EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) – The Dallas Stars‘ playoff prospects are looking a lot more secure.
Jamie Benn scored the shootout winner and the Stars beat the Edmonton Oilers 3-2 on Thursday.
Alexander Radulov and Miro Heiskanen scored in regulation for the surging Stars, who won their third straight game and tightened their hold on the first wild-card spot in the Western Conference.
“There was no panic,” Benn said of his team being down 2-0 early in the second. “Obviously we took responsibility for our play in the first and it wasn’t good enough. We wanted to come out in the second and be tighter and better and then we won the third period and took advantage in the shootout. We’ll take the two points and move on.”
In the conference standings, Dallas is five points up on Colorado and seven points ahead of Arizona.
“I think it’s the will inside that locker room and it’s those players wanting not only to make the playoffs but to go in there and play the right way,” said Stars head coach Jim Montgomery.
Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid scored for the Oilers, who have lost four of six and are all but eliminated from playoff contention.
Edmonton got on the board first, five minutes into the opening period just as a power play expired. McDavid sent a pass across to Draisaitl, who beat Stars goalie Anton Khudobin for his 47th of the season.
Draisaitl also picked up his 100th point of the season with the goal, joining McDavid in triple digits this season. They are the first Oilers duo to crack 100 points since 1988-1989 (Jari Kurri and Jimmy Carson).
“He’s a guy who has been coming along and really playing good hockey,” McDavid said. “There has been a lot made of his game and I am really happy to see him do something like this.”
It is also the first time a pair of teammates reached the mark since 2010, when Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom of the Washington Capitals accomplished the feat.
“It’s a nice milestone for me personally, but it is tough to be too excited about that right now,” said Draisaitl, the first German player to hit the 100-point plateau.
The Oilers added to their lead just over a minute into the second on a highlight-reel goal by McDavid.
The goal was McDavid’s 40th of the season, making him the first Oiler to record back-to-back 40-goal campaigns since Kurri in 1989.
Dallas got one back on the power play six minutes into the first when Radulov beat Oilers goalie Mikko Koskinen high to the glove side.
The Stars tied the game eight minutes into the third period when Heiskanen scored on a shot through a screen to make it 2-2.
NOTE: It was the third and final meeting of the season between the two teams. The Stars won two of the three games. … Dallas goaltender Ben Bishop started Wednesday’s win over Calgary, but was injured midway through. Landon Bow was called up from Texas (AHL) to serve as backup for Thursday’s game.
Stars: At Vancouver on Saturday.
Oilers: Close out a five-game homestand against Anaheim on Saturday.