Thanks in part to Ryan Jones' shorthanded goal, rookie Jeff Petry's first career marker, and steady shot-taking, the Oilers created some excitement Thursday night at Rexall Place. But in the end, the Stars were more successful in the goal department and finished with a 4-2 win.
Under the Scope
One minute into the contest, Dallas' Karlis Skrastins was called for tripping. Edmonton tallied two shots on the opening power-play and, although they couldn't get one past Kari Lehtonen, maintained control following the man-advantage. By the seven-minute mark, the home team was up 6-1 on the shot clock.
The Oilers held the edge in attempts, but the Stars were the first to make one count. At 11:40, Jamie Benn broke through the defence and successfully deked Nikolai Khabibulin for the first goal of the game.
27 seconds after the goal, an interference minor to Zack Stortini put the Stars on the power-play. Playing shorthanded suited the Oilers, however: after Liam Reddox was denied on a shorthanded breakaway, Andrew Cogliano stole the puck, skated back in on Lehtonen, and fired towards the net. Poised at the top of the crease, Jones got lucky, deflected the puck inside the post, and was credited with an equalizer after video review. ( WATCH THE GOAL)
With 58 seconds left in the frame, Nicklas Grossman clipped fellow Swede Magnus Paajarvi with his stick, gifting the Oilers their second power-play. The Stars killed off the clock, pushing the man-advantage into the second period.
Edmonton couldn't register a shot during the remainder the power-play, but shortly into five-on-five, Sam Gagner got one from a sharp angle. It seemed to be a sure goal, but Lehtonen responded "surely not!" with a spectacular diving glove snag.
The stop inspired the Stars. At 6:26, Mike Ribeiro and Grossman completed a clean give-and-go that fooled Khabibulin and renewed the visiting lead.
Dallas took over the shot clock following the go-ahead goal and then went back on the power-play after Shawn Horcoff was called for hooking. Edmonton killed the majority of the penalty, but with 17 seconds remaining, James Neal sunk a snapshot to set the score 3-1.
To the delight of fans at Rexall Place, the Oilers got that one back before the period was out. With help from Ladislav Smid and Paajarvi, defenceman Petry got the puck at the point and wired it into the net to notch his first career NHL goal and get his club back within one heading into the final frame. ( WATCH THE GOAL)
Six minutes into the third, the Oilers hit 30 shots while the Stars sat at 23, stats that changed little as the period progressed.
With just under three minutes remaining in regulation, Taylor Hall took a holding minor and the Stars went on the power-play for a third time. The Oilers killed those two minutes, and as Hall exited the penalty box, Khabibulin exited his net.
The extra skater couldn't force extra time, however, and thanks to a late empty-netter courtesy of Adam Burish, the Stars came out with a 4-2 win.