The Dallas Stars head into the All-Star break on a winning note. Brenden Morrow scored two goals and Kari Lehtonen stopped 34 shots as the Stars beat the Edmonton Oilers 3-1 Wednesday night at American Airlines Center. Adam Burish also had a goal and Jamie Langenbrunner and Mike Ribeiro each had two assists for the Stars, who snapped a two-game losing streak and head into the break with a 30-15-5 record.
“It wasn’t a masterpiece by us tonight. Our goalie was terrific. It was a real gutsy effort right through our lineup.” – Stars coach Marc Crawford
“It was definitely what we wanted to do coming off two tough games – respond well, play physical. I think we definitely did a good job of that and were able to hang on for the win. Kari [Lehtonen] played phenomenal.” – Stars forward Jamie Langenbrunner
“We were 48 hours late, but we got challenged a little bit in Vancouver and we pushed back tonight. It was good to see. The compete level was a lot higher tonight, that’s for sure.” – Stars captain Brenden Morrow
*The Stars are 22-8-5 in their last 35 games.
*The Stars were 8-2-1 in January, the second best January in team history.
*The Stars are 4-0-1 in their last five home games.
*The Stars are 23-2-1 when scoring first this season.
*Stars captain Brenden Morrow has 12 points (7 goals, 5 assists) in the last 13 games.
*Stars center Mike Ribeiro has 16 points (4 goals, 12 assists) in his last 13 games.
*Adam Burish scored his seventh goal of the season, establishing a new career-high.
*The Stars won 35 of 51 (69%) faceoffs in the game.
*The two teams combined for 100 penalty minutes. The Stars had 54 and the Oilers had 46. Krys Barch led Dallas with 22 penalty minutes (two fighting majors, a roughing minor and a 10 minute misconduct). James Neal was next with 19 penalty minutes (one fighting major, an unsportsmanlike conduct minor, an instigator minor and a ten minute misconduct).
The Stars opened the scoring 10:38 into the game when Adam Burish scored off the rush, beating Oilers goalie Nikolai Khabibulin with a wrist shot from the right circle.
The Stars had only one more shot on goal after the Burish goal and ended up getting outshot in the period 11-5.
Krys Barch and Jim Vandermeer dropped the gloves with 6:31 left in the period and 14 second later Matt Niskanen fought with Colin Fraser and got a big round of applause from the crowd at American Airlines Center.
Jamie Benn, Tom Wandell, Toby Petersen and Jeff Woywitka were all out with injuries for the Stars.
The Stars went on their first power play of the game early in the second period and cashed in to take a 2-0 lead. Brenden Morrow scored his 20th goal of the season, knocking home the rebound of a Jamie Langenbrunner one-timer at the 2:32 mark.
The Stars extended the lead to 3-0 on Morrow’s second goal of the night. Mike Ribeiro sent a pass from behind the net to Langenbrunner, whose cross-ice pass from the right corner was banged homed by Morrow at 8:22 of the period.
Fight three of the night featured Krys Barch and Edmonton’s Zach Stortini.
Fight four pitted James Neal against Theo Peckham. Neal went after Peckham, who had just dumped Brad Richards in the neutral zone.
Neal picked up instigator and unsportsmanlike conduct minors, which resulted in the Oilers going on a power play and they cashed In to cut the Stars’ lead to 3-1. Dustin Penner scored off the rebound of a Shawn Horcoff shot with 2:16 left in the period.
The Stars got a full 2:00 of five-on-three time midway through the third period, but couldn’t take advantage.
The penalty minutes in the game climbed to 100 minutes as well, when Morrow took a slashing minor and Khabibulin picked up a roughing minor during the five-on-three.
The Oilers got some momentum off the five-on-three kill and Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen made some sharp saves to keep the Oilers from cutting into the Dallas lead.
Injured: Benn (undisclosed), Wandell (undisclosed), Woywitka (shoulder), Petersen (leg)
Power play units
Penalty kill units