The Dallas Stars ended their three-game road trip with quite an adventure in Edmonton Sunday evening. The Stars rallied from a 5-2 deficit to force overtime and then picked up the victory in an eight-round shootout. Final score: Stars 6, Oilers 5.
“It was a gutsy effort,” said Stars captain Jamie Benn.
Stars forward Shawn Horcoff, the longtime Oiler and former Edmonton captain, scored in regulation and then notched the shootout winner.
“It felt good. I’d be lying if I said it didn’t,” Horcoff said. “We needed that win. Just coming back in the third the way we did. … We hung in there. It was nice to get that win.”
The Stars went 3-0-0 on their trip through Western Canada and improved to 14-13-5 on the season. The Stars, who have won four straight overall, pulled to within seven points of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
We’ve got one more game before Christmas. It would be real nice to get a win and go into the break with a little streak,” Horcoff said. “We talked about how we needed to go on a little bit of a streak to get back into it.”
Tyler Seguin scored two goals and had one assist. Benn scored one goal and chipped in one assist. Erik Cole and Horcoff also scored. Anders Lindback, who took over for starter Kari Lehtonen midway through the game, stopped 9 of 10 in regulation and six of eight in the shootout to pick up his first win of the season.
“It was awesome [to see Lindback get the win],” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. “He’s one of the hardest working backups I’ve been around. For him to stand tall and help us win that game in the shootout, I think it is great for him.”
“It’s nice. It’s been way too long,” Lindback said. “It was an unbelievable effort by the guys.”
The Stars had a 2-1 lead after the first period but gave up four unanswered goals in the second to fall behind 5-2 midway through the game. Benn scored on the power play with 20 seconds left in the second, tallying from the right circle to get the Dallas comeback underway.
“That goal was a push for how poorly we played in that period,” Ruff said. “It gave us a little bit of footing to go into the third period.
“We talked about how we were going to get back into the game in the third period and the leaders of the team really took the bull by the horns and went out and got the job done.”
Seguin scored 52 seconds into the third, scoring off the rebound of his own shot to make it a 5-4 game.
Benn set up the game-tying goal, knocking Oilers defenseman Jeff Petry off the puck behind the net, putting a shot on goal and getting the assist as Seguin scored off the rebound at the 9:13 mark to make it a 5-5 game.
Seguin, Vernon Fiddler, and Horcoff scored in the shootout for the Stars, who improved to 5-1-0 over their last six games.
The Oilers saw their winless streak hit seven games (0-5-2). Edmonton has won just once in their past 19 contests (1-12-6).
“We have to develop mental toughness as a group,” Oilers interim coach Todd Nelson said. “We’ve got to work on things in practice with our structure, but it comes down to compete and just refusing to let bad habits creep in.”
The Oilers went on an early power play and cashed in to take a 1-0 lead. Taylor Hall put a rebound into the open side of the net at the 1:58 mark. The Stars answered less than four minutes later when Horcoff knocked home the rebound of a Jyrki Jokipakka shot to make it a 1-1 game at 6:36 of the first.
The Stars took the lead midway through the first when Ales Hemsky’s shot off the rush was blocked and the puck bounced to Cole, who beat Oilers goaltender Ben Scrivens with a shot from the left circle.
The Oilers scored two goals early in the second to take a 3-2 lead. Teddy Purcell scored from close range 11 seconds into the period to tied the game at 2-2. Edmonton took the lead at the 2:44 mark when Mark Arcobello scored off a rebound following an offensive zone faceoff win. Arcobello scored again at the 9:19 mark of the second to extend the lead to 4-2. That ended the night for Lehtonen, who was pulled and replaced by Lindback.
Lindback’s first shot wasn’t an easy one. Hall broke in alone on net and scored off a wrist shot to make it a 5-2 game at the 13:17 mark. But that was the only goal he would allow the rest of regulation, helping set the stage for the Stars rally.
“We laid an egg in the second period. They played a good second. But I like the way we battled back,” said Benn. “I think our goalie did a great job of coming in cold and shutting the door. … We have a lot of character guys in here and we really wanted to finish this road trip with two points.”
*The Stars are over .500 (points percentage) for the first time since they were 4-3-4 on Nov. 1.
*The four-game winning streak is the Stars’ longest since they won five straight in April 2013.
*The Stars outshot the Oilers 45-29.
*Tyler Seguin led the Stars with nine shots on goal. Jamie Benn had six shots.
*Seguin’s two goals gave him 25, which is tops in the NHL. He is tied for the league lead in points with 42.
*Seguin led the Stars in ice time with 25:56.
*The Stars were 1-3 on the power play and 0-1 on the penalty kill.
*The Stars won 29 of 68 faceoffs (43 percent).
*Jamie Benn won 7 of 10 (70 percent). Cody Eakin won 6 of 10 (60 percent). Vernon Fiddler won 5 of 16 (31 percent). Jason Spezza won 5 of 16 (31 percent).
Jamie Benn – Jason Spezza – Tyler Seguin
Antoine Roussel – Cody Eakin – Ryan Garbutt
Erik Cole – Travis Morin – Ales Hemsky
Shawn Horcoff – Vernon Fiddler – Colton Sceviour
Alex Goligoski – John Klingberg
Jyrki Jokipakka – Trevor Daley
Jordie Benn – Jason Demers
Scratched: Travis Moen, Jamie Oleksiak
Injured: Patrick Eaves (ankle), Valeri Nichushkin (hip), Patrik Nemeth (arm)
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club. Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on DallasStars.com reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow Mark on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.