Oilers seeing Stars
ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI, QMI Agency
|Edmonton Oiler Liam Feddoz takes out Dallas Stars goalie Lari Lehtonen duringTursday 4-2 Stars' win at Rexall Place. (Laura Pedersen, Edmonton Sun)
EDMONTON - What do you get when you cross a division leader on a seven-game road-winning streak, in search of a franchise record eighth, against the team with the worst home record in the NHL?
The Stars made it and the Oilers were it.
It was closer that many expected, given that the Dallas Stars were 7-2-1 in their last 10 and the Oilers were 2-7-1, but a sluggish second period and a buzzer-beating empty netter sealed their fate in a 4-2 defeat.
Edmonton pounded Dallas with shots (41-20), just like they did in last week's 3-2 loss, but came out on the wrong side of the result once again.
The loss, Edmonton's 13th in the last 15 games, dropped them to 14-25-7 (7-13-4) at Rexall Place.
The other guys scored first, as usual, when Jamie Benn undressed Nikolai Khabibulin on a breakaway 11:40 into the first period, a play made possible by Taylor Chorney's ill-advised pinch in the Dallas zone.
Things were all set to go from bad to worse when Zack Stortini took an interference penalty on the next shift, but Edmonton's penalty killers dominated the Dallas power play, sending Liam Reddox in on a breakaway, followed by the two-on-one that resulted in a Ryan Jones equalizer at 12:51. Andrew Cogliano's assist on the play gives him four points (two goals and two assists) in the last five games.
The costly lapse that has sunk so many Edmonton ships this season came in the second period, when the Oilers were outshot 9-2 in the first 10 minutes and fell behind 3-1 on a pair of goals that probably shouldn't have been scored.
Chorney turned it over in the neutral zone and Kurtis Foster nearly spun himself into the ice chasing the puck when Mike Ribiero made it 2-1.
The third Dallas goal was bizarre. Benn gained the zone aND coasted in slow motion, without taking a stride, untouched (all Colin Fraser did was wave a stick at him) deep in Oilers territory where he set up James Neal.
The Oilers cut it to 3-2 late in the second on a point shot from Jeff Petry for the first goal of the 23-year-old rookie defenceman's NHL career. He took a long pass from Ladislav Smid, who was behind the Dallas net for some reason, and put a low bullet past Kari Lehtonen at 18:52.
That set the stage for some third period dramatics. But the Stars, 14-0-1 when leading after 40 minutes, know how to close the deal.
Edmonton's last ditch hopes for a comeback were derailed when Taylor Hall took two minutes for slew-footing with three minutes left in regulation.
LATE HITS ... Devan Dubnyk, who spent last game lying on a couch in the dressing room instead of the end of the bench because of flu-like symptoms, was healthy enough to back up against the Stars.