EDMONTON â€” It was one thing to break out of a worrisome slump, it was another to do it so emphatically.
Patrick Maroon had a goal and an assist as the Oilers snapped a three-game losing skid with a 7-1 victory over the Dallas Stars on Tuesday. It was a timely win too as Edmonton has seven of its next 12 games against the San Jose Sharks, Anaheim Ducks and Los Angeles Kings, all of whom are competing with the Oilers for a post-season berth.
“I look at it like this: You’ve got to peak at the right time,” Maroon said. “We lose three in a row, now hopefully we go upwards from here. We peak at the right time, going into big conference games against San Jose, Anaheim and L.A. These are the times we need those wins.”
Benoit Pouliot, Oscar Klefbom, Darnell Nurse, David Desharnais, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Connor McDavid also scored for the Oilers (36-24-9), who are now 2-2-1 through five games of a lengthy eight-game homestand.
Brett Ritchie scored in response for the Stars (27-32-10), who have lost three straight and allowed 17 goals in their last three games.
“That might be the worst game I have coached as a Dallas Star,” said Stars head coach Lindy Ruff. “We need a lot more from the leaders of our team. They are the guys who can make the difference at this time. We have had some tough breaks, but they are the guys the responsibility lies on.
“As soon as the third one went in, our team went dead.”
Zack Kassian fed it to Pouliot in the slot and he beat Dallas goalie Antti Niemi up high for a 1-0 lead. It was Pouliot’s first goal in 28 games and sixth of the season.
“It’s been a while, and hopefully I get something going with it,” Pouliot said. “It’s a big win for us, to win 7-1 like that, it’s nice for everyone and we just want to keep it going.”
A booming Klefbom point shot on the power play beat a screened Niemi to make it 2-0. The Oilers had 13 first period shots to the Stars’ five on Edmonton starter Cam Talbot.
Talbot finished the game with 22 saves.
Nurse scored his fourth of the season on a wrist shot from the top of the circle as another Oilers defender got in on the scoring two minutes into the second period.
Ritchie beat Talbot stick-side to get the Stars back into the game six minutes into the second.
Edmonton made it 4-1 midway through the second as Desharnais batted home a rebound off the boards for his second in five games as an Oiler.
Niemi was chased from the Dallas net less than two minutes later as Maroon earned his 22nd of the season. Lehtonen came in to replace him in goal.
Edmonton kept on coming in the third period, getting goals from Nugent-Hopkins (14th) and McDavid (24th) 1:43 apart to make it 7-1.
Niemi stopped 15-of-20 shots and Lehtonen turned aside 7-of-9 shots.
It was the first time since the 2008-2009 season that the Oilers have scored seven or more goals on at least three occasions.
The two teams are both back on the ice on Thursday, as the Oilers play the Boston Bruins and the Stars head to Vancouver to face the Canucks.
Notes â€” Stars winger Remi Elie, who got his first NHL goal in San Jose on Sunday, played on Dallas’ top line. Elie was a linemate of Oilers captain Connor McDavid in Erie of the OHLâ€¦ Forward Anton Slepyshev returned to the Edmonton lineup after being a healthy scratch for the past four games.
Shane Jones, The Canadian Press