Calgary Flames forward Matthew Tkachuk wasn't able to grab this rebound in front of Dallas Stars goaltender Jake Oettinger during game 5 of their Stanley Cup playoff series in Calgary on Wednesday, May 11, 2022. 
Gavin Young/Postmedia

You couldn’t miss it, really.

With the volume cranked as the host Calgary Flames stormed to a comeback victory in Game 5, the Saddledome faithful serenaded the Dallas Stars’ masked man with cries of ‘Oett-in-ger! Oett-in-ger!’

“Playing college, it was like that pretty much every night, so I’m kind of used to it,” the 23-year-old goalie insisted. “It’s fun. Obviously, there’s a great crowd in Calgary and they’re going to do what they can to try to get under your skin or whatever, but it’s super fun. It’s the time of year you want to play, and those are the type of atmospheres I want to be in.”

In fact, Oettinger would love to hear those chants again.

That would mean that he’s back in Cowtown for a Game 7.

If the Stars don’t get that far, nobody will be blaming the sophomore puck-stopper. He currently leads the 2022 Stanley Cup playoffs with a sparkling .956 save percentage, although he stressed that “doesn’t mean too much” as his squad stares down a 3-2 series deficit.

Oettinger & Co. are facing elimination in Friday’s Game 6 at American Airlines Center (7:30 p.m. MT, Sportsnet/Sportsnet 960 The Fan).

“Every play tomorrow night is going to be one that either won us or lost us the game, so we need guys to step up,” Oettinger told reporters Thursday as the team returned to Dallas in must-win mode. “Obviously, I’m a huge part of that and I’m hoping to have the best game of the season tomorrow and go from there. But everyone needs to step up and leave it all on the table.”

— Wes Gilbertson

NHL Hockey Playoffs
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