Benning’s late goal lifts Oilers to 5-4 win over Stars
EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — The offense finally came through for the Edmonton Oilers.
Matt Benning scored the tiebreaking goal with 2:27 remaining and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had two goals as the Oilers beat the Dallas Stars 5-4 on Thursday night.
Connor McDavid and Patrick Maroon also scored for the Oilers, who had an NHL-low 15 goals through the first eight games.
“Just getting the two points right now is big for the morale of the group,” Nugent-Hopkins said. “We are a pretty mentally solid team in here no matter what we go through. For us, we needed the confidence at some point so this was a big step for us.”
On the winning goal, Benning’s point shot hit Radulov and got past Bishop to break the fourth and final tie.
“It was a good sign for our team,” Benning said. “It was a close game going into the third and those are the kind of games you need to win to be there in the playoffs. It’s a step in the right direction to get some confidence in this locker room.”
Cam Talbot stopped 28 shots for the Oilers.
Jamie Benn struck twice for the Stars, and Alexander Radulov and Esa Lindell also scored for Dallas in its second straight loss. Ben Bishop finished with 30 saves.
“Once you get the lead, you expect to win that game, we have to learn to win that game,” Benn said. “It’s a disappointing result. I think we’re all upset about this game tonight.”
The Stars went ahead 4-3 with their first lead of the game midway through the third as Lindell waited for Talbot to commit before lifting a shot into the net with Dallas’ third power-play goal of the game.
The Oilers bounced with 7:44 remaining as a Stars turnover led to Nugent-Hopkins scoring on a shot that deflected off a defender and in to tie at 4-all.
“I could talk about the negatives that we have to fix (special teams), but I’m going to focus on us having the ability to outscore that team 5-1 at even strength,” Oilers head coach Todd McLellan sai. “That’s a good sign.”
Edmonton started the scoring midway through the opening period as Ryan Strome came out of the penalty box and sent McDavid on a partial breakaway and the Oilers star scored his fifth of the season up high on Bishop.
It took just over a minute for Dallas to tie it up as Radulov dropped a puck to Benn in front of the net, and he put his sixth past Talbot.
Maroon helped Edmonton regain the lead with 24 seconds left in the first as he put his shot off a Dallas skate and into the net.
Radulov beat Talbot with a one-timer as the Stars tied the game back up on the power play three minutes into the second period.
Edmonton made it 3-2 with six minutes left in the middle period when Nugent-Hopkins picked up a rebound on a wide shot and hooked it in from behind the net.
The Stars evened it up once more a couple of minutes later with another power-play goal as Benn picked up his second of the night by chipping in a rebound from the doorstep.
Stars: At Calgary on Friday for the third game of a five-game trip.
Oilers: Host Washington on Saturday.