Stars Top Oilers
DALLAS (Sports Network) – Kari Lehtonen stopped 39 shots to win his 18th game of the season, as Dallas hung on to beat Edmonton, 3-2, at American Airlines Center.
Brenden Morrow, Jamie Benn and James Neal registered goals for the Stars, who have won four of their last five.
“We put a lot of emphasis on coming home and having a big win tonight and changing the five in a row that we lost at home,” Neal said. “We were playing so well on the road, it was such a downer to not be able to win at home in front of our own fans. I know we put the work in tonight and got the big two points.”
J.F. Jacques and Ryan Jones scored for the Oilers, who slid to their ninth loss in 10 despite a 41-shot barrage. Nikolai Khabibulin allowed three goals on just 20 shots in defeat.
Edmonton unleashed 18 shots on goal in the third period in its attempt to make up a two-goal deficit and tied the game on scores less than two minutes apart. Jacques made it 2-1 at 5:50 when he converted a rebound in front, and Jones tallied at 7:38 on a wrister.
Neal put Dallas ahead for good 1:13 later when he converted a Brad Richards pass, then Lehtonen stayed strong down the stretch.
Steve Ott nearly provided insurance but missed the empty net inside of 30 seconds remaining, and the Oilers couldn’t net an equalizer despite two offensive-zone draws until the buzzer.
Morrow hit the net with 5:28 left in the first period after one-timing a Mike Ribeiro feed in the slot, and the Stars doubled their edge at 14:35 of the second when Benn tallied off a give-and-go with Ott.
“The guys really worked hard. They wanted this one here,” Oilers coach Tom Renney said. “If we’re going to lose hockey games, let’s lose going after teams.”
Dallas has won seven of its last eight games at home against Edmonton since December, 2006…Lehtonen improved to 3-0-1 in his last four starts…The Oilers continue their five-game road trip at San Jose on Thursday.