The Dallas Stars raced out to a 3-0 lead and never looked back as the Edmonton Oilers fell 3-1 to the Stars in their final game before the all-star break at American Airlines Center in Dallas. Dustin Penner scored the lone Oilers goal.
Under the Scope
Edmonton received the game's first power play 2:16 into the game when Jamie Langenbrunner received two minutes for running interference on Sam Gagner.
On the ensuing power play, the Oilers managed two shots on goal and a handful of great chances but could not score on Stars starting goaltender Kari Lehtonen.
10:38 into the game, Adam Burish opened the scoring for the Stars. Burish carried the puck into the Oilers zone and then fired a wrister at the top right circle past Nikolai Khabibulin to make it 1-0.
With 6:31 to play in the first, Jim Vandermeer dropped the gloves with Krys Barch. The two exchanged several blows before being split up by the linesmen. Neither combatant could really claim an edge in the fight though Vandermeer did knock Barch down briefly at one point.
Moments later, Colin Fraser and Matt Niskanen exchanged blows. Fraser had the edge early but Niskanen got some shots in late and, ultimately, the takedown.
Shots after one period were 11-5 for Edmonton but the Stars had a 1-0 lead.
Edmonton gave Dallas its first power play of the game 1:18 into the middle frame when Dustin Penner was sent off for hooking.
Just over a minute into the man advantage, the Stars scored to increase their lead to 2-0. Langenbrunner blasted a one-timer from the left point that was stopped by Khabibulin but Brendan Morrow was at the doorstep to hammer home the rebound.
Jeff Petry made a great play several minutes later to help keep the Oilers within two. Aaron Gagnon tried to centre a pass but the Oilers rookie defender sprawled on the ice to block it with his stick before clearing it out of harm's way.
Morrow scored his second of the game with 11:38 to play in the second. Ribeiro, Langenbrunner and Morrow worked a nice three-way passing play that resulted in a goal that made it a three-goal game. Ribeiro had the puck behind the net where he dished it to Langenbrunner in the corner. Langenbrunner found the Stars captain in front for the redirection to make it 3-0.
Mayhem erupted at the 12:59 when Barch and Zack Stortini dropped the gloves for a marathon bout. Neither fighter went down at the end though Barch got the majority of shots in.
With just over three minutes to play in the second, Theo Peckham ran some interference on Brad Richards which caused James Neal to engage in fisticuffs with him. It was a brief bout as the two were pinned along the boards for the entirety.
The result of the altercation was a two-minute Oilers power play. Dustin Penner cut the Oilers deficit back to two goals during that man advantage after hammering home a Shawn Horcoff rebound from the top of the crease low blocker side on Lehtonen. The goal made it 3-1 in favour of Dallas.
Edmonton trailed by two heading into the second intermission despite a 22-11 shot advantage.
Sustained pressure in the Oilers zone by the Stars led to Edmonton being forced to take a penalty. Ladislav Smid took an elbowing minor and in the skirmish that followed J-F Jacques took a roughing penalty. The result of the plays was a two-minute five-on-three for Dallas at the midway point of the third period with a chance to put the game away for good.
Once again, however, Oilers penalty killers stood tall on the five-on-three. This despite Cogliano being forced into the box after Khabibulin took a roughing penalty midway through the kill.
Khabibulin made a series of solid stops as the Dallas Stars pressed for a fourth goal late in the game. The Oilers netminder kept the pads down as the Stars continued to pound away at the puck during a goalmouth scramble.