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Stars hand Oilers 3rd straight home shutout loss

The SportsXchange

EDMONTON, Alberta -- The Dallas Stars had the Edmonton Oilers right where they wanted them -- at Rexall Place.

There has been no better place for opponents to visit this season than Edmonton, where the Oilers have been outscored 20-2 in their last five games and are a ghastly 1-6 on the year.

The Stars contributed to those humbling totals Wednesday with a 3-0 decision, with center Rich Peverley scoring midway through the second period and hanging on until getting empty-net goals from center Tyler Seguin and winger Antoine Roussel in the final minute of the game put the gracious hosts away for good.

It is the first time in Oilers franchise history that they've been shut out at home in three straight games.

"I don't know what to say, we need to find ways to get pucks by them," said Oilers left winger David Perron. "There's no excuse. We have to be better.

"I don't know what it is. It's pretty frustrating when you can't even get one by a goalie. We have to find an answer to that and tonight we didn't find anything."

The Stars didn't find a whole bunch, either, but one goal is all you need when the other team doesn't get any.

"It was a little bit of a see-saw battle where special teams on both teams could have made a bit of a difference," said Dallas coach Lindy Ruff. "It seemed like penalty killing prevailed. When they got some early power plays they could have gotten some momentum if they scored and we could have put the game away later when we had our opportunities and we didn't."

While the season is already all but over for the 4-14-2 Oilers -- they are 14 points and seven teams out of a playoff spot -- the Stars (9-7-2) still have hope. Dallas improved to 4-1-1 in its past five games.

"Once we settled in a little bit and we were able to take the game over," said Stars center Shawn Horcoff. "We got a big goal and we've been good in close games."

The Oilers, playing five of the next six at Rexall Place, came out like a team trying very hard to reverse its fortunes at home. They had plenty of jump and generated several five-star chances but came up empty.

In the first period, Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen (22 saves) robbed right winger Jordan Eberle with a glove save, and Edmonton center Sam Gagner hit the crossbar instead of the open corner of the net. The opening period ended scoreless.

Dallas scored the only goal of the second period when Peverley jumped on a rebound outside the crease and put the puck over goalie Devan Dubnyk's shoulder at 10:35.

Dallas had a chance to put the game away in the third, with a 72-second, 5-on-3 advantage, but the Oilers escaped. The Stars missed another opportunity when right winger Valeri Nichushkin missed on a penalty shot with 3:10 left.

However, there was no avoiding the final kill shots: Seguin scored into an empty net with 52 seconds left and Roussel added another empty-netter with 14 seconds to go.

Seguin scored from his knees inside the Dallas zone, and knew if his hail mary missed it would have meant a faceoff in his own end.

"I didn't care at that point," he said. "It was one of those shifts where we were out there for a solid minute at least. They were making some good plays and I just wanted to get it out. If it goes in, then great, if it doesn't then we would take a time out and get a quick rest."

For Edmonton, it's back to a worn-out drawing board.

"We have a lot of skill in the lineup, but you can see that that's not everything," said right winger Ales Hemsky. "Dallas played a patient game and they got what they wanted. It's hard when you don't get the result, but we have to learn from it and focus on the next game."

Dubnyk finished with 23 saves.

NOTES: Dallas LW Ray Whitney was placed on injured reserve with a lower-body injury suffered Saturday against Chicago. The Stars called up F Travis Morin from their AHL affiliate, the Texas Stars, to help fill the void. Morin, 29, led the AHL with 24 points (10 goals, 14 assists). ... Oilers D Justin Schultz remains sidelined with groin and rib issues. He missed his fifth game. ... G Ilya Bryzgalov, a controversial signing the Oilers hope will help shore up their goaltending woes, is in the AHL trying to shake the rust off before he joins Edmonton. He has been idle for months. ... Recently recalled D Corey Potter took Taylor Fedun's place on the Oilers' blue line. ... Wednesday's game marked the first game back in Edmonton for former Oilers captain Shawn Horcoff, as well as the third head-to-head game between Taylor Hall and Tyler Seguin, the first and second picks from the 2010 draft.
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