Jan 20, 2013; Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA; Edmonton Oilers left wing Ben Eager (55) is hit by a Vancouver Canucks during the second period at Rogers Arena. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Oilers Start With Early Lead, Fall To Stars 4-1

This was “the game”.  This was such the game that when Taylor Hall blew by Stephane Robidas for the first Oiler goal, I thought I knew how this one was going to end.

Yes, I did.  This was a statement game.  The Oilers were going out on their home ice and were going to dominate the Dallas Stars. I was smarter than hockey.

Except, I was wrong.

What can you say about a game like this?  The Oilers did storm the barn in the first period, and Taylor Hall scored on a shot that Kari Lehtonen probably should’ve had, but it was pretty nonetheless.

The Oilers finished the first period out-shooting the Stars 11-9 (which was almost as many shots as they had in the entire game on Sunday).  Hey, maybe we were getting somewhere here.

OFF THE STICK, OFF THE GLASS, OFF DUBNYK’S BACK, NOTHING BUT NET

Caddyshack. Photo courtesy Sportsnet West

Stars defenceman Brendan Dillon scored a goal that will likely never be seen again.  Dillon’s shot was taken at the left point.  It went off of Lennart Petrell‘s stick, off of the glass, off of Devan Dubnyk‘s back, and into the Oiler net.  You couldn’t have done this if you tried.  That was the crack of light that let Dallas back into the game.

And what else?  Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen played lights out.  After Taylor Hall’s goal, Lehtonen turned aside the rest of them.   A couple of turnovers in the neutral zone, Jaromir Jagr finds a gift eight feet in front of the Oilers net, and the Stars walk out of Rexall place with a 4-1 victory and two more points.

This wasn’t a bad game.  Oilers were able to get 36 shots on net (nearly three times as many as they had in the Columbus game), but fell short on the scoresheet.  The first Dallas goal was a fluke, and they’ll need to clean up the neutral zone.  The Oilers have two days to fine tune their game when the Avalanche roll into town in a game the Oilers would really love to take two points in.

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