Stars sink Oilers 6-3
Oilers' Aaron Johnson carries the puck away from Stars captain Brenden Morrow (photo: Getty Images)
After a lackluster first period in which they allowed three goals, the Oilers rallied in the second to even the game. But the Stars came back in the final frame, adding another three goals to sink the Oil 6-3.
, Marc Pouliot, and Ethan Moreau all scored for Edmonton in the middle frame, while goalie Devan Dubnyk
finished with 29 saves.
Only 1:23 into the game, the even game was tipped off its axis when Dallas' Brian Sotherby took two minutes for holding. Edmonton registered two shots on the powerplay but Kari Lehtonen kept a powerplay marker off the board.
Less than 30 seconds after Sotherby was released, the Stars struck. After Brad Richards snagged the puck in the neutral zone, the Oilers were unable to corral IT behind their net and watched it tic-tac-toe out to James Neal, who wristed it past Dubnyk for the game's opening goal.
Following the goal, tempers flared near the penalty boxes resulting in a fight between Sutherby and Jason Strudwick
. The spirited scrap netted five-minute majors to both players and an addional delay of game penalty to Matt Niskanen, but the Oil couldn't capitalize on the second powerplay.
At the period's midway point, Gilbert Brule
slid into Lehtonen's net and was slow to get up. He limped off the ice favouring his right ankle and would not return to the game.
At 14:46, Dallas finally saw the other side of the man-advantage and accomplished what Edmonton could not. Although the Oilers killed the majority of the infraction and Tom Gilbert
intercepted a play in the final seconds, the puck transfered from Richard's stick into the net before Moreau could rejoin the fold.
On the following center ice face-off, Jere Lehtinen pounced on the reeling Oilers by deflecting Sutherby's hip-high pass past Dubnyk to add another goal.
After 20 minutes, the Stars were up 3-0 and owned a 10-6 shot lead.
Edmonton and Dallas traded shots in the first five minutes of the middle frame, but the Oilers were the first to make one count. At 4:40, Penner robbed Jamie Benn, surged in on Lehtonen, and slipped the puck five-hole to get the Oil back within two.
The Oilers hit nothing but red paint on their fourth powerplay, but Pouliot hit the mark shortly thereafter. On a feed from Penner, Pouliot got a handle on the puck and tapped it past Lehtonen's left post to further narrow the gap.
The Oilers continued to press as the period progressed, and with 5:40 on the clock, it paid off in a tie game. With the white jerseys swarming, Lehtonen made a pair of initial stops, but Moreau caught a rebound and shoved it over the line to even the score at three.
The goal capped a productive period for the visitors in which they tallied three goals on 15 shots and turned away all nine home attempts.
After battling to even it up in the middle frame, the Oilers slipped back behind 2:21 into the third. From just beyond the left circle, Benn trickled the puck past Dubnyk to renew Dallas' lead. With the primary helper on the play, Mike Modano registered his 800th career assist.
Four minutes in, Mark Fistric smoked Ryan Jones
in the Stars' zone, triggering a group shoving match in the corner. Jones, in his first game back from a knee injury, was slow to get up but skated back to the bench under his own power and took his next shift.
Dallas didn't let up as the minutes ticked down, and at 8:35, they extended their lead. From the right side, Mike Ribeiro watched his shot fly through a crowd and deflect off Strudwick's stick and into the net to make it 5-3 Stars.
With less than five minutes left in regulation, Benn erased Edmonton's second-period efforts. Despite making a valiant flying save across his crease, Dubnyk was unable to catch all of the puck and Benn's second goal of the night slid across the line.
The goal sealed a 6-3 loss for the Oilers.
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