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GAME STORY: Stars 3, Oilers 2

The Oilers penetrated the Dallas net with 40 shots but Kari Lehtonen persevered, backstopping the Stars to a 3-2 victory

by Meg Tilley /

 Video: OILERS TODAY | Oilers vs. Stars Postgame

EDMONTON, AB -  Twenty-eight seconds.

That was all it took for Dallas to take a quick 1-0 lead as Stars forward - and former Oiler - Lauri Korpikoski fired a wrist shot that soared above Oilers goaltender Cam Talbot's glove and ultimately led to the Stars 3-2 victory.  





Edmonton's next home game is Sunday against the New York Rangers. The game can be seen via Sportsnet ONE starting at 7:30 PM MST. 


Kept at bay, the Oilers were unable to produce a shot on net early as Dallas continued to converge on Edmonton's defensive zone, averaging a little more than a shot-per-minute in the first four of the opening frame.

"[We] weren't ready to go, right off the bat," said Oilers Head Coach Todd McLellan. "I thought we did a lot of watching and reacting instead of anticipating, finally got it later on in the game but they checked well and their goaltender gave them the chance to win."

It wasn't until Oilers forward Patrick Maroon broke the drought at 16:23 as they pressed the Stars defensive zone. Oilers right-winger Jordan Eberle produced the first shot for Edmonton, picking up a loose puck in the slot, he turned and fired a snap shot on net as Maroon flew in for the rebound off of Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen's pad to score the equalizer, earning his team-leading sixth goal of the year and eighth point of the season.

From there, tensions began to rise between the teams

At 15:43, Oilers defenceman Darnell Nurse and Stars forward Curtis McKenzie dropped the gloves for a mini McGregor versus Diaz rendition. Each received five for fighting.

"We had some chances I think," said Nurse. "Our start wasn't as good as we wanted it to be. We weren't very sharp there, especially that first shift, but we found our way to get back to even after the first. They scored one and it just didn't seem to go in for us there at the end."

Moments later, Oilers blueliner Adam Larsson was sent to the box for holding the stick against Stars Captain Jamie Benn. Dallas didn't hesitate on their first of three man-advantages of the first period, as Dallas forward Patrick Eaves scored seconds into the power play, rocketing a point shot through Talbot's five-hole for a 2-1 lead.

"We take three penalties in the first nine minutes of the game and they get one on the power play because the gun goes off and we're just standing there, we don't react to a face off," said the Oilers bench boss.

As the remainder of the opening frame played out, the Oilers were tasked with working the penalty kill once more at the 10:18 mark when Maroon was sent to the box for unsportsmanlike conduct.

As the clock continued to count down, Oilers forward Tyler Pitlick advanced during the last minute of play in the opening frame, slipping through Lehtonen's kitchen to pot the 2-2 equalizer with 28 seconds remaining in the first, drawing his fifth goal and sixth point of the season. Pitlick, 25, had just three career goals coming into the season.

"He makes an argument every night to be in the lineup and that's a great thing to see," said McLellan on the promise the young forward shows on the ice.

The winger was just getting started, as Pitlick made a play around Eaves at 16:47 for a nice wrister on net.

At 15:02, a controversial too-many-men-on-the-ice call was made against the Oilers, as Dallas received their fourth power play of the night.

With 11:49 to go in the second, Tyler Seguin advanced down through Oilers slot but couldn't pull the trigger as Oilers forward Nugent-Hopkins pestered the Stars forward, catching him off guard on his backhand and was unable to produce a shot.

Moments later, Oilers captain Connor McDavid and Eberle were cooking something up in Lehtonen's personal bubble, trying to dump in a loose puck from down low but the Stars netminder was able to put out the fire.

Edmonton continued to pour on the offence in the second period as Oilers defenceman Eric Gryba fired a shot from the Stars blueline.

Although the Stars were a -9 in goal differentials in the second period this year, Dallas buzzed the Edmonton net with less than eight minutes remaining, forcing Talbot to pull out all the stops.

After a dominant shift by Dallas, Edmonton answered the other way. But at the five-minute mark, a drop pass from Seguin to teammate Antoine Roussel in the middle of the slot saw Dallas with their third lead of the night as his backhander squeezed past Talbot.

As Oilers winger Anton Slepyshev fired off a shot that appeared destined to tie the game 3-3, Lehtonen robbed him with his glove with 3:59 remaining to hold a 3-2 lead.

"I thought he had some attack time," said McLellan. "He didn't cost us anything defensively, should have had a goal, their goaltender made a tremendous save in that situation, so, he had a little pop in his legs, which was nice to see. He got graduated up in the lineup a little in the third period, so it was a good night for him."     

As the final period commenced, the Oilers continued to infiltrate the Stars defensive zone, letting loose an additional 10 shots, but Dallas persevered to protect a final 3-2 victory, departing Alberta with back-to-back wins in Calgary and Edmonton. 

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