Friday, March 1, 2013

Struck By Oil. Dallas Stars Game 21: 5-1 Loss to the Edmonton Oilers

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Before Thursday night, the Edmonton Oilers had not won a game in regulation in Dallas since December 8, 2006. That all changed in the form of a very ugly and defensively sloppy 5-1 romping of the Stars.

Kari Lehtonen’s return from a groin injury did not go as planned. He allowed five goals on 38 shots, two of which were bounces off his blocker and his own defender.

Sam Gagner opened the scoring for Edmonton just 1:13 into the game when he stood behind the goal line and threw the puck at the net that deflected off of Lehtonen’s blocker and into the net. It was a sign of things to come. Later in the period, Jordan Eberle dished the puck across the slot to a wide open Justin Schultz, who was streaking toward the net. He one-timed the puck up and over Lehtonen’s glove to give the Oilers a 2-0 lead heading to the second period.

The only goal in the second period, came with 14 seconds left when Jeff Petry spun a backhand shot toward the net. Lehtonen dropped to his knees and used his stick to deflect the puck forward. It bounced off of Trevor Daley at the top of the crease and fluttered off of Lehtonen’s elbow and into the net.

With a 3-0 deficit, the Stars looked to start the third period off on the right foot to dig themselves out of the hole they were in. Instead, Ales Hemsky collected a loose puck at in the high slot and wristed a power play goal 50 seconds into the third period.

Later in the period, Lennart Petrell made a pass to an open Ben Eager who blasted the puck past Lehtonen. Jaromir Jagr broke Edmonton goalie Devan Dubnyk’s shutout bid with 5:55 left in the third period. Antoine Roussel’s strong work along the boards opened up enough room for him to pass to Alex Goligoski at the top of the right circle. Goligoski attempted to stick handle through a crowd, but the puck was poked away. Jagr skated right into the zone off a line change and ripped the puck past Dubnyk.

The  Stars’ streak of three or more goals a game ended and their hot power play cooled off as they failed to score on five opportunities. One of the very few bright spots for Dallas was their penalty kill, which went 8-for-9 on the night.

Dallas’s next game is at home Sunday afternoon against the St. Louis Blues.

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