Roloson, Souray help Oilers trounce Stars

EDMONTON, Alberta (Ticker) — Dwayne Roloson made 39 saves and
defenseman Sheldon Souray recorded a goal and an assist to lead
the Edmonton Oilers to a 4-1 victory over the Dallas Stars on
Saturday in the opener of a five-game homestand.

Dustin Penner, Erik Cole and Andrew Cogliano also scored and
Shawn Horcoff collected a pair of assists for the Oilers, who
snapped a two-game slide.

“We need to come out every night and show the same kind of
enthusiasm that we showed tonight,” Cole said. “Especially at
the start of this homestand. This is a key stretch of games for
us to start building something and put some wins together,
especially coming off our last two losses.”

“We’ve had our ups and downs in this building,” Roloson said.
“But we played a complete team game, and it’s great for us to
start off this homestand the way we did.”

Cole got Edmonton on the board with his seventh goal at 8:41 of
the first period, and Souray’s tally 56 seconds later proved to
be the game-winner.

“We got off to a great start tonight and moved the puck really
well,” Oilers coach Craig MacTavish said. “There were some
great individual performances and guys that are elevating their
games. More guys are contributing offensively than what we have
had. It was a great start to the new year.”

James Neal netted the lone goal for the Stars, who failed to
capitalized on five power-play opportunities.

“We focused on the penalty kill in meetings and went over it in
almost a school atmosphere,” Penner said. “A lot of questions
were asked, and a lot of answers were given.”

The Oilers came out setting a physical tone, with two fights
breaking out in the first eight minutes.

“Early on, we weren’t even close (to matching them physically),”
Dallas coach Dave Tippett said. “We gave up two goals that
started from behind their net – that’s 200 feet away. We give
up two soft goals early and you get chasing the game and
that’s… Once we got our legs under us, Roloson was very good,
but not enough push from our side tonight.”

Dallas’ Krys Barch drew the ire of both Zack Stortini and
defenseman Jason Strudwick and got to choose between the two.
Barch went with Strudwick for a prolonged bout 3:07 into the

The normally reserved Penner was the next Edmonton player to
drop his gloves, throwing a few quick shots at Landon Wilson
before taking him down to the ice at 8:07.

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“When he is emotionally invested in the game, that’s the impact
he can have,” MacTavish said of Penner. “The way he played it,
he was a wrecking machine in many ways. He played really well
for us.”

The fights seemed to spark the Oilers, who scored twice in less
than a minute after Penner took his seat in the penalty box.
Cole continued to rediscover his offensive touch, beating Marty
Turco to the glove side with a wrist shot at 8:41.

Souray’s breakaway goal at 9:37 made it 2-0. The defenseman
took a feed from Horcoff and skated in on Turco before putting a
wrist shot past the goaltender for his 12th tally of the season.

“It’s hard. These are the games that are really important for
us, but we didn’t show up and we let them get a lead,” Stars
defenseman Stephane Robidas said. “They played a good game,
you’ve got to give them credit, but we didn’t do the things that
we did well against Jersey (in a 4-2 win on Wednesday), the
things that made us successful. We didn’t win the 1-on-1
battles, and that’s what happened. You can’t expect to win
hockey games when you don’t win 1-on-1 battles.”

Wilson did not return to the ice at the start of the second
period following his battle with Penner. He will be
re-evaluated on Sunday.

Working the power play, Penner pushed the lead to 3-0 at 7:23 of
the second. Souray’s slap shot from the blue line hit the
goalpost, bounced off Turco’s back and landed on Penner’s stick,
giving him a vacant net at which to shoot for his 10th of the

“This is a game that if we’re going to be a good team, we have
to bring the consistency every night, and this is a slap in the
face for our team,” Tippett said. “We didn’t compete hard
enough, our top players right through to the bottom of our
lineup. We didn’t push this game hard enough. We should have
looked at this game like a playoff game almost, and we didn’t do
enough to win the game.”

Having set up Souray for the slap shot, Horcoff picked up his
200th career assist on the play.