EDMONTON, Alberta (AP)—The Dallas Stars saved face in a game they looked destined to squander.
Thanks to a bizarre gaffe, the Edmonton Oilers did, too.
Dallas rallied from 4-1 down with four unanswered goals, but needed the shootout heroics after Ales Hemsky tied the game for Edmonton with two seconds left in regulation. Hemsky’s dramatic goal came just moments after Stars forward Patrik Stefan lost control of the puck in the Edmonton crease, with the Oilers net empty in favour of an extra attacker.
“They may show it a million times for years to come,” joked Stefan. “I mean, we came out with the two points so it’s easy to laugh about it right now.
“It’s not like I missed the net, I saw it was bad ice and I had so much time so I just tried to carry it all the way to the net. As soon as I put it on my back hand it jumped over my stick. Not much I can do about that.”
Petr Nedved scored in his first game for Edmonton since being picked up on waivers Tuesday from the Philadelphia Flyers. Hemsky, Ryan Smyth, Joffrey Lupul and Shawn Horcoff also had goals for the Oilers (19-18-3), who have lost nine of their last 12 games.
Oilers coach Craig MacTavish was happy to earn a point.
“We were bestowed upon a miracle at the end,” said MacTavish. “I have never seen anything like it. It’s one of those moments in hockey that you’ll remember forever. It turned a disaster into a debacle.”
Trailing 4-2 after 40 minutes, Dallas roared back to tie the game with a pair of power-play goals just 32 seconds apart early in the third. With the Stars enjoying a two-man advantage, Lehtinen blasted in a slapshot from close range at 3:20.
Boucher made it 4-4 at 3:52, firing a shot over Oiler goalie Dwayne Roloson’s right shoulder.
The Stars had a chance to put the game away, but Patrik Stefan fell as he skated in alone with the Oilers net empty for an extra attacker. The Oilers regained possession, and Hemsky banged a loose puck past Dallas netminder Marty Turco at 19:58 to stun the Stars and force overtime.
“That was bizarre,” said Dallas defenceman Darryl Sydor. “Seconds left with an empty net and then it’s down in our end and tie game. I’ve never seen any thing like that and you probably won’t see anything like that again for a long time.”
The Oilers kick off a three-game road trip on Friday in Vancouver while the Stars travel to Calgary for a match on Saturday.
Nedved made his first appearance in an Oilers uniform since leaving the team as an unrestricted free agent following the 2003-04 season. Tuesday marked the 18th anniversary of Nedved’s defection to Canada as a 17-year-old at a midget hockey tournament in Calgary. … Rookie Oilers defenseman Ladislav Smid left the game early in the first with a shoulder sprain and did not return.