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Road continues to be unkind to Stars in 5-4 loss

Dallas can't hold its third-period advantage at Edmonton, falling to 1-4-0 away from home

by Mark Stepneski @StarsInsideEdge / Inside Edge

The road continues to be unkind to the Dallas Stars. The Stars fell to 0-2-0 on their current road trip and 1-4-0 away from home this season with a 5-4 loss to the Edmonton Oilers at Rogers Place on Thursday night.

Three times the Stars battled back from one-goal deficits in the game to tie and then finally took a 4-3 lead with 9:35 remaining. But the Oilers rallied and won the game on Matt Benning's goal with 2:27 left in the third period.

"We clawed back, and you like that part of it, but it's really disappointing," said Stars coach Ken Hitchcock. "It's really disappointing that we are not doing enough of the details that can control a hockey game."

"It's disappointing," said Stars captain Jamie Benn. "When you've got a lead in the third, you've got to find a way to hunker down and get the job done. They are a good team, and they didn't give up and found a way to get a couple goals late."

The Stars dominated the special-teams battle, scoring three times on the power play and killing off all three of Edmonton's chances on the power play. But three-quarters of the game was played 5-on-5, and that part of the battle belonged to the Oilers, who outscored the Stars, 5-1 at even strength, outshot them 29-17, and had a 63-42 edge in shot attempts.

Video: DAL Recap: Benn scores two in Stars' 5-4 defeat

"You have to work hard for every opportunity you get, and I think you saw it in their play," Benn said. "They worked hard and got a couple of bounces."

Benn scored two goals, and Alexander Radulov recorded one goal and two assists for the Stars. Esa Lindell also scored. Ben Bishop stopped 30 of 35 shots in goal. The Stars fell to 5-5-0 on the season.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored two goals, and Leon Draisaitl chipped in with three assists for the Oilers, who came into the game averaging a league-low 1.88 goals per game.

"We've been there the last few games but haven't been able to get the offensive breakthrough that we wanted," Nugent-Hopkins said. "Tonight we got that, and it definitely feels nice, and we stuck with it."

The Oilers (3-5-1) opened the scoring when Connor McDavid tallied off the rush moments after the Stars' first power play of the game expired. McDavid took a pass from Ryan Strome, who had just come out of the penalty box, and roofed a shot over Bishop to make it a 1-0 game 10:31 into the first period.

Video: DAL@EDM: Lindell beats Talbot with wrister for PPG

"I sit in the penalty box for two minutes there, so I'm just trying to make a play and get back in it," Strome said. "Great finish by [McDavid]."

The Stars tied it 63 seconds later. Radulov drove the net on the rush, went behind the goal line and centered the puck to Benn who scored from close range to make it a 1-1 game at the 11:34 mark.

The Oilers scored late in the first to grab a 2-1 lead. After an icing call on Dallas, Draisaitl won an offensive zone draw and Patrick Maroon's centering pass from the left boards deflected off the skate of Stars defenseman Marc Methot and into the net with 24.1 seconds left in the first.

The Stars tied the game 2-2 early in the second by taking advantage of their second power play of the night. Seguin sent a cross-ice pass to Radulov who scored off a rocket from the right circle at the 2:58 mark.

The Oilers went back on top, 3-2, at 13:46 of the second. After Stars defenseman Jamie Oleksiak got caught deep in the offensive zone, the Oilers got a three-on-two rush and after Kris Russell's shot went wide, Nugent-Hopkins grabbed the rebound and tucked it into the open side of the net.

Video: DAL@EDM: Benn chips rebound over Talbot's pad for PPG

The Stars tied it again with another power-play goal less than three minutes later. Radulov put a shot on net from the point and Benn scored off the rebound, and it was a 3-3 game at 16:19 of the second period.

The Stars took their first lead of the night midway through the third period with their third power-play goal of the night. Jason Spezza made a great shot-pass to Lindell, who roofed a shot from close range to put Dallas up 4-3 at the 10:25 mark.

But the Oilers tied it 1:51 later. Shortly after an icing call on the Stars, Greg Pateryn turned the puck over in the Dallas end, and Milan Lucic set up Nugent-Hopkins, whose shot eluded a screened Bishop.

Benning's game-winner with 2:27 left came on a shot from the point that deflected off the skate of Radulov and went past Bishop.

"Once you get the lead you expect to win that game. You have to learn to win that game," Spezza said. "It's a disappointing result."

Video: DAL@EDM: Radulov buries PPG off feed from Seguin


  • The Oilers outshot the Stars 35-32 and had a 76-68 edge in shot attempts.

  • Tyler Seguin led the Stars with eleven shot attempts.

  • The Stars were 3-for-5 on the power play and 3-for-3 on the penalty kill.

  • The Stars won 45 of 76 faceoffs (59 percent). Seguin won 14 of 23 (61 percent). Martin Hanzal won 10 of 18 (56 percent). Jamie Benn won 8 of 12 (67 percent).

  • John Klingberg led the Stars with 27:25 of ice time.

  • The Stars blocked 25 shots in the game. Klingberg was tops with four.

  • Defenseman Stephen Johns (concussion symptoms) was out for Thursday's game. Stars coach Ken Hitchcock said Johns, who suffered the injury in Tuesday's game at Colorado, was feeling better on Thursday.


What's Next

The Stars play game three of their road trip Friday in Calgary. This will be the first meeting of the season between the Stars and the Flames. Calgary is 5-5-0 and is coming off a 5-2 loss at St. Louis on Wednesday.


Stars Lineup

Jamie Benn - Tyler Seguin - Brett Ritchie
Antoine Roussel - Martin Hanzal - Jason Spezza
Devin Shore - Mattias Janmark - Alexander Radulov
Remi Elie - Radek Faksa - Tyler Pitlick

Marc Methot - John Klingberg
Dan Hamhuis - Greg Pateryn
Jamie Oleksiak - Esa Lindell

Ben Bishop
Kari Lehtonen

Scratched: Julius Honka, Gemel Smith
Injured: Stephen Johns (concussion symptoms)

This story was not subject to approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club. Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow Mark on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.

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