Oilers lose after controversial call
With about ten seconds left, Shawn Horcoff won the draw straight back to Jarret Stoll. Stoll's slapper was stopped by Stars starting netminder Marty Turco but Ales Hemsky swooped in to put home the rebound.
It looked as if the Oilers had tied the game but referee Mick McGeough whistled it down, saying that Horcoff had fed a hand pass to Stoll. Replays later showed that Horcoff clearly moved the puck with his stick off the draw which sent the Rexall Place fans into riot mode.
"It was a blown call on my part," McGeough said after the game. "It was poor judgment on my part. I thought he had his hand on the puck on the faceoff but it was his stick. My judgment was poor on the play."
Shawn Horcoff was surprised that the play was whistled down.
"I couldn't believe when he said it was me," Horcoff said after the game. "It was a clean (faceoff) win. That's a tough call to make from his position on the ice."
Oilers head coach Craig MacTavish was visibly upset after the game as a result of the controversial play.
"He makes some call from deep in the corner, the linesman is right there on top of it. You'd think if Horcoff hit it with his glove the linesman would have saw it," said MacTavish.
Dallas put the pressure on early in the game, firing each of the first four shots of the game on Dwayne Roloson.
Midway through the period, the Oilers had their best chance on a four-on-four situation when Fernando Pisani and Toby Petersen were able to create a turnover into a two-on-one. Pisani tried a backhand from the right circle that was stopped by Marty Turco. Petersen's rebound attempt was also stopped in-close.
With 7:56 to play in the first, Dallas scored the game's first goal. Brenden Morrow wristed a shot from the right circle that beat Roloson along the ice. Roloson was interfered with in his crease by Dallas winger Eric Lindros on the play but there was no call.
Late in the period the Oilers were hammering pucks on Marty Turco but had trouble getting any on net. The team pinned the Stars deep in their zone for a good minute but couldn't get any of their point shots through to the net.
After putting all that pressure on Dallas, a turnover created a two-on-one for the Stars. Stu Barnes made a nice play, flipping a pass over Jason Smith right on the stick of Niklas Hagman who tapped it in for the goal.
After one, Dallas had a 14-5 edge in shots over Edmonton.
Turco made a big stop early in the second, gloving a shot that was tipped in front by Sykora. Perhaps more importantly, he didn't give up a rebound as the Oilers forward would have certainly pounced on it if given the opportunity.
Edmonton finally had a bounce go their way several minutes later. Jarret Stoll created a turnover at the Oilers blueline before Winchester took the puck up ice. He dumped it into the corner where Smyth threw it in front. The puck went off Turco's pads and in to make it a 2-1 game in favour of Dallas.
The Oilers had a great chance to tie the game after penalties to Stephane Robidas and Philippe Boucher 39 seconds apart put them on a two-man advantage but the Stars were able to hold court and keep their one-goal lead.
The Oilers were carrying the play and had only allowed four shots from Dallas throughout the second period but with a minute left, Trevor Daley scored on a screened shot from the point to give the Stars a 3-1 lead heading into the intermission.
After 40 minutes, shots on goal were 19-16 in favour of the Stars.
With a power play early in the third, the Oilers looked to shake things up by going with a different five-man unit. Horcoff skated with Petersen and Torres up front with Stoll and Bergeron on the point.
The club was able to generate some shots on the power play but Turco stood tall to keep his team up by a pair.
Brad Winchester, who played perhaps his best game as an Oiler, tried to create something out of nothing late in the third on an end-to-end rush. Winchester carried the puck up ice along the right side boards, cut in behind the net and out in front in an attempted wraparound. Turco stopped that shot and then managed to get his left pad on the rebound just before it crossed the line as Smyth crashed the net.
In the final two minutes, the Oilers finally put some sustained pressure on Dallas. After Dwayne Roloson was pulled for the extra attacker, the team had some great scoring chances.
Ales Hemsky tried to feed Torres in front but he just missed on the open side. Seconds later, Petr Sykora blasted a one timer from the high slot after taking a pass from Torres. His shot beat Turco between the legs.