EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) -The Edmonton Oilers got the jump on the Dallas Stars.
Mathieu Garon made 23 saves to help the Oilers beat Dallas 5-2 on Wednesday night in the Stars' second game without suspended agitator Sean Avery.
Shawn Horcoff, Lubomir Visnovsky, Marc-Antoine Pouliot, Ales Hemsky and Andrew Cogliano scored for Edmonton, up 2-0 after one period and 3-0 after two.
"We got off to a good start tonight, which has not been our forte here at home," Oilers coach Craig MacTavish said. "There was a lot of pressure on the team for this game. We are going back on the road and hadn't played well at home. There was a lot of pressure and sometimes that doesn't bring out your best game but we played well tonight. It sure helps us when we come back having won a game in that fashion."
With the victory, the Oilers ended a five-game home losing streak and snapped Dallas' seven-game winning streak in Edmonton.
Garon was making his first start since Nov. 6.
"It was good to come back," Garon said. "It's been a while since I played and since I got a start. I worked really hard in the last two or three weeks to be ready for that game. I got a bit lucky and the guys played really well in front of me."
Mike Modano scored twice in third period for Dallas to push his record for NHL goals by a U.S.-born player to 539.
"We were a little flat at the start," Modano said. "It's tough to come from behind like that with a team like this and how good the crowd gets behind them when they get some momentum going. So you play catch up early and it's tough to win."
On Tuesday in Calgary, Avery used a crude expression to describe former girlfriends now dating other players. Hours later, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman suspended Avery for making "inappropriate public comments, not pertaining to the game."
Avery will meet with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman on Thursday in New York.
"We addressed it yesterday and were pretty forthright," Stars goalie Marty Turco said. "A few of us were honest, but we have quite a hole to climb out of as a team and that's what all of our focus has been today and will be, certainly, in the immediate future. I said earlier, it's out of my hands and none of my concern at this point."
Edmonton opened the scoring 1:10 into the first when Horcoff blasted a long slap shot past Turco. The Oilers made it 2-0 with 12 seconds to play in the first on Visnovsky's shot for the point. In the second, rookie Rob Schremp earned his first NHL point, making a long pass to Pouliot that he banked in off Turco to make it 3-0.
Dallas had a chance to get back in it midway through the second on a power play when Loui Eriksson slid the puck under Garon, but missed the open net.
The Stars finally scored 1:07 into the third. Garon made the initial save on Fabian Brunnstrom's shot, but Modano tucked the rebound through the goalie's legs.
Dallas made it interesting by scoring with just 1:40 to play when Modano scored on a shot that went between defender Tom Gilbert's legs and past Garon.
The Oilers quickly responded with Hemsky's empty-netter, and Cogliano's goal with 12 seconds remaining.
"The games that we have lost in the last five or 10 have been as a result of our starts," Horcoff said. "In a lot of those games we were able to come back and play a solid 40 minutes for the rest of the game and give ourselves a chance to get back in the game. But it's too good of a league to be falling behind early all of the time and trying to come back."
Notes: There was a scary moment midway through the third when Dallas' Stephane Robidas' slap shot hit teammate Mark Parrish in the face, but the forward was able to remain in the game. ... With Oilers forward Robert Nilsson sidelined by a shoulder injury, Rob Schremp took his place on the Kid Line with Cogliano and Sam Gagner. The 22-year-old Schremp had a goal and 17 assists in 18 games for Springfield in the AHL this season.