Three takeaways from Stars' overtime loss against Oilers
Khudobin continues strong run at home, Klingberg comes through clutch again and Dallas' PK steps up in a tight situationby Jeff Odom @jeffodom / DallasStars.com
DALLAS -- Anton Khudobin has been very good for the Stars this season.
That's not anything newsworthy to the common fan, of course. But taking into consideration just how solid Dallas' backup netminder has been inside the friendly confines of American Airlines Center, it's still fairly attention grabbing.
[WATCH: All highlights from Stars vs. Oilers]
Khudobin came into Tuesday's 2-1 overtime loss to the Oilers 6-1-0, boasting a .946 save percentage and 1.37 goals against average at home this season. Arguably more remarkable, he hadn't allowed more than one goal in front of the home faithful since yielding three in a 4-1 loss to the Capitals way back on Oct. 12 -- just the fourth game of Dallas' season.
Though that run was officially broken when one-time Stars winger Alex Chiasson buried the game-winning goal on a power play one minute, eight seconds into the extra period, Khudobin still kept an Edmonton team had scored 11 goals in its two previous games mostly contained.
Video: Bowness takes positives from overtime loss to Oilers
Starting for the fourth time in five games -- Ben Bishop was given the night off Tuesday because of a lower-body issue -- Khudobin turned aside 25 of 27 shots faced. And while he may have been outshined on the scoresheet by Edmonton's Mikko Koskinen (42 saves), Khudobin was quietly solid when needed.
His only other blemish was a power-play goal from Ryan Nugent-Hopkins early in the second period when Dallas couldn't clear the puck out of the zone.
"When we look back on this game, this is how we want to play," Stars defenseman John Klingberg said. "We really had the game for the whole 60 minutes and (Khudobin) made the saves when he needed to. We played really well today."
Maybe most important of all, Khudobin and Dallas' defense helped keep Oilers' league-leading duo of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl in check, something interim coach Rick Bowness preached about before the game.
"They're big, they're fast, they're strong, they've got great skills; hockey IQ is off the charts; they're elite players," Bowness said following morning skate. "It's going to take five guys and great goaltending to keep them off of the boards."
Both forwards were held to an assist apiece, which is fairly significant considering Draisaitl scored four times at Nashville the night before as the two combined for a whopping 10 points.
Video: EDM@DAL: Khudobin stops McDavid in overtime
Thirty-five seconds into overtime, Khudobin made one of his biggest stops of the night just before Chaisson's winner, sprawling to his left to rob a quick snap shot from McDavid.
"It's an effort that, this time of year, they have to repeat," Bowness said of Dallas' play Tuesday. "You're chasing positions, you're chasing playoffs. It's going to be hard to do that every night but that's the expectation."
Klingberg comes through clutch -- again
When the Stars are in need of a crucial, game-tying goal, their best bet right now might be their trusty defenseman wearing No. 3.
After coming through in the final seconds of the third Saturday against St. Louis to force overtime and eventually help Dallas earn a needed point as it fights to remain in the race for the Central Division crown, Klingberg did it again against the Oilers.
Video: EDM@DAL: Klingberg buries Benn one-timer for PPG
With the Stars trailing 1-0 and Koskinen having turned aside all 32 previous shots, Klingberg finally broke the dam on the power play, whipping home a one-timer from Jamie Benn to again force an extra period.
It was Klingberg's sixth goal of the season, extending his point streak to four games (two goals, three assists in that span).
"I've been playing on the half-wall and you don't need to have your exact positioning there," Klingberg said of his goal. "If you move around, you win battles, and guys are going to be in different positions, too, and you just have to different positions, too. We create a lot of energy with our power play."
Video: Stars can't get enough offense going to top Oilers
Penalty kill shines for Stars in middle frame
Dallas' penalty kill yielded a pair of goals on five opportunities against the Oilers, but its effort in the second period may have been the key to assuring at least a point in this game.
The Stars staved off two penalties late in the frame, including 1:14 of an Edmonton 5-on-3 power play after Blake Comeau was whistled for cross-checking and an interference call on Corey Perry.
"You don't want to give them the seam passes and guys like that will make plays," said veteran defenseman Andrej Sekera, who, along with Esa Lindell, led the Stars in PK time. "So, we've just got to make sure you block a shot or make a good play, which was taking the right position and count on the goalie to make some big saves for us, and he did.
"We did a pretty good job on that."
Spend your afternoon with the Stars when they return home to battle the Nashville Predators at American Airlines Center on Saturday at 1 p.m. Get your tickets now!
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club.
Jeff Odom is the manager of DallasStars.com and writes about the Stars/NHL. Follow him on Twitter @jeffodom.