Stars 4, Oilers 1
After weathering a ferocious Edmonton storm early on, the Stars moved atop their division with a special effort from their special teams.
had a goal and assist, and Stephane Robidas
and Jussi Jokinen each scored power-play goals to help give the Stars a 4-1 win over the Oilers on Friday night at Rexall Place. Steve Ott
also scored into an empty net, and Mike Ribeiro
had two assists to give Dallas its second straight win, and fifth in the last seven games.
The win put Dallas into sole possession of first place in the Pacific Division, two points ahead of idle San Jose.
Goalie Marty Turco finished with 32 stops, and kept the Stars alive with 16 saves during an Oilers onslaught in the first period.
Coming off a loss against the Sharks on Tuesday in which Oilers coach Craig MacTavish called "humiliating," Edmonton came out of the gate hard, and ambushed the Stars with a tenacious forecheck for the first 20 minutes. But Turco repelled all but one of their first-period attempts to give the Stars a chance they certainly didn't waste in winning their seventh straight in Edmonton.
"We knew they were going to come out flying and it took us some time to put the pedal to the metal," Turco said. "We were really lackluster in the first but we came out fairly unscathed, only down 1-0. We always seem to have good games against them and we responded well."
"We should've known they would put anything and everything at the net after their game the other night against San Jose," center Mike Modano said.
The Stars were bolstered by the return of right wing Jere Lehtinen, who returned after missing the past 33 games because of a sports hernia. Lehtinen picked up an assist on Morrow's second-period goal.
They also got a big lift from both their power play and penalty killing units. Dallas was 2-of-7 with the man advantage, while it killed off all five of the Oilers power-play opportunities.
"Things didn't look so good early on, and Marty faced a lot of shots in the first," coach Dave Tippett said. "It took the boys a little extra time to get warmed up."
Up by a goal after 40 minutes, Jokinen gave the Stars some insurance when he banged home his 12th of the season at 11:23 with Dallas on the power play. From just below the right faceoff dot, Jokinen one-timed Antti Miettinen's cross-ice pass past Edmonton goalie Dwayne Roloson to give Dallas a 3-1 edge.
Ott capped the scoring with an empty-net goal -- his eighth of the year overall -- with 2:06 left in regulation.
"The guys needed to recognize that Edmonton was a team coming off a tough loss, a team with good coaching and a lot of pride," Tippett said. "We finally got going, grabbed some momentum and got our legs under us."
Down by a goal after the first period, the Stars scored twice in the middle frame to take a 2-1 lead into the third.
Morrow got Dallas on the board with his 21st of the season at 7:16. Cruising in from the blueline, Morrow received a slick pass at the top of the left circle from Ribeiro, who was in the left corner. Morrow let go a wicked one-timer that rocketed past Roloson.
The Stars took their first lead of the game after Robidas scored his fourth of the year just 3 1/2 minutes later. Seconds after Dallas was unable to score while enjoying a two-man advantage, Robidas converted with the Stars up a man at 10:46.
Robidas was the beneficiary of another perfect feed from Ribeiro, who feathered a cross-ice pass from the right circle. The defenseman promptly ripped a one-timer past Roloson from the left circle to give Dallas a 2-1 edge.
"It was nice to see Brenden and some of the veterans grab the points that were on the line and respond to the early hiccups," Tippett said.
The Oilers jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead on Zack Stortini's second goal of the season 5:12 into the game. After Turco made consecutive stops on Geoff Sanderson, Morrow blocked Kyle Brodziak's attempt during a mad scramble in the slot. Stortini, though, corralled that rebound off the Stars captain and deposited a wrist shot into the net.
The Stars looked sluggish early on in the opening period, and were outshot by a 10-1 margin just nine minutes in. But Turco held down the fort long enough for his teammates to start picking up the slack over the final two periods.
"Marty played great and gave us a chance to win for the second game in a row," Ribeiro said. "I was glad it was only 1-0 after one and the special teams did the job and made the difference."
Dallas will cap its three-game road trip through Western Canada on Saturday night against the Calgary Flames (9 p.m., FSN). The Stars defeated the Flames 3-2 in overtime in the first meeting in Calgary in December, as Ribeiro potted two goals, including the winner 57 seconds in the extra session.
The Flames won their fourth straight game on Wednesday with a 5-4 victory over San Jose. Veteran Owen Nolan recorded his 11th hat trick for Calgary in the win, while captain Jarome Iginla failed to get a goal in his eighth consecutive contest.
--Robidas has scored on the power play in two straight games.
--Ribeiro has two assists in each of the last two games.
--It was the 100th meeting all-time between the two franchises. Dallas has won 48 times overall.
--Lehtinen's point was his first since scoring a goal against Los Angeles on Nov. 19.
--Dallas has won nine of its last 11 meetings with the Oilers.
--The Stars haven't lost in Edmonton since a 3-0 defeat in Jan. 2004.
--Turco has won his last six starts in Edmonton.
--Modano was down on the ice for a couple of minutes after he took Edmonton defenseman Joni Pitkanen's upper forearm to the head. Modano turned into Pitkanen just outside the Dallas blueline, but was able to skate off under his own power. He didn't miss a shift. "I never saw him coming," Modano said. "I didn't see him at all. I just turned into him. He came by after to say it wasn't intentional."
|Three star selections