DALLAS (AP) — Jason Robertson became the first Dallas player with a 100-point season with another big-scoring night as the Stars clinched a playoff spot.
After being on the road when he broke Dallas’ single-season scoring record that had been held by Hall of Fame center Mike Modano, Robertson got to hear the chants of “Robo!, Robo!” at home when he scored his 100th point — and then his 101st — in a 5-1 win over the Nashville Predators on Monday. His 43rd goal accounted for the 100th point, and he also had three assists.
“Glad I have an easy nickname … it’s really special,” Robertson said.
The 23-year-old Robertson, who is in his third NHL season, makes scoring look so easy. He has 10 points (two goals, eight assists) in the last three games.
“He’s so gifted at producing and shooting and just making players around him better,” said Tyler Seguin, whose 20th goal of the season came on Robertson’s third assist against the Predators.
Joe Pavelski added a power-play goal and an assist, while backup Scott Wedgewood stopped 26 shots in his first game since Feb. 19 after being sidelined by a lower body injury.
Dallas is going to the playoffs for the fourth time in five years, with its third different coach in that span. First-year Stars coach Pete DeBoer previously took New Jersey and San Jose to the Stanley Cup Final in his first season with those clubs. The Stars have 98 points with five games left.
The Stars lost a first-round series in Game 7 overtime to Calgary last season under Rick Bowness, who was their interim coach when they went to the Stanley Cup final during the pandemic-impacted 2019-20 season was completed in the NHL bubble in Canada. Dallas made it to the second round of the 2019 playoffs with coach Jim Montgomery.
“That’s six, six months of hard work,” DeBoer said. “We got off to a great start, so everyone kind of assumed we were going to be a playoff team. But, you know, if you rewind to the beginning of the season, there weren’t a lot of people picking us as a bubble team. … I’m glad we’re in. It gives you a chance now.”
The Stars, with 98 points and five games left, matched Minnesota for the lead in the Central Division.
Dallas completed a four-game series sweep of the Predators, who with 84 points and six games remaining are five points behind Winnipeg for the Western Conference’s second wild-card berth. The Bowness-coached Jets and Calgary, which is also three points ahead of Nashville, both have five games left.
‘We had some opportunities early in the game to score, and we didn’t. I thought the third goal was a little bit of a killer for us,” Nashville coach John Hynes said. “Overall, I didn’t think it was an effort thing. I just thought that the special teams played a big part of it.”
Pavelski’s 25th goal came on a power play with about four minutes left in the second period to make it 3-0. He was in front of the crease to knock in a nifty pass from Miro Heiskanen, who had two assists.
Robertson had a nifty pass from behind the net to Roope Hintz for the game’s first goal, and his 35th.
Colin Miller made it 2-0 with 50-foot slap shot that came soon after Wyatt Johnston and Seguin had shots ricochet off the same right post behind All-Star goalie Juuse Saros only a minute apart.
Cal Foote had the lone goal for Nashville.
Modano’s single-season Dallas record of 93 points was set in 1993-94, the franchise’s first season after moving from Minnesota. Robertson broke that mark with a goal and three assists Friday at Arizona. Two more assists Saturday at Colorado got him to 97 points, and he had two assists against the Preds before his power-play goal 8 1/2 minutes into the third period to reach 100 points — then assisted Seguin after that.
“He’s still such a young player. … It’s a fantastic accomplishment,” DeBoer said.
Predators: Host Vegas on Tuesday to wrap up a back-to-back against playoff contenders they were chasing.
Stars: Play the second of three home games in a row, Thursday against Philadelphia.