Stars’ Roope Hintz returns to lineup for Game 3 vs. Oilers

Dallas Stars centre Roope Hintz (24) waits on a face off in the second period in Game 2 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup second-round playoff series against the Colorado Avalanche in Dallas, Tuesday, May 7, 2024. (LM Otero/AP)

As the Western Conference Final shifts to Edmonton for Game 3, Dallas Stars centre Roope Hintz will return to the lineup for the first time in the series.

Hintz took line rushes with Jason Robertson and Tyler Seguin in warmup.

After being “a possibility” for Game 2, Hintz was considered a game-time decision leading up to Dallas’ 3-1 win on Saturday, but was ruled out shortly before puck drop.

The Stars’ win evened the series at 1-1.

Hintz has been out of the lineup since leaving Game 4 of the Stars’ second-round series against the Colorado Avalanche with an upper-body injury.

“He’s not (Connor) McDavid, but what would (the Oilers) do if they took their first-line centre out of the lineup?” Stars head coach Peter DeBoer said Saturday when asked about Hintz’s impact on the team. “What would the Rangers be if you took (Mika) Zibanejad out of the lineup?

“It’s fairly obvious. (Hintz) is big, he skates, he’s a 200-foot player. He’s one of our best defensive players, one of our best penalty killers, creates offence… he’s physical.”

In 11 games this post-season, the 27-year-old has two goals and four assists. In the 2022-23 playoffs, Hintz scored 10 goals and had 24 points in 19 games.

Hintz is coming off his third straight 30-goal regular season, finishing second on the Stars in goals and tied for third in points.

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