EDMONTON – Even a veteran like Jaromir Jagr can still get excited about scoring in overtime.
Jagr’s goal helped the Dallas Stars win two games in a row for the first time this season, defeating the injury-riddled Edmonton Oilers 3-2 on Wednesday night.
The 40-year-old forward beat Oilers goalie Devan Dubnyk 1:46 into overtime with a high wrist shot for his third goal of the season.
“That feeling never gets old,” Jagr said. “When you score in overtime, everybody is talking about it. That was a big goal for us.”
Jamie Benn and Derek Roy scored in regulation for the Stars, who improved to 5-5-1.
Stars head coach Glen Gulutzan was relieved his team came away with the win, but felt his team shouldn’t have allowed the Oilers back into the game in the third period.
“I liked the win in overtime, but I didn’t like the response after our two goals,” he said. “We kept on turning the puck over and over and putting the game in jeopardy. Until we realize that we are a team that has to grind out games—and even if it gets dicey out there we have to play a certain way—we’re not going to get traction. We have to learn to do a better job.”
Ales Hemsky and Justin Schultz scored in response for the Oilers, who were without three of their top four centres—Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (day-to-day with a shoulder injury), Shawn Horcoff (broken knuckle) and Eric Belanger (broken toes).
Adding to their woes, centre Anton Lander left the game in the first period with a foot injury.
Oilers head coach Ralph Krueger lauded his team for working through adversity and said he hoped help would be on the way soon.
“We’re in the pack and in the games with an opportunity to win, we just need to get a healthy lineup together,” he said. “We’re hoping to have Nugent-Hopkins back for our next game on Saturday and Belanger back by Sunday. We want to get back deep into our lineup again and to the four lines we were rolling earlier in the season.
“We’ve had a strange string of events. But the positive on it is that Horcoff is the only long-term injury.”
The Oilers (4-3-3) are now winless in their last four games although they have earned points in three of them.
“Down the middle we’re hurting, for sure, but we found a way to battle through that adversity and earn another point,” said Oilers forward Jordan Eberle.
There were few good chances in a rather sedate first period, most of them belonging to the Stars while they were shorthanded. Dallas had several odd-man rushes late in the first and almost converted on one of them as Cody Eakin had Dubnyk beat but rang his shot off the post.
Edmonton broke the scoreless deadlock three minutes into the second following a mad scramble in front of the Dallas net. Nail Yakupov hit the post behind Stars starter Kari Lehtonen before Hemsky banked the rebound in off a defender.
Sam Gagner had an assist to extend his point streak to 10 games.
The sound of metal clanging rang out through Rexall Place with seven minutes left as Loui Eriksson hit the post behind Dubnyk, leading immediately to a rush by Yakupov, who also hit the post on his shot.
A minute later the Stars tied the game as a shot by Benn appeared to deflect off Oiler Jeff Petry and into the Edmonton net. It was Benn’s third goal in six games since ending his contract holdout.
Dallas went up 2-1 with 1:16 left to play in the second period as Roy blasted a shot from the point during a power play that found the back of the net untouched. It was Roy’s first goal as a Star.
Edmonton tied the game 2-2 eight minutes into the third on a power play of their own as Schultz let loose a rocket from the point past Lehtonen. It was the third goal of the season for the Oilers’ rookie defenceman.
Jagr felt it has taken some time for the Stars to find their footing, but that the process is starting to come along.
“We had three new guys coming here and Jamie (Benn) wasn’t signed,” he said. “We didn’t really have much of a chance to play together and not even much practice. We have to learn during the games. It is going to get better and better. It is just taking some time.”
The Stars return home to take on the Ducks on Friday. The Oilers start a quick two-game road trip on Saturday in Detroit.
Notes – It was the first of three meetings between the two teams this season. The Star captured all four meetings last season by a combined 14-4 margin, holding the Oilers to a one goal in each game. … Stars D Alex Goligoski was a surprise healthy scratch. Goligoski is the Stars’ highest paid defenceman with a $4.2 million price tag and is second on the overall team payroll behind Benn. … With the three injured centres, Oklahoma City call-up Marc Arcobello made his NHL debut playing on the Oilers top line between Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle. … The latest injuries added to an already long list of hobbled players for Edmonton that includes Andy Sutton (knee), Ryan Jones (eye), Ben Eager (concussion), Mark Fistric (back) and Theo Peckham (hip). … Stars F Ray Whitney is out with a broken foot. … The Stars came into the game having played shorthanded a league-high 50 times this year.