DALLAS (AP) Jake Oettinger made 26 saves in regulation and overtime before stopping all three attempts in the shootout as the Central Division champion Dallas Stars beat the St. Louis Blues 2-1 in their regular-season finale Wednesday night.

When they earned one point by getting to overtime, the Stars clinched the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference playoffs. They ended up with two points thanks to Oettinger and Jason Robertson, who scored with a nifty backhand on the first shot of the shootout, which held up for the victory.

“It was a good test for us, kind of getting us ready for the playoffs,” Robertson said.

The last time Dallas was the top seed in the West was 2016, also the year of its previous Central Division title. The Stars (52-21-9) finished with 113 points, the most since their franchise-record 114 in 1998-99 on the way to winning their only Stanley Cup title. They were one win shy of the record 53 set in 2005-06.

Fans cheered in the closing seconds of regulation knowing Dallas had already secured the No. 1 seed and home-ice advantage throughout the Western Conference playoffs. Pacific Division champion Vancouver has one game left, but can only reach 111 points with a win Thursday.

“That’s great. We want to have home ice as much as we can,” said Oettinger, who allowed two goals or fewer for the 10th time in his last 11 games. “Now the real fun starts.”

The Stars will play either reigning Stanley Cup champion Vegas (98 points) or the Los Angeles Kings (97 points) in the first round of the playoffs. Both have home games Thursday night to finish the regular season. One of them will finish third in the Pacific Division and the other will be a wild card headed to Dallas, where the Golden Knights last season wrapped up the Western Conference Final with a Game 6 victory.

St. Louis (43-33-6) had already been eliminated from playoff contention and finished ninth in the Western Conference with 92 points. That put the Blues five points behind the Kings for the final playoff spot.

Blues goalie Jordan Binnington made 36 saves. The only goal he gave up in regulation and overtime was Mason Marchment’s 22nd with 14:49 left in the third period on a sweeping turnaround shot just outside the crease.

“We showed that we can compete with the best, for sure, and hopefully that sends a message to evolve the team to make some decisions that are for the better and for us to be more competitive next year," Binnington said. "It’s unfortunate to not make the playoffs, but it’s a good final game and we have more. There are better days ahead.”

Oettinger made an incredible diving save with his skates off the ice while the Blues were on a power play in the first period. He was screened while outside the crease to the left of the net when Robert Thomas made a pass from that side to defenseman Scott Perunovich above the circles. Thomas took a wicked shot, and Oettinger lunged across the front of the net and was in the air when he knocked down the puck with his glove.

The penalty that led to that power play was a tripping call against Dallas forward Evgenii Dadonov, playing for the first time since sustaining a lower-body injury on Feb. 13 that caused him to miss 29 games.

Thomas scored from the left of Oettinger with 2:41 left in the second period. His 26th goal came on a shot from the middle of the circle over Oettinger's right shoulder into the top corner of the net for a 1-0 lead.


St. Louis goes into another long offseason. It is the first time since 2011 that the Blues missed the playoffs in back-to-back years.

Dallas waits to see who and when it plays at home in the first two games of the playoffs.


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