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McDavid scores, but Oilers drop third straight to Stars

by Steve Hunt / NHL.com

DALLAS -- Connor McDavid scored his first NHL goal, but Jason Spezza had a hat trick and Kari Lehtonen made 26 saves in his first start of the season to give the Dallas Stars a 4-2 win against the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday at American Airlines Center.

McDavid, the top pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, scored when he deflected a shot by Andrej Sekera from the left point at 12:18 of the second period.

"I was excited but a lot of it was relief," McDavid said. "It's just the pressure out there these days. It felt good."

Spezza had a goal in the first period and two in the third. The eventual game-winner came with 4:30 remaining when Spezza's shot from the slot beat Oilers goaltender Anders Nilsson, who made 48 saves, through the five-hole.

The game-winner came 11 seconds after Lehtonen denied Nail Yakupov on a breakaway that would have given the Oilers their first lead.

"We made one poor decision that led to a breakaway and Lehtonen gave us was probably the biggest play of the night," Stars coach Lindy Ruff said.

Spezza scored an empty-net goal with 57 seconds left to complete the hat trick.

"I thought we played a good game for 60 minutes. They get two tip-in goals and we were in pretty good position on them. I think we talked about just sticking with it," Spezza said. "If we make it 3-0, game's probably over. They did a good job of hanging around and made it a tough game."

Jamie Benn scored for Dallas (2-1-0).

"I can't say enough about how we played in the third," Ruff said. "I thought we played great in the third."

Oscar Klefbom scored for Edmonton, which fell to 0-3-0.

"To be as close as we were at the end was a little bit misleading I think, anybody that sat and watched that knows that we weren't within a goal by any means, fortunate to be there at the end," Oilers coach Todd McLellan said.

Spezza scored his first goal of the game at 17:48 of the first period when his wrist shot from outside the left circle struck Nilsson's left pad and landed in the back of the net.

Rookie center Mattias Janmark had the primary assist on the goal, giving him three points (two goals) in his first three games.

Benn scored on a wraparound 2:42 into the second period when he took a pass from Jyrki Jokipakka behind the Oilers net and put a wrist shot inside the near post.

Edmonton answered later in the second with two goals in 1:23 to make it 2-2. Klefblom scored on a slap shot from the left circle at 10:55, a blast that deflected in off the arm of Stars center Vernon Fiddler.

McDavid was relieved to get his first goal in his third career game. His coach was happy to see McDavid put it in the rearview mirror.

"Connor getting his goal was a nice reward," McLellan said. "I know that he's been squeezing the stick tight and I'm sure that he's felt some pressure to score."

Dallas looked to have regained the lead at 13:06 when it appeared that Travis Moen scored, but his shot struck the right post.

Following a rather lengthy official review, an apparent goal by Stars forward Patrick Sharp at 9:43 of the third was waved off. Sharp tried to slip the puck by Nilsson at the far post to his short side, but the play was blown dead.

Dallas outshot Edmonton 20-6 in the third period and 52-28 for the game.

"If you get over 50 shots, you should win. It was nice at the end that we were rewarded for our just working hard tonight," Lehtonen said.

Midway through the first, the Stars lost right wing Patrick Eaves to a lower-body injury. Eaves, who had been skating on the top line alongside Benn and center Tyler Seguin, did not return.

"Looks like he's going to miss a little bit of time," Ruff said of Eaves. "Doesn't look like it's a day-to-day thing."

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