Wednesday, January 15, 2014
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Stars emphatically end losing streak vs. Edmonton

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[January 15, 2014]  DALLAS  Almost from the start of the game, the Dallas Stars left little doubt that their losing streak would end at six, scoring 14 seconds into Tuesday's game and continuing their onslaught in a 5-2 win over the Edmonton Oilers at American Airlines Center.

Center Ryan Garbutt led Dallas with three points (goal, two assists), and the Stars also got a goal and an assist from center Jamie Benn.

"I thought Ryan's play was excellent, he made some great plays," Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. "Obviously he's a difference maker, he's an energy guy for us and it was nice to see him get rewarded because that line has worked hard, he's worked real hard."

Dallas, which won for the first time in 2014, also got 31 saves from goaltender Kari Lehtonen.

"Obviously it's been a grind, it was good to get it," Ruff said. "I thought we came out great. A little lull in the second period, the last half of the second I thought we played well. And then the third we played it pretty smart."

The Stars (21-18-7) added an empty-net goal from defenseman Trevor Daley with 39 seconds left.

Dallas took an early lead when left winger Erik Cole scored just 14 seconds into the game from the low slot. Cole slipped the puck into an open net after Oilers goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov was preoccupied with Daley, who fed the puck to Cole for his 12th of the season.

"Yeah, the first goal is a broken play," Oilers coach Dallas Eakins said. "(Nugent-Hopkins) ends up falling down. I don't think it was a case of we weren't ready to play. I thought we were."

Edmonton (15-29-5) answered at 3:40 of the opening period when defenseman Justin Schultz beat Lehtonen with a backhand shot to make it 1-1. Oilers left winger Taylor Hall got the primary assist with a great cross-ice pass to Schultz, who cut in front of the Dallas goal before beating Lehtonen at the far post.

Dallas regained the lead at 8:35 when Garbutt scored his ninth of the season with a tap-in from inside the visiting crease. Dallas left winger Ray Whitney skated around the back of the Oilers' net, and after being denied by Bryzgalov, sent in a shot that deflected off Bryzgalov's blocker and elbow before going into the crease. Garbutt poked his stick into the scrum and knocked the puck in.

The Stars added a third goal of the period at 10:22 when Benn beat Bryzgalov over his blocker with a wrister from the left circle with the Stars on the power play. Dallas center Tyler Seguin picked up the primary assist with a well-placed pass from near the Edmonton blue line. Benn collected the puck and finished for his 16th of the season.

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The Stars went on the power play after Oilers center Sam Gagner was called for interference at 9:45 of the first.

The Stars continued their onslaught when Eakin scored his 10th with a wrister into an open net 1:10 into the middle period. Left winger Antoine Roussel dug the puck out of the corner and spotted Eakin open at the far post, where he converted with ease.

Edmonton pulled one back at 10:28 of the second when Gagner tapped in a rebound for his sixth with the Oilers on the power play. The Oilers also had a near-miss in the second when center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins rang a wrister from the right circle off the crossbar at 4:09.

Benn put the visitors on the power play with a tripping penalty at 9:30 of the second.

The Oilers lost left wing Ales Hemsky late in the second period and he did not return for the final 20 minutes.

"He took a heater in the ankle," Eakins said. "The early X-ray doesn't show anything, but I think we're going to have to delve a little deeper and get another look at it."

Hall finished with two assists for Edmonton and Bryzgalov stopped 25 of 29 shots for the Oilers.

NOTES: LW Jesse Joensuu was the lone scratch for Edmonton. ... Dallas scratched C Dustin Jeffrey and D Aaron Rome (lower body). ... Oilers G Ilya Bryzgalov was playing his first game in Dallas since sustaining an upper-body injury in the second period of a 3-2 shootout win over the Stars on Dec. 1, 2013. Bryzgalov stopped 28 of 29 shots before having to leave that game after colliding with Dallas center Ryan Garbutt. Bryzgalov missed Edmonton's next six games. ... Stars LW Ray Whitney was playing his 1,300th career game and assisted on Garbutt's ninth goal of the season in the first period. ... Oilers LW Taylor Hall started in his customary spot on Edmonton's top line alongside C Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and RW Sam Gagner despite not participating in morning skate, which was an optional workout. ... The announced attendance was 12,823.

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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