Oilers Down Stars 4-1

Oloson Makes 38 Saves

If the Edmonton Oilers are going to make a playoff push, they need to start making their move now.

Dwayne Roloson made 38 saves, and the Oilers started a five-game homestand with a 4-1 victory over the Dallas Stars on Saturday night.

Sheldon Souray, Erik Cole, Dustin Penner and Andrew Cogliano scored for the Oilers (18-6-3), who snapped a two-game skid and improved to 7-6-3 at home.

"We've had our ups and downs in this building," Roloson said, "but tonight we played a complete team game. It's great for us to start off this homestand the way we did."

Cole, who has played his best games with the Oilers in the last couple weeks, felt it was important for the team to establish itself quickly at home.

"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," he said. "We need to come out every night and show the same kind of enthusiasm that we showed tonight."

A key component to the victory was keeping the Stars from recording a power-play goal in five opportunities, something which has plagued the Oilers all season.

"We focused on the penalty kill today and yesterday in meetings and went over it in almost a school atmosphere," Penner said.

But perhaps most important of all, it was a total team effort by the Oilers.

"It was a great start to the new year," coach Craig MacTavish said. "There were some great individual performances and guys that are elevating their games. Everybody can feel good about that game. We haven't had a lot of those this year where everybody walks away from the rink feeling good about themselves."

James Neal had the lone goal for the Stars (16-16-5), who have lost two of three.

"If we're going to be a good team, we have to bring the consistency every night. This is a slap in the face for our team," Dallas coach Dave 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."

Stars forward Steve Ott said it is frustrating to have a poor showing considering Dallas had gone 5-1-1 in its previous seven outings.

"We were looking for two points and we didn't get what we came here looking for and now we slip back a little further and it makes it harder and harder every single game," he said. "We played pretty solid last month, and then you lose to a team you're battling with and it sinks the ship a little bit. We've got to regroup."

Edmonton scored a pair of even-strength goals just under a minute apart midway through the first period. Cole broke in on the right wing and sent a screened shot past goalie Marty Turco to give the Oilers the early edge.

They made it 2-0 just 56 seconds later on a great effort by Souray. The Oilers defenseman held off a pair of Stars and deked Turco to score his 12th goal.

Dallas had a good chance to cut into the lead with its 12th shot late in the first period but Roloson made a point blank save on Loui Eriksson.

Edmonton added to its lead with a power-play goal seven minutes into the second period when Souray fired a shot from the point off the post, and Penner was there to chip in his 10th on the rebound to make it 3-0.

The Stars got on the board with two minutes to go in the second. Souray blocked a shot by Andrew Hutchinson but the puck bounced loose to Neal in front and he scored his 13th goal.

Edmonton put the game away with five minutes to go in the third when Robert Nilsson made a nice feed from behind the net to Cogliano. The second-year forward netted his 11th.

Dallas outshot Edmonton 39-19. 

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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