EDMONTON, CANADA - FEBRUARY 12 : Eric Nystrom #24, Brenden Dillon #4, Stephane Robidas #3 and Derek Roy #11 of the Dallas Stars celebrate after scoring a goal in a game against the Edmonton Oilers on February 12, 2013 at Rexall Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images)
With last night’s victory, the Dallas Stars earned their 759th victory in their 20 year history as a Dallas franchise, besting their win total as the North Stars over the 26 year span in Minnesota. What seems like a quarter of those victories have come against the Oilers IN Edmonton, including last night’s 4-1 win.
Asked if the Stars played well, I couldn’t give a resounding, “Yes.”
But in today’s NHL, you have to have a little luck bounce your way and in the course of a shortened season, luck definitely has to be your 21st player.
It looked as if luck wanted nothing to do with Dallas and even though Taylor Hall’s “seeing-eye-puck” had nothing really to do with luck, as the Stars headed into the 2nd period down 1-0, the thoughts of a long evening crept into the minds of some Stars fans. The Hall shot, which may have had the slightest deflection from Stephane Robidas’ stick, fluttered underneath Kari Lehtonen’s glove arm, which always seems to be where the “fluky” goals pass him by.
Then lady luck joined the Stars on the ice, in particularly Brenden Dillon. With what could be counted as a shot (at least by the statisticians), Dillon put the puck toward the net from the half wall. It was deflected by an Oiler’s stick and ricocheted off the glass behind Edmonton goalie, Devan Dubnyk. The puck then hit Dubnyk square in the numbers on the back of his jersey and into the net to tie the game at 1-1.
From there, it was your typical Dallas Stars 2nd period as the Oilers outshot Dallas, 16-9 and relied heavily on Lehtonen to make at least a handful of jaw-dropping saves. The positive to come out of last night’s 2nd period was the fact that the Stars only took one penalty, and that was a very weak call as Aaron Rome thought he got the icing call and was going to flip the puck to the linesman, instead, the official felt as if the Oiler backchecker beat out the icing and called Rome for smothering the puck. In addition, the Stars actually outscored their opponent in the middle frame, with Dillon’s goal as the only tally.
The Stars took the lead for good only 44 seconds into the 3rd when at the end of his shift, forward, Eric Nystrom, floated a puck toward the net which bounced of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins’ stick and over the shoulder of Dubnyk for his first goal of the season. Later in the period, Jaromir Jagr and Ryan Garbutt would put the game out of reach as both made strong plays as they crashed the net and forced the puck through Dubnyk. Despite having to play from behind early in the period and being gifted several power plays, the Oilers were outshot in the 3rd period and never really made a legitimate threat to coming back into the game.
The win was Dallas’ 4th in a row. If Dallas is to extend their winning streak, they’re going to have to end another streak in the process. The Stars will look to address the 1-14-2 record in the 2nd game of a back-to-back as they travel down the highway to face the Calgary Flames.
The Oilers top line of Jordan Eberle, Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins lead all forwards with ice time and posted -1 rating. Rookie defenseman, Justin Schultz lead all Oilers with TOI with 25:08.
Dallas continues to spread minutes evenly among defensemen with all averaging 19:45-20:30 with the exception of Aaron Rome, who had two penalties and spent 4 total minutes in the box.
Dallas held Edmonton to zero power play goals. This is the first time this season that Edmonton did not score at home with the man-advantage.
Brenden Dillon scored his 2nd goal of the season. In comparison, Edmonton Oilers’ defenseman, Mark Fistric scored 3 goals total in his 4 years with Dallas before being traded a few weeks ago.
3-Brenden Dillon (DAL): 1G, 3 shots and 5 hits.
2-Taylor Hall (EDM): 1G, 9 shots (yes, NINE) and 21:56 TOI
1-Kari Lehtonen (DAL): Really? Do you need it spelled out? 25 saves on 26 shots for 0.972%