The Dallas Stars have had their way with the Edmonton Oilers in recent years. The Oilers got some revenge Thursday night, routing the Stars 5-1 to snap a six-game winless streak against the Stars, and a five game losing streak at American Airlines Center. It was the Oilers’ first regulation win in Dallas since 2006.
“Well, I think mathematically we were due,” said Oilers coach Ralph Krueger.
Stars coach Glen Gulutzan saw it a different way.
“It was a stinker,” Gulutzan said.
Not much went right for the Stars, who surrendered four goals or more for the sixth time in the last eight games.
They put the Oilers on nine power plays, including three 5-on-3 power play chances. The Oilers missed on all the 5-on-3’s or the score could have been more lopsided.
The Stars’ power play had a chance to turn the game around in the second period, but it couldn’t cash in and the Oilers ended up extending their lead on a goal where the puck bounced their way.
“It was an odd night. It was an odd night,” said Gulutzan. “They got a couple of bounces early and the penalties didn’t allow us to get back in the game.”
The Oilers scored 1:13 into the game when a Sam Gagner centering pass deflected off Kari Lehtonen’s blocker and into the net. Justin Schultz made it a 2-0 game later in the period when he pinched in from the blue line, took a pass from Jordan Eberle and scored into the open side of the net.
The Oilers, who killed off three days power plays in the second, made it a 3-0 game with a fluky goal with just 13.9 seconds left in the second period. Defenseman Jeff Petry backhanded the puck on net from the left corner, had it bounce off Lehtonen’s stick, then off Stars defenseman Trevor Daley and into the net.
“A couple tough bounces,” said forward Erik Cole, who played his first game as a Star after being acquired from Montreal on Tuesday. “But I think if we could have maybe gotten one in there on one of our second period power plays we could have changed the complexion quite a bit.”
The loss spoiled the return of Lehtonen, who was back in goal after missing the last five games with a groin injury. Lehtonen stopped 33 of 38 shots on the night.
“It’s not the way I wanted to come back,” Lehtonen said. “It was good to play, but the result was awful.”
The Oilers added two more goals in the third period before Jaromir Jagr ended Oilers goaltender Devan Dubnyk’s shutout bid with 5:55 remaining in the game.
With 4:00 left in the game Stars center Jamie Benn was given a cross-checking major and a game misconduct for hitting Oilers forward Ryan Jones, who had just been assessed a minor penalty for running into Lehtonen. Jones was down on the ice for a while before heading off to the Oilers’ bench.
“Well, I’m sure (the league) is going to look at it. I think they look at any fives, but it’s not a suspendable offense in my mind,” Gulutzan said of Benn’s cross-check. “A guy goes off looking at your bench kind of smirking, and then you’re probably alright. Not a high hit or a head hit.”
The loss dropped the Stars to 10-9-2 on the season. The Oilers, who were playing the second game of a nine-game road trip, improved to 8-7-4 on the season.
*The last time the Oilers won in regulation at American Airlines Center was December 8, 2006.
*The Stars’ streak of scoring three or more goals in a game ended at eleven.
*The Oilers were 1-9 on the power play in the game.
*The Stars were 0-5 on the power play.
*Attendance was 17,004 at American Airlines Center.