Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Stars top Oilers 3-2, end home skid
By Mark Stepneski
The Dallas Stars snapped a five-game winless streak at home with a 3-2 victory over the Edmonton Oilers Tuesday night at American Airlines Center. Kari Lehtonen made 39 saves and James Neal snapped a 2-2 tie with 11:09 remaining. Brenden Morrow and Jamie Benn also scored for the Stars, who were outshot 41-20.
“We talked a lot about that (the home winless streak). We haven’t lost them all, but we haven’t won here for five games and this would have been six, so it was big. It was the way we drew it up. It was kind of a sloppy start to the third period, but Nealer (James Neal) got us a big one and we were able to hold on.” – Stars captain Brenden Morrow
“It is two points and very important points for us. I think over the last six games we’ve played better and not gotten two points. At the end of the day there is nothing like winning. You win maybe not as well as you’d like, but it so important to get points when they are there and available to be had." Stars coach Marc Crawford.
*The Stars were 4-0-1 over their five games and have outscored their opponents 17-8 during that stretch.
*The Stars improved to 18-6-5 over their last 29 games.
*The Stars are 15-3-5 in one-goal games this season and lead the NHL in one-goal wins.
*Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen stopped 39 of 41 shots Tuesday and is now 7-2-1 when facing 35 or more shots in a game and is 3-1-1 in games when facing 40 more shots.
*James Neal has scored three goals in the last five games.
*Loui Eriksson picked up an assist in the game, running his assist streak to eight games, the longest current assist streak in the NHL.
*Mike Ribeiro picked up an assist, running his points streak to seven games (three goals, five assists).
*The Stars were 3-3 on the penalty kill and are 14-15 on the PK over the last five games.
Injured: Petersen (leg), Skrastins (head), Niskanen (hand)
Power play units
Penalty kill units
The Oilers had better of play for most of the period and had a 7-2 shots advantage at one point. One of those shots was a Ryan Jones breakaway, which was turned away by Kari Lehtonen.
Not long after the Stars scored on their third shot of the game. Mike Ribeiro centered a pass from behind the goal line to Brenden Morrow, who punched the puck in from the slot.
The Oilers appeared to tie the game at 1-1 on a Kurtis Foster shot from the point, but the goal was waved off because Linus Omark prevented Kari Lehtonen from being able to play the puck.
Stars coach Marc Crawford juggled his lines in the period, moving Jamie Langenbrunner to a line with Brenden Morrow and Mike Ribeiro and moving Jamie Benn to a line with Steve Ott and Adam Burish.
The Ott-Burish-Benn trio hooked up for a goal late in the second to make it a 2-0 game. Off the rush three forwards touched the puck and Ott set up Benn, who scored from close range with 5:20 left in the period.
The trio appeared to score again with 2:35 left in the period, but this one was waved for goaltender interference.
The Oilers finally broke through on Lehtonen at the 5:50 mark of the third period when Jean-Francois Jacques lifted the rebound of a Ladislav Smid point shot over Lehtonen.
Edmonton drew even just 1:48 later when Ryan Jones scored off a rebound to make it a 2-2 game at 7:38 mark.
The Stars took the lead 1:13 later when James Neal scored off a blast from the right circle. At first it appeared the puck hit the post and bounced out, but video review showed the puck hit the back of the net.