Mattias Janmark scored twice as the Edmonton Oilers beat the Dallas Stars 4-1 Thursday night at Rogers Place.
“I thought it was the type of game we needed,” Oilers head coach Jay Woodcroft said.
“I thought our energy level was good, I thought our details were good and we found a way to beat a really good hockey team.”
The Oilers opened the scoring with 7:48 left in the first period.
Evan Bouchard passed in front to Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, who flicked a pass to Warren Foegele.
With Jake Oettinger pulled out of position, Foegele had the entire net to deposit his twelfth. Stuart Skinner made a great save off Max Domi late in a Stars power play.
“I think the guys did a great job in front of me. Just a huge credit to them for being able to box guys out — not giving them second chances, getting in front of lanes and get sticks,” Skinner said.
“(Dallas) could’ve had a lot, but we were able to play a good defensive game.”
Connor McDavid took the puck the other way and set up Janmark just as the penalty expired. It did register as a shorthanded goal.
“I thought my game was pretty average today, to be honest,” Janmark said post-game. “But I found the net two times. Just the way it goes.
“I’m thankful for scoring two today, for sure.”
McDavid had the Oilers best chance in the second. He took a shot on a two-on-one.
Jake Oettinger made a pad save, sending the rebound toward Evander Kane. It looked like a sure goal for Kane, but the puck skipped over his stick blade.
“That’s a tough team to play against — they have a lot of skill and play the game the right way,” Darnell Nurse said.
“We battled, found our game and once we were in the driver’s seat, we didn’t give it up.”
Halfway through the third, Wyatt Johnston hacked his own rebound past Skinner to reduce Edmonton’s lead to 2-1.
The Oilers replied 1:29 later when Connor McDavid fired home a power play wrister for his 57th. Janmark added an empty netter.
“He knows how to play the game,” Woodcroft said of Janmark. “He excels in subtlety — small plays that are required to win — and credit to him, because it didn’t go the way he wanted (early in the season), but he’s on the ice at the end of a game tonight and found a way to get an important empty-net goal.”
Skinner finished with 25 saves. Janmark also had two goals against Dallas in a 6-3 win on Dec. 21.
The Oilers held a moment of silence before the game to honour two Edmonton policemen killed in the line of duty earlier Thursday.
The Oilers, 38-23-8, will visit the Seattle Kraken on Saturday. (630 CHED, Face-off Show at 12:30 p.m., game at 2 p.m.).