by Lisa McRitchie on 03/29/12 at 03:00 AM ET
Oilers lose 3-1 to Stars
Some things never change. For the Oilers it seems the Dallas Stars will always be a tough to beat, or even play team. Missing Taylor Hall from the line-up, the Oilers played a snoozer of a game in Rexall Place Wednesday night. But with results like this do you cheer or dread the upcoming end of the season?
The Oilers had only a few “real” opportunities to even get on the board in this their last meeting of the year with the Stars. It was of course Jordan Eberle who had the best of them with the man advantage but despite three opportunities on the power play through sixty minutes, the Oilers could not solve Star’s netminder Kari Lehtonen.
While it was not a power play goal, it was still a mood changing goal midway through the third period that sparked some life into the game. A rare slap shot from Ryan Smyth stunned Lehtonen and Hemmer was able to hammer one passed the clearly stung goaltender.
Of course one goal was not enough. While the Stars were outshot 32-25, it was two goals from Michael Ryder and one from Mike Ribeiro that told the real story of the game. The Oilers should have had more jump in their step and should have put up a better fight, but instead, they see their impressive recent winning streak come to a halt.
While the entire Oilers’ team would like to put this game behind them as quickly as possible, it will be Jeff Petry who will be first in line to watch video of the game. Petry has been one of the biggest positive of this Oilers season playing solid defencively and keeping his team in games night after night, but by having an off night against the Stars; it’s just a reminder that the Oilers are still very much a young and developing team. Petry’s development is ahead of schedule and so long as his next games are better, you can’t ask for much more at this point of the season.
This was a rare night where Ryan Nugent-Hopkins went without a point, but there are still 5 Oilers games left to play and 5 games for the Oilers to rise for 29th place, exactly where the Oilers have fallen back to with this loss.
None of the games will be easy, but there is still a chance for Oilers scoring and perhaps even wins. Regardless of how many wins the Oilers get down the stretch, they have won more games this season than last year and even the one before that. While the list of positives may seem short, the Oilers are a far more skilled team than previous years and now only need to add more grit with any additions they choose to make this summer.
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Lisa McRitchie is a fairly new writer, online at least, but makes up for inexperience with passion for the game of hockey and memories of Mrs. Leskiw’s English AP class; who knew they would pay off one day.
Oil Patch focuses on the Edmonton Oilers, the Edmonton Oil Kings, The Oklahoma City Barons and Team Canada Hockey with game coverage, news updates, speculation and interviews.
Although the Oilers have had a difficult past decade… or three, here at Oil Patch, the future looks bright.
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