Ryder lifts Stars past Oilers
Edmonton, AB (Sports Network) - Michael Ryder posted two goals and an assist as the Dallas Stars took a 3-1 win over Edmonton to keep pace in the see-saw Pacific Division battle.
Coming into Wednesday's action, the Stars were one point behind the Sharks for first place in the division, but now sit on top as San Jose lost to Anaheim. Los Angeles is also one point behind Dallas after beating Calgary on Wednesday.
Mike Ribeiro posted a goal and two assists while Kari Lehtonen made 31 saves for the Stars, who had dropped four of six coming in.
"The last couple of games we let the other team play their game," said Ryder. "Tonight we were able to turn the tables a little and we were able to stick to our game plan."
Ales Hemsky scored the lone goal of the game for the Oilers, who had won their previous two. Devan Dubnyk made 22 stops in the loss.
"It's tough to put your finger on something but we just didn't bring anything to the table tonight," said Hemsky. "That team over there is fighting for a playoff spot. They expected an easy game and we gave that to them. That's unacceptable as the professionals that we are. It's unacceptable to us and to our fans, they deserve better."
Dallas posted a 1-0 lead 11:53 into the first as Ryder skated up the middle, made a move to get around the one defender then made the fake to the backhand and got it in.
It was a 2-0 game 5:05 into the second on a nice give-and-go. Ribeiro skated the puck in down the right wing and sent a pass over to the slot for Loui Eriksson, who passed it back over to the right where Ribeiro banked it in off of Dubnyk.
The Stars extended that lead to 3-0 when Ryder finished off a nice play between Ribeiro and Eriksson as he stuffed it in from the right side at the 4:11 mark.
Edmonton got one back four minutes later when Ryan Smyth's shot from the right point bounced off the back boards and came to the left where Hemsky had the wide open net.
That was it though, as the Stars shut down Edmonton the rest of the way.
Dallas plays in Vancouver on Friday...Edmonton hosts the Kings on Friday...Dallas won all four games with Edmonton this season to sweep the series for the first time since the 2007-08 campaign.
03/29 01:02:39 ET