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Dallas Stars Lose in Overtime to Edmonton Oilers 2-1

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The better team ended up with only one point tonight.

Chris LaFrance-USA TODAY Sports

Tonight's game, in the form of "Jingle Bells":

Dashing through the snow,
On a Jamie Benn-led sleigh,
O'er the mountains they go,
Leading the NHL all day.

Pucks ring off the posts,
Making fans cry "oh no!",
Oh what fun it is to score and hit
Look a fan in a black speedo!

Niemi saves, Niemi saves, Niemi saves all day!
Oh what fun it is to ride in a Jamie Benn-led sleigh.
Niemi saves, Niemi saves, Niemi saves all day!
Oh what fun it is to see this team's record and play.

****************************************************************

The Stars played a brisk first period, for being the team on the back end of a back-to-back set that traveled last night. Unfortunately, Antti Niemi was beat on a play that started with a bad clear of the Stars' zone which was batted down and turned back up ice for a Taylor Hall goal. The Stars and Oilers traded chances back and forth for much of the period, playing a very north/south game for stretches.

That kind of play worked in the Oilers' favor, as the Stars showed more fatigue in the second period. They were able to tie the game late in the second period when Mattias Janmark stuffed home his third shot attempt against Anders Nilsson.

Janmark, who had a very strong game tonight, had some of the most dangerous looks for the Stars tonight. He received a breakout pass when he was behind the entire Oilers defense for a breakaway chance that just went wide. Not only did the Stars put up more shots on goal than Edmonton, they also outchanced them in the high scoring areas.

If Nilsson didn't have the game he did tonight, the Stars would have put this game away early in the first period. The Stars easily could have been up by three or four goals, but Nilsson kept the Oilers in the game. It allowed them to wear the Stars down while they engaged in their brand of high event, high pace hockey. By the third period, the Stars big-minute players like Jamie Benn and John Klingberg were looking gassed.

They seemed to find a little bit of extra juice in the third period, especially on the power play later in the third period. However, the Oilers penalty kill was perfect tonight. They managed to keep the Stars from scoring on any of their chances, even on one man advantage that saw the Stars put up five shots on goal to no avail.

Unfortunately, the wonder trio of Benn, Seguin and Klingberg couldn't keep the puck controlled enough in the overtime frame to give the better team the win tonight. Turnovers and weak passes led to several Oilers chances, and one eventually got past Niemi. Not the top line's best game.

*Valeri Nichushkin had some crisp cross-ice passes tonight. The young winger has seemingly grown in confidence up on the top line with Benn and Tyler Seguin. He continues to have good possession skills and tonight displayed some of the play-making ability that made him a higher draft pick in 2013.

*Johnny Oduya had one of his better defensive games tonight, with several diving poke checks that worked out beautifully to disrupt the opposing team coming into the Stars' zone.