Klefbom’s 1st goal leads Oilers to 1-0 OT win over Stars
EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — Ken Hitchcock earned his first home victory as coach of the Edmonton Oilers against his former team.
“In our division, I think that is how we are going to have to win and we know that,” Oilers forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins said on playing in tight games since Hitchcock’s arrival. “When we went on our playoff run a couple of years ago, we were winning all those 3-2, 4-2, 2-1 games. We have to get back to that and understand that is the way that we are going to have success.”
Goalie Mikko Koskinen made 28 saves and earned his second career shutout for Edmonton.
Hitchcock, an Edmonton native who took over for the fired Todd McLellan last week, coached parts of eight seasons with the Stars in his career.
“One thing I’ve learned coaching in the West is, you’ve got to get points when you’re tired,” Hitchcock said. “We knew when we didn’t get the lead in the first period that we’d be in a bit of trouble, because our energy was lacking. So, we ground it down. You’ve got to get points in the West when you’re down to eight percent, and that means you have to grind them.”
Anton Khudobin stopped 30 shots for the Stars, who lost for the fourth time in five games.
“We are dedicated to playing on the right side of the puck and we’re getting back,” Dallas coach Jim Montgomery said. “We’re improving. Right now, I wish we would have had that extra point.”
Leon Draisaitl made a perfect pass 2:42 into overtime to set up Klefbom for the winner as the Oilers snapped a two-game losing skid.
“We have that confidence going into overtime. We have almost a mental advantage going into three-on-three,” Klefbom said. “It’s been a long wait between goals with a lot of shots on goal. It was a good time to get the first one tonight.”
After two scoreless periods, Edmonton’s Ryan Spooner had one of the best chances of the game with four minutes left in the third period, but Khubodin came up with a clutch save.
At the other end, Koskinen stopped Dallas forward Jamie Benn in the final seconds of regulation.
Just 1:15 into overtime, Connor McDavid had a breakaway and was stopped, but the puck was poked by Dallas defender Alexander Radulov toward his own net. It appeared the puck crossed the line before being fished to safety, but the goal was disallowed after a video review.
NOTES: It was the first of three meetings between the Oilers and Stars this season. . The Stars were without six players due to injuries, including four defensemen and goaltender Ben Bishop, who missed his third game with a lower-body injury. . Oilers defenseman Andrej Sekera skated with the team for the first time this season on Tuesday, but is still expected to be out for at least a month with an Achilles injury.
Stars: At Calgary on Wednesday.
Oilers: Host Los Angeles Kings on Thursday.