Miro Heiskanen has emerged not only as an elite defenseman for the Dallas Stars, but one of the premier blueliners in the National Hockey League — Game 3 against the Seattle Kraken is a prime example why.

Jordan Eberle scored a goal after a shot hit Heiskanen in the face, causing the 23-year-old to leave the game and not return. The Kraken would go on to score six more goals in the game, blowing out the Stars 7-2 in the first second-round game in Climate Pledge Arena history.

The blowout likely would not have happened, or at least been as pronounced, if Heiskanen had not missed the final two frames.

Dallas can't afford to lose their star D-man for any period of time if they hope to make a deep postseason run, and they likely won't have to as the Fin was on the ice for morning skate in a full cage. He is considered a game-time decision on Tuesday night, according to ESPN's Ryan S. Clark.

Live and breathe sports?

🚨 Get viral graphics, memes, rumors and trending sports news delivered right to your inbox with the Clutch Newsletter.

“[Coach] Pete DeBoer says Miro Heiskanen is a game-time decision but says he looks good after participating in morning skate,” wrote Clark.

DeBoer also said that Heiskanen wanted to return in Game 3, another optimistic sign that he will suit up in a crucial Game 4 against a Kraken team that continues to defy all expectations after beating the defending champion Colorado Avalanche in Round 1.

It's probably safe to say that Heiskanen is the most important player in the series for either team, and a huge reason that Dallas dispatched the Minnesota Wild in six games in their first-round series.

Puck drop between the Stars and Kraken is set for 9:30 p.m. EST on Tuesday night.