DeBoer: Stars didn't have much left after avoiding elimination twice
After his team staved off elimination twice against the Vegas Golden Knights, Dallas Stars head coach Peter DeBoer didn't believe there was much left to give during Monday's blowout, season-ending loss.
"Every time you go to an elimination game, it takes a toll physically, mentally," he said after the 6-0 defeat. "It's hard to refill that tank over and over again. I just didn't think there was a lot left tonight."
Including Game 7 against the Seattle Kraken, the Stars played in four elimination contests in these playoffs. The Golden Knights, meanwhile, have yet to play in a contest with their season on the brink.
Vegas dominated Game 6, controlling 68.4% of the scoring chances, 60% of the shots, and 69.6% of the expected goals at five-on-five, according to Natural Stat Trick.
The Stars never had a chance to get into the contest after the Golden Knights erupted for a three-goal lead in the first period.
Veteran forward Joe Pavelski didn't have an answer as to why the Stars came out flat on home ice.
"There's a lot of give and take throughout the playoffs, there's a lot of highs and lows," he told reporters postgame. "You just expect more out of yourself in situations like this. ... Definitely wanted more tonight out of this game."
He added, "I've been a part of different runs like this. I had a lot of belief in this group, so to come up a little short, it's always tough because you thought there was more out there for us."
Tyler Seguin thought the Stars earned themselves a better fate.
"I didn't think we deserved to go out the way we did tonight," Seguin said. "Hockey's hard, man. Game 1, we didn't play great, but we probably could have snuck it out.
"Game 2, you play great and they sneak it out. ... I'm still proud of this group and how many responses we've had throughout the whole year."
The Stars (47-21-14) finished one point behind the Colorado Avalanche for the No. 1 spot in the Central Division.
Though Dallas fell short of making the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 2020, DeBoer is pleased that his team managed to exceed expectations during his first season behind the Stars' bench.
"There's a lot to be proud of. There's only four teams left standing out of 32," he said. "I don't think at the beginning of the year a lot of people had us pencilled as one of them. There was a lot of work put in by our group."
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