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Under the Scope: Oilers vs Stars

by Karmela Arocena / Edmonton Oilers

The Oilers continued their three game homestand tonight against a strong Dallas Stars team that beat them 3-2 just nine days ago.  The Oilers were hoping for a different outcome tonight, but unfortunately weren't able to register a win and fell 4-2 to the Pacific division leaders.

The first period was scoreless for more than half the period, and even after the Stars opened the scoring at 11:40 in the first, the Oilers were able to answer back just 1:11 later with a shorthanded goal from Ryan Jones.  Even continuing into the second period, Jeff Petry was able to get the Oilers within one with his first NHL goal.  The Oilers entered the third period down 3-2, but weren't able to score through the final 20 minutes.  Dallas scored on the empty net, eventually winning the game 4-2.

Nikolai Khabibulin made his third straight start and stopped 20 of 24 shots.

All you need to know and more as we go Under the Scope:

When the score was 2-1 midway through the second, the Oilers were just one shot away from tying the game.  But the Stars proved to be a force for the Oilers.  With Shawn Horcoff in the box for hooking, Dustin Penner found himself on a partial breakaway, but failed to score on the chance.  Instead, Stars forward Jamie Benn picked up the puck and brought it into the offensive zone, eventually feeding James Neal for his 19th goal of the season.  The Oilers weren't able to recover after that, losing the game 4-2.

50 The Oilers were able to win 50% of their draws tonight.  Colin Fraser had an efficient night in the faceoff dot, winning 7-3 and boasting a 70% efficiency rate.
11 In his 11th game with the Oilers, Jeff Petry finally scored his first NHL goal at 18:52 of the second.
44 It took Shawn Horcoff 44 days until he played another game.  The Oilers captain last played on Dec. 7th. In his return, Horcoff was -1 and had 2 PIM.
31 A physical game against a talented Stars team was evident in tonight's game.  The Oilers made 31 hits, with Ryan Jones registering the most with 5.

Jamie Benn
G A P +/- Shots
1 1 2 +1 1

Magnus Paajarvi
G A P +/- Shots
0 1 1 +1 3

James Neal
G A P +/- Shots
1 0 1 +1 2

Kari Lehtonen
32 30 2 59:35 .938

Nikolai Khabibulin
24 20 4 59:04 .870

Stephane Robidas - D

  25:59 - 1P, +2 Rating

Tom Gilbert - D

24:50 - 0P, E rating

It's impressive the things the Oilers can do on the penalty kill.  With Zack Stortini in the box for interference, Ryan Jones and Andrew Cogliano found themselves on a shorthanded 2-on-1.  With Jones driving to the net, Cogliano shot the puck, and Jones was able to tip it past Stars goalie Kari Lethonen.

On a night when everything had to be done to compete with a very successful Stars team, Ryan Jones did just that.  The Oilers forward scored a shorthanded goal in the first period to tie the game at 1, and ended the night at +1.  He also played a physical game, laying down 5 hits and blocking 2 shots.

Ladislav Smid proved to be a dependable player for the Oilers tonight.  The Czech defenceman assisted on Jeff Petry's second period goal, and ended the night with a team-best +2 rating.  He was relied upon on the penalty kill and had two hits and two blocked shots in his 18:58 of ice time.

Ryan Jones decided to play physical tonight.  With the Oilers down 3-1 and on a powerplay in the third, any sort of spark was needed.  Ryan Jones stepped up to the plate when he delivered a hit into Brad Richards near the Stars bench at 16:53 in the second.  The Stars forward went hard into the boards while the fans at Rexall Place cheered on Jones.

Just call Tom Gilbert Iron Man.  The Oilers defenceman has never missed a game in his NHL career, and tonight was his 300th straight NHL game.

"I didn't see the light go on, I just saw everbody stand behind the net.  I was just trying to get a good shot hoping for the goal, but if not, a good rebound."

- Jeff Petry on scoring his first NHL goal

Sunday, January 23 vs. Nashville
  6:00pm MT (SNET-W / 630 CHED)

The Oilers complete a three game homestand Sunday against the Nashville Predators before starting a two game road trip on Tuesday.

Author: Karmela Arocena |

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