Modano's milestone goal sinks Oilers
This time, there was no comeback for the Edmonton Oilers.
Mike Modano scored on the power play with 2:21 left in regulation to lift the Dallas Stars to a 4-3 win over the visiting Oilers on Sunday in the opener of a home-and-home series between the Western Conference rivals.
As they did in Saturday's 4-2 win in St. Louis, the Oilers trailed 2-0 after one period before coming back to tie Dallas, but Modano's goal killed any chance of another come-from-behind victory for Edmonton.
The goal marked Modano's 1,300th career point, as the U.S.-born forward became the 31st player in league history to reach that milestone.
"That was a great shot there, especially on a milestone goal that was so meaningful for our group," Stars coach Dave Tippett said. "You don't get 1,300 points without being a great player, and that was a great goal."
Oilers coach Craig MacTavish said leaving Modano alone late in the period while playing a man down was a major tactical error.
"It was missed execution on a pretty elementary part of our penalty kill," MacTavish said. "The game was there for us. It was ripe for opportunity. We squandered a pretty good second and third [periods] with boneheaded mistakes."
Edmonton (10-11-2) has lost six of its last eight games overall. Dallas (8-11-4) has now won seven consecutive games against the Oilers.
Dallas took a two-goal lead into the first intermission thanks to goals from Mike Ribeiro and Toby Petersen.
With the Stars on the power play, Ribeiro tipped Modano's point shot and the puck looped high in the air before coming down and trickling down the arm of Oilers goalie Jeff Drouin-Deslaurier and into the net.
"It was a bad bounce," said Drouin-Deslauriers, who hadn't played since Nov. 13. "I batted the puck in the air. I needed to back up in my net. It was bad bounce off my pads. When you're lucky, that hits the top of the net."
Petersen scored on another tip in at 14:01. The goal was his first since March 27, 2007, when he was member of the Oilers.
Edmonton's woeful performance in the opening 20 minutes was par for the course — the Oilers have been outscored 23-11 by their opponents in the first period this season.
The Oilers finally got on the scoreboard with eight minutes left in the second period. Edmonton effectively worked the puck around the Dallas end while on a power play, and Shawn Horcoff fed a perfect cross-ice pass to Ales Hemsky, who fired it home with a wrist shot to record his seventh goal of the season.
Hemsky has seven points (two goals and five assists) in his last five games.
The Oilers continued to press and notched the equalizer at 4:21 of the third. Marty Turco couldn't hold on to the puck after stopping a shot from the point, allowing Kyle Brodziak to scoop up the rebound and shovel it by the Dallas netminder.
Sean Avery restored the Dallas lead at 14:51 on a setup from James Neal, but Brodziak tied things up at 16:38, beating Turco with a shot from the side of the net.
Any chance of an Oiler comeback was halted after Sheldon Souray took a hooking penalty with just under three minuets left to play. Modano made Souray pay for his lack of discipline, scoring his 537th career goal on the ensuing power play at 17:39 with a one-timer by Drouin-Deslaurier off a Brad Richards pass.
"[Richards] made a great pass, on the stick, and I found a seam," said Modano. "I've been blessed to have been around this long."
These teams meet again Wednesday in Edmonton.
With files from Associated Press