|Edmonton's Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers, Jason Strudwick and Steve Staios try to keep a bouncing puck out of the net as Dallas' Loui Eriksson lurks around the back of the net for a rebound on November 30, 2008 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Glenn James/NHLI via Getty Images)|
Although Kyle Brodziak potted two game-tying goals in the third period to help Edmonton erase an early two-goal deficit, the game-winner belonged to Dallas' Mike Modano as the Stars beat the Oilers 4-3 Sunday night. Ales Hemsky scored the opening goal for the Oilers while rookie Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers stopped 22 shots in his second loss of the season.
Five minutes and three shots into the game, Dallas' Mike Ribeiro took a hooking penalty to offer Edmonton the game's first powerplay. The man-advantage's best scoring opportunity belonged to Shawn Horcoff, but a sturdy post and high-sticking penalty to Robert Nilsson concluded an unsuccessful powerplay for the visitors.
With only seven seconds left in Nilsson's penalty, an odd bounce resulted in a powerplay goal for the Stars. Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers made an initial save, but the puck flew straight up in the air and then tumbled down off his helmet, at which point Ribeiro tapped it into the net to score the game's opening goal.
A minute later, Zack Stortini and Krystopher Barch met for an extrended brawl in the neutral zone, resulting in fighting majors for both players. Even-strength play continued until Dallas' Darryl Sydor was called for holding, but the Oilers were unable to find a powerplay equalizer.
At the 14-minute mark, the Stars doubled their lead when Toby Petersen caught a piece of Matt Niskanen's slapshot and directed it past Deslauriers. The home team would keep the visitors scoreless through to the first intermission.
The Oilers outshot the Stars 7-3 in the first half of the middle frame, but Stars netminder Marty Turco turned away each attempt. At 11:22, Nicklas Grossman took a holding penalty to put the Oilers back on the man-advantage. Less than a minute into the powerplay, Ales Hemsky completed a textbook passing sequence by going top-shelf on Turco, cutting Dallas' lead to one.
A delay-of-game penalty to Jason Strudwick helped the Stars gain some ground on the shot clock, but Deslauriers and his skaters resisted the assault to stay within one heading into the final frame.
4:21 into the third, the Oilers descended in on Turco. The goalie stopped Sheldon Souray's slapper from the point, but Kyle Brodziak snapped up the rebound and forced it across the line to tie the game 2-2.
An interference penalty to Lubomir Visnovsky threatened to the put the Stars back on top at the period's midway point, but the Oilers outlasted the opportunity to maintain the tie game. Although Dallas was unable to beat Deslauriers on the five-on-four, agitator Sean Avery accomplished the feat with both teams at full strength. With five minutes left in regulation, Avery converted a hard pass from James Neal into a go-ahead goal for the home team.
But the lead wouldn't last long. Like earlier in the period, Brodziak stepped up to tie the game for the Oilers, beating Turco with a sneaky wrist shot at 16:38.
Unfortunately for the Oil, the Stars responded just as quickly. With Sheldon Souray sitting out for hooking, Brad Richards fed Mike Modano on the doorstep, who then beat Deslauriers to renew his club's lead.
Despite a desperate push by six skaters in the final 30 seconds, the Oilers were unable to tie the game for a third time and suffered a 4-3 defeat to the Stars Sunday night.