Stars coach Peter DeBoer pushes back at suggestion team was ‘lifeless’ in latest loss to Oilers

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The Edmonton Oilers won the crucial fifth game of the Western Conference finals to push the Dallas Stars to the brink of elimination.

The Stars managed just ten shots in the first two periods of the the 3-1 defeat. While some were certainly complimentary of the Oilers’ execution in the game, one reporter suggested the Stars looked “lifeless” in the second period. 

Stars coach Peter DeBoer took issue with the characterization. 

“You can sit here and question our character if you want. You know what? I’m not going to do it. You go ahead and write whatever the f— you want,” DeBoer responded.

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Pete DeBoer addresses

Dallas Stars head coach Pete DeBoer addresses the media after Game 5 of the Western Conference finals against the Edmonton Oilers May 31, 2024, at American Airlines Center in Dallas.  (Matthew Pearce/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

DeBoer acknowledged the Oilers showed the ability to put together “a perfect road game,” which contributed to the Stars being shut down.

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“If you’re going to draw a road game, that’s pretty much what you want to do, right?” DeBoer said. “They want to come out, get two power-play goals early in the game, get the lead and then defend well all night. So, it’s tough to crack through.”

Dallas averaged 3.59 goals per game during the regular season, but its scoring has dipped in its three losses in the conference finals. The Stars did not manage to score more than two goals in any of their three defeats in the series.

Pete DeBoer looks on during Dallas Stars game

Head coach Pete DeBoer of the Dallas Stars during the third period against the Edmonton Oilers in Game 5 of the Western Conference finals of the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs at American Airlines Center May 31, 2024, in Dallas. (Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Oilers star Ryan Nugent-Hopkins said his team made a concerted effort defensively at “not giving” Dallas “anything easy.”

Dallas Stars play against the Edmonton Oilers

Dallas Stars players play the puck in front of Edmonton Oilers players in Game 5 of the Western Conference finals of the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs at American Airlines Center May 31, 2024, in Dallas.   (Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

“It starts with getting through the neutral zone, not turning pucks over and not giving them anything easy coming back at us,” Nugent-Hopkins said. “Sometimes you got to live to fight another day. You don’t need to be too aggressive.”

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The series shifts back to Edmonton with Game 6 scheduled for Sunday night.

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