When it comes to delivering in overtime, nobody has done it better in NHL history than Jaromir Jagr and he did it again Wednesday, scoring 1:46 into the extra period to lift the Dallas Stars to a 3-2 victory in Edmonton. It was an NHL-record 17th overtime goal for Jagr.
“When I was younger, the longer the game goes the stronger I am going to feel,” the 40-year-old Jagr said. “I always felt third period, overtime I am the strongest and I tried to take advantage. This is not right now, kind of lucky right now.”
It was a little more than luck Wednesday night. He picked up the rebound of a Jamie Benn shot along the right boards, slipped around Oilers defenseman Ryan Whitney and then ripped a shot past Oilers goaltender Devan Dubnyk.
“I tried to beat the guy one-on-one and shot it right away,” Jagr said. “I still have to get used to it, the European rink is big and you have so much time. Here it is totally different, you have to shoot it right away.”
It wasn’t the only big play of the night for Jagr, who set up a second period goal that tied the game at 1-1. Ten minutes after the Oilers had taken the lead on an Ales Hemsky goal, Jagr skated along the left boards, controlling the puck with one hand on his stick and using the other to hold off Oilers defenseman Ladislav Smid, before turning and centering the puck to Benn, who scored from the slot.
“The play he made to Benn, our bench was in awe of that play,” said Stars coach Glen Gulutzan. “Eric Nystrom said it best when he said, ‘What a beast.’ He still surprises the way he can dominate.”
The two teams traded power play goals late in the second and early in the third period. Derek Roy notched his first goal as a Star, scoring from the point on the power play late in the second period to give the Stars a 2-1 lead. Oilers rookie defenseman Justin Schultz answered with a power play goal, scoring off a blast from 40 feet out, at 7:38 of the third to tie the game at 2-2.
Gulutzan liked the Stars getting the two points, but he wasn’t thrilled with the Stars’ response after the Oilers tied the game on that Schultz goal.
“We kept turning the puck over and putting the game in jeopardy,” Gulutzan said. “Until we realize that we are a team that has to grind out games, we are a team that even if it gets a little dicey out there, we have to continue to play a certain way – we’re not going to get traction. So, I didn’t like our response; I thought we turned way too many pucks over. We’ve got to learn to do a better job.”
Wednesday’s win was the second straight for the Stars, the first time this season they’ve put together back-to-back victories. They are now 5-5-1 on the season.
The Oilers lost their fourth straight, three of them coming in either overtime or the shootout, and are now 4-3-3 on the season.
“We obviously want to start finding a way to get two points in these situations,” said Dubnyk. “We’ll find a way.”
*With his goal Wednesday, Jaromir Jagr moves into a tie with Luc Robitaille for the tenth spot on the all-time NHL goal scoring list. He now has 668 career goals.
*It was also Jagr’s 115th career game-winning goal – he’s three game-winners away from tying Phil Esposito for the most in NHL history.
*Stars forward Michael Ryder picked up his 200th career assist in the game.
*Stars defenseman Alex Goligoski was a healthy scratch Wednesday night. Tom Wandell and Ryan Garbutt were also scratched. Ray Whitney is on injured reserve.
*The Oilers, who were down three centers entering the game, lost center Anton Lander in the first period.