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Stars prevail after wild finish

Thursday, 04.01.2007 / 9:51 PM / Edmonton Oilers
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Stars prevail after wild finish
Even if you saw it, you wouldn't believe it.

Patrik Stefan had the game signed, sealed and delivered. He had a breakaway on an empty net with 10 seconds remaining in the game. But then a funny thing happened.

Stefan whiffed on the backhand attempt, then slipped and fell. Jarret Stoll looked up at the clock quickly and realized he didn't have much time left so he threw the puck up to Sykora. Sykora then found Ryan Smyth dashing up the ice and as Smyth skated towards the side boards he managed to pass it to Ales Hemsky streaking up the middle.

Hemsky deked out Turco and put the puck in with 2.0 seconds to go.

The Stars ended up winning the shootout but the Oilers were able to salvage a point in a game that was going largely their way for the majority of the evening. At one point, Edmonton had a 4-1 lead but the Stars scored four unanswered markers to move in front 5-4.

49 seconds into the game Ryan Smyth scored to give Edmonton an early 1-0 lead.

Jarret Stoll took the initial shot on Stars starting goaltender Mike Smith from the slot. He made that save and then denied Joffrey Lupul on the rebound but Smyth was standing in the goalmouth where he put the puck into the open side.

At the 4:29 mark, the Oilers struck again to extend their lead to 2-0. Smyth dropped the puck to the Oilers' centre off the rush and Horcoff wired it top corner to double his team's lead.

Dallas had the game's first power play after Matt Greene was sent off for tripping at 7:29 but the Oilers' penalty killers stepped up and actually outshot the Stars 2-1 over the two-minute duration.

The Stars started to pick up their play late in the period, outshooting the Oilers 8-0 at one point. On one occasion, they swarmed the Edmonton zone and Roloson had to be sharp in scooping up a shot on a scramble in front.

The pressure continued after the visitors were awarded late power play following a Raffi Torres delay-of-game penalty for clearing the puck over the glass in his own zone.

In the final minute, Roloson had to make four saves including several rebound attempts and was able to hold the fort.

After one, shots on goal were 12-8 for Dallas over Edmonton.

Patrik Stefan scored 3:05 into the second period to close the gap to 2-1. Stefan raced up ice along the left side boards before breaking towards the net and rifling a low wrister behind Roloson.

Edmonton went on its second power play of the night less than a minute after the Stars' goal. Right off the faceoff, Stoll won the draw back to Bergeron who blasted it on net. The shot caught Smith square in the facemask and shook up the goaltender.

24 seconds into that man advantage, Stu Barnes was sent off for high sticking which gave Edmonton a two-man power play.

It didn't take the Oilers long to convert from there, with Petr Nedved scoring in his first game back as an Oiler. Hemsky found Sykora in the high slot and Smith stopped the initial blast but Nedved was perched at the side of the net where he slid home the rebound.

Dallas started to pick up their play once again as the second period went on and at one point had the Oilers pinned in their zone for close to a minute with a strong puck cycle.

However, near the end of that shift, Ryan Smyth was able to chip the puck out and create an odd-man rush. Smyth dished it to Horcoff who missed the net on his shot but Greene was able to keep the puck in and passed it across to Staios. Staios fed it to Horcoff, Smyth was stopped on the rebound but Lupul picked it up behind the net and brought it in front for the goal.

With four minutes left in the second, Mike Ribeiro passed it over to Chris Conner from behind the Oilers net. Conner threw it in front where Mathias Tjarnqvist wristed it in from the slot to make it a 4-2 game.

After two, shots on goal were 22-17 for Dallas.

Marty Turco replaced Mike Smith in goal to start the third period for Dallas.

Matt Greene was sent off for tripping 1:49 into the final frame and 1:11 later, Jarret Stoll took a hooking penalty to put Dallas on a five-on-three.

19 seconds into the two-man advantage, Jere Lethinen blasted a one timer from the left circle that beat Roloson and close the gap to 4-3. With Edmonton still down a man, the Stars tied the game 33 seconds later as Philippe Boucher's wrister from the side boards eluded the Oilers netminder.

It took the Stars only four minutes to take their first lead of the night. Niklas Hagman scored a highlight-reel goal as he slipped past Greene, spun around once and then managed to deke out Roloson as he was being hauled to the ice.

Just past the midway point of period three, the Oilers started to press to get the tying goal. Sykora, Hemsky and Nedved each had chances as they cycled the puck deep in the Dallas zone. Turco stopped Sykora's blast from the high slot and Nedved couldn't get a handle on the rebound in their best chance of the sequence.

With 90 seconds to play in the game, Torres almost tied it on a scramble in front of Turco. Stoll won the draw back to Hejda whose shot from the point was kicked out by the Stars' netminder. Torres pounced on the rebound and almost managed to jam it through.

NOTES: Ladislav Smid left the game in the first period with a shoulder sprain and did not return... Marty Turco replaced Mike Smith in goal to start the third period for Dallas. Smith was not on the Stars' bench.
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