-on-4 power-play goal in Game 4.

Robertson joined Pavelski as the only Stars to score goals at 5 on 5 against Calgary this series.

“At this point in the year, I’m just excited that we’re scoring goals,” Robertson said. “I want to produce offense and it’s nice when I get to do that. At the end of the day, it wasn’t enough, so there’s not much to be happy about. “

Same lineup? After the Game 5 loss, Bowness said he was pleased with the performance of his top two lines, makeshift units that played together for the first time on Wednesday night.

Michael Raffl played with Hintz and Pavelski, while Robertson was effective with Benn and Seguin.

On Thursday, after the Stars landed back in Dallas, Bowness said both Marian Studenic and Jacob Peterson played well. They entered the lineup in place of Denis Gurianov and Alexander Radulov.

“They did what we wanted them to do: skate, handle the puck, try to make plays,” Bowness said.

Studenic was playing his second NHL playoff game, and first since eating a minus-2 in 5 1/2 minutes of ice time. Peterson made his NHL postseason debut on Wednesday in Calgary.

Still searching: The Stars are the only remaining playoff team that has not scored a 5-on-5 goal while leading. The eliminated Predators are the other team.

That means Dallas is unable to extend leads (until empty-netters) and has been incapable of putting away the Flames until the very last moments of the third period. Calgary, however, has only scored one 5-on-5 goal when leading, and it was Elias Lindholm’s goal in Game 4.

During the third period of Wednesday’s Game 5, the Stars allowed the Flames to control the game and erase a 1-0 Dallas lead. It continued a season-long trend of blown leads in the third period.

“We’re giving up these leads in the third for just too many different reasons,” Bowness said. “One time, it’s turnovers at the blue line. Next game, it’s defensive zone coverage. Last night was two blown coverages in the neutral zone. That’s the stuff that’s frustrating. “

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Calgary’s third period dominance leaves Stars one loss away from elimination

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