EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) _ Scott Ferguson surprised himself with a rare goal
The Edmonton defenseman's first goal of the season was the game-winner, and
Tommy Salo earned the shutout as the Oilers beat the Dallas Stars 3-0.
Raffi Torres scored Edmonton's other two goals.
Ferguson pounced on a rebound and one-timed a shot past Dallas goaltender
Marty Turco 1:17 into the third period to break a scoreless tie. Brad Isbister
and Mike York assisted.
``I was able to tap it home pretty easily,'' Ferguson said. ``I was pretty
surprised I didn't miss the net.''
Oilers head coach Craig MacTavish praised Ferguson.
``Fergie's such a popular member of the club, the way he battles and plays
the game, I mean he has to fight and claw for everything that he gets in this
game,'' MacTavish said. ``Everyone likes to see Fergie put it in the back of
Salo has been red-hot of late, allowing just five goals in his last six
games. He made 16 saves to record his third shutout of the season, all in the
last 10 days. He made a crucial stop on an unobstructed point shot by Sergei
Zubov with under four minutes remaining.
``It's nice to get a shutout and it's always nice to get a win,'' said Salo,
uninterested in delving further into personal achievements. ``We played really
good today. They looked a little bit tired but at the same time, we played good
Dallas (21-20-8-0) hung on to the eighth spot in the Western Conference with
50 points, three ahead of the Oilers (19-20-8-1).
``It's happened too often this year where we haven't generated goals in
games that you obviously need,'' Turco said. ``Tonight, we played a hungry team
that fought for some pucks, got open, scored some rebound goals and we couldn't
generate much at the other end when we needed it.''
It was the ninth time Dallas had been blanked this season, two shy of a club
Edmonton's offense got a scare when York, the team's leading scorer, was
checked into the boards in the opening period and hit his head on the glass. He
left the game, but returned in the third and chipped in his team-high 22nd
``It was kind of a head thing so they were just being cautious,'' York said.
``I felt safe being out there. I was kind of itching to get out there but they
made me wait, which is a good thing.''
After Ferguson snapped the 0-0 deadlock, Torres extended the lead to two
when he batted his own rebound in on a rush down the left wing. Jarret Stoll
and Igor Ulanov were given assists. Torres scored his second of the game with
46 seconds left on a high shot that fooled Turco.
The typically physical matchup between the two rivals never materialized.
There were just seven minor penalties throughout the game.
Georges Laraque returned to the Oiler lineup after a recent stint in both
the press box and MacTavish's doghouse. He got the message and made an impact
early with linemates Torres and Stoll, generating some scoring chances on
``Obviously, it feels very good to be back out there and be able to
contribute,'' Laraque said. ``With 34 games left, our line can be a huge factor
and it gives me a lot of confidence now to see the level that I can bring.
``I'm just going to keep playing the same way and approach every game as
serious as I did today and hopefully I'll be able to help out every game, like
we did tonight.''