DALLAS (AP)The NHL’s top power play faced one of the league’s best penalty-killing units and came out on top.
Leon Draisaitl scored to propel Edmonton’s red-hot power play, Mikko Koskinen made 34 saves and the Oilers beat the Dallas Stars 2-1 Monday night.
That was the only power-play goal in six chances for Edmonton.
“I like the chances of our power play,” Oilers coach Dave Tippett said. “Our power play is clicking along pretty good, even though (the Stars) make it tough on you.”
Edmonton has scored on an NHL-leading 31% of its power plays, including 10 man-advantage goals in its past eight games. The Oilers were going against a Dallas penalty kill ranked third in the league entering Monday – the Stars had killed 40 straight over their previous 11 home games dating to Oct. 29.
“To take six penalties was not part of the program,” Stars interim coach Rick Bowness said. “Our penalty killers did a great job of keeping us in the game.”
The Oilers scored twice in the first period, with Connor McDavid assisting on the goals by Zack Kassian and Draisaitl.
Koskinen made 17 saves in the third period. He allowed only Tyler Seguin’s goal with 2:37 to play after the Stars had pulled goalie Ben Bishop for an extra skater. It was Seguin’s first goal in 12 games.
“I want to produce,” Seguin said. “I have just been the assist man as of late. So, it was nice to get one and I wish I could have got another one there in the last minute.”
Koskinen wasn’t having any of that. He withstood a barrage of seven shots within 2 ½ minutes early in the third and had two more saves on a late-game Dallas power play.
“It’s pretty obvious that they’re gonna put everything to the net when they’re two goals behind,” Koskinen said. “We protected the lead pretty well. The last three minutes was a little bit tougher. We handled it, so we’re happy for that.”
He was protecting an early 2-0 lead.
McDavid passed to Zack Kassian in the slot for a wrist shot past Bishop at 8:07.
Draisaitl scored on Edmonton’s second power play with a wrist shot from the right circle at 14:13. He took a pass from Alex Chiasson across the crease for Draisaitl’s 21st goal this season, sixth on the power play. The Oilers have 34 power-play goals.
“We were able to get another one on the power play,” Chiasson said. “It gives us a chance to breathe and establish our game and just play the way we’re capable of playing, not trying to open it up.”
Bishop finished with 26 saves.
Edmonton ended a four-game losing streak (0-3-1) and pulled even with Pacific Division leader Arizona at 42 points.
“Our goaltender was really good,” Tippett said, “especially in the third when they pushed hard.”
Dallas had a five-game point streak (4-0-1) before the loss. The Stars are 2-1-1 since Rick Bowness took over as interim head coach, including three games in the last four nights.
NOTES: McDavid has 18 points (eight goals, 10 assists) in 11 career games against Dallas. … McDavid (59 points) and Draisaitl (57) are 1-2 in the NHL scoring race. … Edmonton’s six power plays were the most against Dallas since the Stars faced eight on Nov. 5 against Colorado. Seven of the nine penalties in the game were for tripping. … Oilers D Oscar Klefbom played 30:32 and blocked a game-high 6 shots. The Stars had just eight blocks in the game; Edmonton had 20, 10 in the third period.
Oilers: Complete a two-game trip at St. Louis on Tuesday.
Stars: Play on Thursday at Tampa Bay in the first of two games in two nights in Florida.
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