Thursday nights game in Edmonton is the second of a five game road trip. Even though the Stars came up just a bit short, oh boy was it something to watch.
Special teams for the Stars was the story of the night and the game started out with Conner McDavid drew the tripping penalty from Radek Faksa, as McDavid was trying to slice through the middle of the defense and make a play on Ben Bishop. Giving Edmonton their first of three power play opportunities of the night. As Dallas has gone five straight games without giving up a power play goal, they looked to keep that up as Dallas was able to kill that first power play.
Midway through the first period Ryan Strome put his stick into Tyler Pitlick tripping him and giving the Stars their first of five power play chances of the night. After somewhat of a slow start to the game, the heat got turned up and quick. Very shortly after the power play ended, Conner McDavid sneaked past the defense and sent one past Bishop for the first goal of the evening and to give the Oilers a 1-0 lead.
Exactly a minute after Edmonton’s goal, Alexander Radulov made a highlight reel type play. Radulov made a move, made his way behind net, and then got the pass out in a split second to Jamie Benn who was coming into the zone between two defenders and popped the puck in past Cam Talbot to tie it all up at 1. Making it a four game goal streak for the captain.
Within the last 30 seconds of the first period, Marc Methot was battling in the defensive zone with Leon Draisaitl. And with a shot from the Oilers, that gets a very Edmonton friendly bounce off of Draisaitl, finds its way into the net to put the Oilers up 2-1 going into the first intermission.
Edmonton is the last ranked team in penalty kills and we all started to blatantly see why. As two minutes into the second period the Stars saw their second power play and put it to good use. Tyler Seguin made a precise pass across the ice to Radulov and as Talbot was too slow to rotate over and cover the left side of the pipes, Radulov blasted the puck up and in to tie the game.
Past the midway point of the second period Ben Bishop made a nice save but gets tangled up a bit on the right side of the goal with Antoine Roussel. Consequently the Oilers get the rebound back behind the goal and simply wrap around to put the puck in on the left side of the net as Bishop lunged to get back in place to make the stop. The Oilers took back the lead yet again up 3-2. Ten seconds after Edmonton scored Antoine Roussel was fed up with Eric Gryba and got into it a tussle, that ended with both in the box for fighting. As exciting as it was to see Roussel pissed off and going at it, it wasn't all too exciting for Stars fans as Gryba landed a majority of the punches. Roussel kind of just hung on to him as to not get hit anymore and eventually the referees put an end to the fight.
In the last four minutes of the second period on a Dallas power play Jamie Benn cleaned up a rebound and the Stars fund themselves answering Edmonton’s goal with one of their own. Tying the game back up at three heading into the second intermission.
Going into the third we thought we were going to see yet another fight as things had been on edge all game and got even more testy. Radulov drew the tripping penalty and then Greg Pateryn gave a big hit on Conner McDavid. Pateryn was put into a headlock by the defenseman yet no gloves were dropped. The power play failed for only the second time on the night making the power play a solid two for four.
A Tyler Seguin slashing penalty saw the Stars a man down, but the penalty kill stood as strong as they have been all game killing the penalty, going a perfect three of three.
As I mentioned earlier special teams was the story of the night and it continued to be just that. Midway through the third period Jason Spezza fooled the whole defense with a slap pass to Esa Lindell, who dropped it in past Talbot giving the Stars the 4-3 lead and the power play a beautiful three for five on the evening.
With about eight minutes to go in the third, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins was able to sneak one past Bishop and tie the game back up at four. With two minutes left to go and overtime on the brink, the continuous back and forth finally came to an end. Matt Benning got the puck towards the blue line, went for the slap shot that ultimately deflected off of a skate and into the net to give the Oilers the 5-4 win.
Special teams shined, Power play being three for five and the penalty kill three of three yet it wasn't enough and the shaky start to the season continues. The Stars are now 7-11 on the road in Edmonton are now at an even record of 5-5 through the first ten.