The Edmonton Oilers still have some work to do on their Xs and Os -- and Pat Quinn promises they will -- but one thing he won't have to teach them on the drawing board they're heading back to this morning is the ability to take a punch.
If there's one thing this team seems to be good at it's getting up off the canvas and landing a clean shot of their own.
One game after fighting back from 1-0 and 3-1 deficits against the Calgary Flames, the Oilers fought back from 2-1, 3-2 and 4-3 deficits in last night's 5-4 shootout victory over the Dallas Stars.
Clearly, there is no I in quit.
"It shows a lot of character, that guys are working hard," said winger Ales Hemsky who scored the only goal of the shootout.
"We have to play a little better, but this shows that everybody is working hard and that's most important."
Tied 1-1 after 20 minutes on goals from Mike Comrie and Brenden Morrow, Edmonton spent the rest of the night playing catch up.
James Neal made it 2-1 on a shorthanded breakaway (thanks to a Turco stretch pass), but just 38 seconds later Sam Gagner scored his second of the season on a five-hole slapper from the top of the circle.
"We want to be a team that never quits," said Gagner, who also scored the tying goal late in the third period on Saturday.
"This is a rink we want to be really tough to beat in. For us this was a great stepping stone, it really showed our character and hopefully we can build on it."
Stephane Robidas made it 3-2 on the power play at 11:57, but Dustin Penner scored his second of the season to tie it at 18:06.
Brenden Morrow made it 4-3 just 1:25 into the third, but Denis Grebeshkov squared it up at 6:52.
"It seems like a pretty good feeling around here," said Gagner. "There's no quit in here."
Now if they can just address the problems that keep putting them behind all the time.
"We abandoned our game plan in the second period, started to go solo with individual play," said Quinn.
"We can't play that way and expect to win.
"We had some attempted breakouts I never, ever saw before. We had people going on routes that came from no maps of mine, that's for sure."
It wasn't until Ales Hemsky scored on Edmonton's third penalty shot and James Neal hit the post on the final Dallas shootout attempt that head coach Quinn could exhale.
Hemsky actually fanned on his shootout attempt, but it slid past Turco anyway.
"I tried to go upstairs glove, but it slipped," he shrugged. "I guess I'm happy I didn't shoot it upstairs.
"This was a big win for us; we needed it. It would be tough to be two games down going against Calgary."
By game's end, Dustin Penner had replaced JF Jacques on the first line with Hemsky and Horcoff
-Sheldon Souray squared off with Krys Barch right after Dallas tied it in the first and threw around the 221-pound Dallas winger like he was shaking dust from a blanket.
-Ethan Moreau sat out last night's game with an infection in his ankle, opening the door for Robert Nilsson.