Oilers vs. Stars Postgame: The Sweet Taste of Victory, The Agonizing Taste of Defeat, All In 40 Seconds

Dallas Stars: 4

Edmonton Oilers: 3

The Oilers played a solid game that featured a comeback with just over a minute left; unfortunately the comeback lasted all of 40 seconds as the Stars put the Oilers away as the clock ticked down.


First Period


I continue to be amazed at Gene Principe’s pre-game introduction. Outstanding stuff; the man is pure gold.

Jacques plastered Sutherby with a big hit, and he, Pouliot and Stortini shove with the Star’s fourth line.

Nilsson with a surprisingly dangerous chance from the wrong side of the goal line; he flipped it into Turco’s skate and Turco just froze to keep the puck from moving.

Jason Strudwick was the guy who fell down, but Krys Barch lost the fight as Strudwick got a ton of shots in on Barch. Barch did well to step in after Strudwick probably should have got an elbowing penalty for a hit on Peters.

Trevor Daley powers a slap shot in from the point after Tom Gilbert turns the puck over. Pat Quinn shakes his head on the bench. 1-0 Dallas.

Shawn Horcoff takes a penalty for goaltender interference and Fernando Pisani takes one a moment later for hooking, giving Dallas a two minute 5-on-3. That’s pretty much a gift-wrapped goal for Dallas, but amazingly the Oilers manage to hang on and kill the penalty through a combination of good penalty-killing and strong work from Devan Dubnyk.

A moment later, Sam Gagner takes a holding penalty for reacting to a hit by hauling down the Stars forward.

Louie DeBruks: “They’ve struggled on the penalty kill as of late.” Yeah, if by “late” you mean the last two years.

With six seconds left in the Gagner penalty, Patrick O’Sullivan gets called for slashing on Jamie Benn. The Oilers kill off the last six seconds and then 30 seconds of the O’Sullivan penalty before Dubnyk freezes the puck.

Mike Modano scores with just over 50 seconds left on the Stars’ 35th power play. A team can only kill so many penalties.

The Oilers finally get a call as Krys Barch goes off for holding; the power play has barely started when Ryan Potulny bangs a goal home to make it 2-1 Dallas. Assists to Robert Nilsson and Dustin Penner.

Shots are now 17-4 in favour of the Dallas Stars.

Gagner gets a dangerous chance off a broken rush featuring him, Cogliano and Penner. After the faceoff, Denis Grebeshkov gets another shot that tests Turco, who seems shaky in net.

The Oilers with a vicious forecheck; in succession quick hits by Pouliot, Jacques and Stortini. The puck makes its way the other direction and the Stars get away with tripping Devan Dubnyk.

Pouliot really seems to have embraced his fourth line role; he’s as physically involved as I’ve ever seen him be and I wonder if he’s realized that he only has a tenuous grasp on an NHL career and needs to add every dimension he can. He was a gritty player in junior and if he can show that here it will only enhance his value.

Steve Ott takes a hooking penalty for spinning around Jason Strudwick, but the power play fails to convert before the clock runs out on the first period.


Second Period


No intermission commentary today; I’m in a hurry and I can’t remember the last time the Sportsnet panel was particularly useful.

Back and forth action to open the period but nothing especially interesting. Stortini made a brutal turnover to Brad Richards but got the puck back and moved it the other way.


Sam Gagner makes up for his earlier retaliation by drawing a penalty as he worked his way into the Dallas crease. Stephane Robidas hooked him after Gagner stole the puck from him.

Dallas takes another penalty after Steve Ott breaks Potulny’s stick in half after the slash, and the Oilers will now have a 5-on-3 for just over a minute. The good news is that the Stars’ penalty kill is almost as miserable as the Oilers.

Despite the Stars’ lousy penalty kill, the Oilers pass the puck around the perimeter and squander the 5-on-3, and then the 5-on-4 moments later.

Mark Fistric lowers the boom on Stortini as he skates in with the puck; great, clean hit on Stortini.

Taylor Chorney shows some lousy defensive awareness as Jamie Benn sneaks past him, and then takes the pass on the 2-on-1 and converts to make it 3-1 Dallas. Ugly play by Chorney.

Penner substituting for Stortini on the fourth line; I wonder how much that Fistric hit shook up Stortini, although the TV crew reads this as an attempt to get Penner going.

Great shift for the Horcoff line, which dominated the Stars’ first line and held the puck in the offensive zone while the Oilers changed lines.

Denis Grebeshkov for the second or third time makes a heart attack move with the puck, flubbing the pass and turning it over.

Stortini back out with the fourth line; apparently he’s fine. Pouliot takes the pass and does a great job getting the puck through to net; I’ve been very impressed by him since he has come back from injury.

Lubomir Visnovsky missed a wide open net on a play started by an epic Horcoff move; another fine shift for the third line.

Sam Gagner scores a moment later off nice passing plays by Penner and Gilbert; 3-2 Dallas.


Third Period


Taylor Chorney is not an NHL hockey player. Taylor Chorney is not an NHL hockey player. Taylor Chorney is not an NHL hockey player. I suppose I should explain; I said that once for each galring mistake Chorney made on his last shift.

Ethan Moreau offside by a little under three miles.

Speaking of 3 miles, that’s roughly how far out of net Marty Turco came to knock the puck away from Dustin Penner. Penner’s out with the fourth line again.

Ethan Moreau clears the puck, and as he’s doing it (accidentally) jams his stick up under the visor of Brad Richards. Richards is bleeding from what looks like just above his eye, and he was livid at Moreau. Somehow, Moreau avoided the four minute penalty he should have taken.

The Oilers are outhitting the Stars 2:1.

Potulny went down behind the net as Skrastins hooked Potulny in the face; somehow the referees missed that one too. Dodgy officiating tonight, but the breaks seem to be fairly even.

Ethan Moreau had a gorgeous chance after Pisani and Horcoff ragged the puck in the offensive zone, but was unable to convert.

Kevin Quinn just called Devan Dubnyk “the Big Easy.” I’m sure he’s been called that before but it feels like it’s been a while; I don’t know what it is but I’m not crazy about the nickname. I suppose it beets “Dubie.”

Great pressure with time winding down results in a goal; Sam Gagner scored this one. The roar of the crowd drowns out the announcer as he announces the goal and assists to Nilsson and Potulny.

Dallas scores with just over 20 seconds to go; Denis Grebeshkov inexplicably passes to Horcoff in traffic rather than clearing the puck; Horcoff lost it, and then Jason Strudwick fell over backwards while simultaneously flipping the puck directly on to Neal’s stick. Dubnyk falls to the ice after he realizes the shot has beat him.

Penner had a glorious chance with seconds left, but this one will go to Dallas 4-3.


Oilers Three Stars


1. Dustin Penner. Sam Gagner scored the goals, but Penner played the best game he’s played in quite a while and finished the night with two assists.

2. Sam Gagner. Like I said, two goals. Gagner didn’t play a perfect game, but he did play a good game and he made up for his mistakes.

3. Ryan Potulny. Managed two points, including the Oilers’ first goal, but finished with a minus-2 rating. He was fighting through checks all night and despite the ugly plus/minus I don’t recall him being bad defensively.

DFF Star: Jason Strudwick and Denis Grebeshkov both did their best to get on this list in the final minute of the game, but the award here goes to Taylor Chorney. Welcome to the team; poor positional play and bad giveaways will only aid the quest for a high-end pick.

  • I'm with Brownlee on this, based on the fact that their is little to no evidence that supports the possibility of a quick turnaround. 1) incompetent management who by this time next year will in all likelihood will still be evaluating "talent" 2) it will take a miracle for Tambellini to get rid of all the high-priced contracts, leaving only Strudwick, Pisani, and Nilson (?) as the only UFAs eligible to come off the books 3) Oilers at this point are light-years behind other clubs rebuilds. PIT, CHI, and WSH took close to a decade of high-end drafting while PHI was already a quality team before they took Van Riemsdyk.

    Good day though and I am looking forward to going to LA personally!

  • @ Robin Brownlee:

    I've seen no evidence to date that the Oilers are interested in a multi-year rebuild. The rumours of Jagr are just one more indicator of that.

    If they were going for a multi-year rebuild then I'd be in complete agreement about Dubnyk/JDD.

    As for showing multiple years, I think it was Ken Holland who said that goalies can vary widely from year to year; I think right now we're looking at Biron's low-water mark, based on his career to date. JMO.

    • Jeremy

      This has been stated many times….the furthest any team can drop in the draft is one place…so even if Bettman and the NHL F-us over the worse we can draft if we finish last is 2nd

  • For no particular reason I checked out Flames Nation tonight and I have to say compared to this site and most of the articles on it, the comments there were an intellectual desert. Kind of like the sound of one hand clapping.

  • Jeremy

    Yeah, I know. I do not have faith in the NHL though, nor do I trust them. That's all.

    On the the other hand this week could be Sheldon Sourays last with the Oilers. Chime in for trade time!

  • VMR

    Compare our young talent to what LA and Chicago have had for years and it's pretty easy to see that we arent going to turn this around in one season. No matter who we get in the draft they arent an instant superstar, there's no Crosby-Ovechkin or even a Tavares or Hedman in this draft class.

    It'll be interesting to see what they are able to do with contracts. I dont think it's going to be as easy as a lot of people think to move Souray. The rumours about him all seem to be coming from local guys with local sources. Which is no surprise but of course they will hear who our team is talking about trading with but they're not hearing how much interest the other teams actually have.

    • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

      Lots of talk last year that Hall > Tavares.

      Also, the Hawks/Kings young talent for the most part is a couple years (litterally)ahead of where the Oilers is.

  • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

    Moreau sure looked good friday, that visor appears to have been the issue with his game. Wonder if he can continue the good play.