The Edmonton Oilers were in Dallas to face the Stars on Monday night. It was the first of a three game road trip.
Raffi Torres and Jarret Stoll were back in the lineup after spending the last game in the press box.
Dwayne Roloson and Marty Turco were the starting goalies.
45 seconds in and Ales Hemsky was clothes-lined at the Oiler blue line with no call. Steve Ott actually hit him in the face with his stick and it went unpunished. The Stars took possession in the Oiler zone and Joni Pitkanen was called for hooking.
Only 53 seconds gone and the Stars had an early power play. Amazing how one penalty goes uncalled and the next doesn't.
The Oilers did a good job on the penalty kill, as the Stars were held without a shot. The Oilers finally got the first shot of the game with 3:30 gone, as a pass from Hemsky to Horcoff skipped off his stick and right onto Turco.
The Oilers continued with good hard checking, as Gilbert pinched in at the blue line, pushing the puck to Pisani. Pisani then saw Nilsson open to the right side of the net, and he found Gagner all alone on the left side for the one-timer.
Gagner made no mistake and the Oilers were up 1-0 at 4:26.
Off the face-off the Stars took possession in the Oiler zone. Some pushing and shoving occurred after the puck was whistled dead, and Ladislav Smid was called for a really weak roughing penalty. The Oilers did a great job of killing the penalty off, but as Smid stepped on the ice the Stars had a beautiful tic-tac-toe passing play and Mike Ribeiro was the recipient beside the open right side of the net.
The game was tied at one, only five seconds after the penalty had been killed.
Again the Stars came back off the face-off, and Sergei Zubov fed Matt Niskanen at the point and his shot eluded Roloson.
2-1 Stars at 7:06.
It was then the Oilers turn to take the Stars zone, and Penner tried a wrap-around that bounced and went off the chest of Stephan Robidas and behind Turco.
2-2 at 8:26.
The Stars got the puck and stormed the Oiler’s zone. 40 seconds after Edmonton had tied the game, Zubov took a shot from the point that Roloson saved, but he left a juicy rebound. The rebound was picked up by Jussi Jokinen, and this time Modano was the recipient of a good pass, which he then tapped it in the open right side.
3-2 Stars at 9:06. Five goals in 4:40.
Craig MacTavish had seen all he needed to from Dwayne Roloson, as he was pulled and replaced by Mathieu Garon after the third Dallas goal. Only three saves on six shots for Roloson.
The Stars again controlled play off the face-off, and again stormed the Oiler’s zone. Dallas got two more quick shots off, but this time Mathieu Garon was there to make the saves.
The Stars continued with more pressure but no shots on goal. The Oilers finally relieved the pressure, as Nilsson and Gagner got another chance—but this time Turco was there to make the save.
With just under five minutes to go, Kyle Brodziak and Andrew Cogliano took off on a two on one and Brodziak ripped a shot that beat Turco but clinked off the post and stayed out. The Oilers continued with the pressure, and Penner set up Horcoff alone on the left side—this time however, Turco was there to make the save.
The last three minutes settled down, and were fairly uneventful. The period ended 3-2 Stars. Shots in the period were 9-8 for the Stars.
The Oilers got the first good chance only 40 seconds into the second period, as Penner drove the right side and dropped to Horcoff. His shot was saved by Turco.
The teams exchanged end-to-end action for the next couple of minutes, and at 3:13 Stu Barnes was called for hooking, giving the Oilers their first power play of the game.
The Oilers did a good job of controlling the puck and getting some shots off. Finally the best chance went to the Stars shorthanded, as the puck jumped Horcoff’s stick at the blue line and Halpern had a breakaway that Garon made a huge save on.
The Stars killed the penalty, and with the Oilers continuing to pressure, Mike Modano was called for hooking.
The Oilers managed a paltry shot on their second power play, but it was an easy kill for Dallas. The Stars then had a turn with some pressure, and it was Brendan Morrow who picked up the puck in the corner and drove the net. Again, Garon had to be sharp to make the save.
With just under ten minutes to go, the Oilers had a good rush with Stoll and Torres passing the puck around. Torres fed Tom Gilbert at the point, and his wrist shot went high over the shoulder of Turco.
3-3 at 10:40.
Like they did in the first period after giving up a goal, the Stars came right back and forced Garon to make a big save. I think the defense forgot to show up for both teams in this game.
Under six minutes to go and the Stars had all kinds of pressure. Antti Miettenen had a good shot that Garon kicked to the corner. Then, with a delayed penalty coming to the Oilers, Miettenen found Zubov coming in from the point, who rifled the puck into the open side of the net.
4-3 Stars at 14:20.
The remainder of the period was pretty quiet, as it seemed the teams had started to tire.
The period ended with the Stars up 4-3. Shots in the period favored Dallas 11-6.
It was an uneventful start to the third period, with the teams exchanging end-to-end action but neither squad being able to get any sustained pressure or good scoring chances. With under five minutes gone, Denis Grebeshkov was checked at the Stars' blue line, and Grebeshkov got back to break up the two-on-one with a good defensive play.
Just over 13 minutes to go, and the Stars had some good pressure that resulted in a shot by Niskanen from the point that Garon had to be sharp on. The Stars then continued with pressure and were rewarded with a power play, as Pitkanen was called for high sticking at 7:49.
The Stars got a couple good shots on the power play that were easily handled by Garon. As the penalty expired, the Stars had one last chance—but the shot grazed the outside of the post.
Edmonton then went down the ice, and with Penner controlling the puck behind the Stars' net, Horcoff found an open seam. The pass found him—and in turn, the back of the net behind Turco.
4-4 at 10:36.
The teams then exchanged end-to-end action again. Neither roster looked like they knew how to play defense, but the goalies were able to prevent any further scoring. The Stars came the closest during the period, as Niklas Hagman picked up a loose puck in front of Garon, and his backhand shot forced Garon to do the splits to make the save.
The final minute saw the Stars dominate play again. Mike Modano had a chance to win the game, but Garon made a huge save. That was all set up by Gilbert, Pitkanen, and Reasoner fooling around with the puck in their own zone and not getting it out.
The period ended tied at four. Shots were 7-6 for the Oilers.
The Oilers had the first chance to score in overtime—but Turco made a great poke check on Hemsky as he was cutting to the center of the ice. The Stars came right back, and a shot by Zubov was smothered by Garon. At 2:04, the Stars were given a great chance to win the game, as Stoll was called for a rather weak holding penalty.
Dallas set themselves up brilliantly, with Modano getting open and firing off a shot that was saved by Garon. Spectacular leg save by the Edmonton goalie here. The Stars continued the pressure, and finally a slap pass from Zubov found an open Brendan Morrow, who deflected the puck by Garon.
5-4 final for the Stars.
The Oilers lost this game because they were sloppy, and because Roloson couldn’t make a save when he needed to early on.
Jarret Stoll obviously didn’t learn much from his night in the press box. He was weak on face-offs, was on the ice for two goals against, and was in the penalty box for the game winning goal. The penalty he took was a weak holding call—but one he has been called for several other times this year, and thus he should have learned by now that the whistle will be blown.
Torres for his part was not much better. Am I making them the whipping boys? Yes!
These are two guys who were supposed to supply secondary scoring this year. They have indeed done just that—only for the wrong team.
Now they are both scraping the bottom when it comes to +/-. In fact, Stoll is now -11, placing him around 710 of 727 players in the NHL.
These two guys need to start showing up—or else they should to be traded. I, for one, am tired of waiting for the Torres we keep getting told is there to show up.