Edmonton Oilers\' Sheldon Souray, right, scores on Dallas Stars goalie Marty Turco during first period NHL hockey action in Edmonton on Saturday, January 3, 2009. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Ulan
EDMONTON - Dwayne Roloson made 38 saves as the Edmonton Oilers started off a crucial five game homestand on a strong note, defeating the Dallas Stars 4-1 in a battle between two teams trying to re-enter the playoff picture on Saturday night.
Sheldon Souray, Erik Cole, Dustin Penner and Andrew Cogliano scored for the Oilers (18-6-3) who snapped a two game losing skid and moved back over the .500 mark at home at 7-6-3.
James Neal had the lone goal for the Stars (16-16-5) who have now lost two of their last three.
Edmonton got off to a flying start with a pair of even-strength goals just under a minute apart at the mid-mark of the opening period.
Cole bust in on the right wing and sent a screened shot past Dallas starter Marty Turco to give Edmonton the early edge.
They made it 2-0 just 56 seconds later on a great individual effort by Souray as the Oilers defenceman held off a pair of Stars and deked Turco to score his 12th of the season.
Dallas had a good chance to cut into the lead with their 12th shot late in the first period but Roloson made a point blank save on Loui Eriksson.
Edmonton added to its lead with a power-play goal seven minutes into the second period as Souray rang a bullet from the point off the iron and Penner was there to chip in his 10th on the rebound to make it 3-0.
The Stars finally got on the board with two minutes to go in the second as Souray blocked a shot by Andrew Hutchinson but the puck bounced loose to Neal in front and he put his 13th of the year past Roloson.
Edmonton put the game away with five minutes to go in the third as Robert Nilsson made a nice feed from behind the net to Cogliano and the second-year forward netted his 11th.
Dallas outshot Edmonton 39-19.
The Stars play the second game of their four-game trip on Sunday in Vancouver while Edmonton hosts the second of a five-game homestand on Monday against the New York Islanders.
Notes: The Stars have absolutely owned Edmonton since making the move to Dallas. Entering the game the Oilers had just a 11-36-4-7 record against Dallas all-time. . . . The Oilers were without forwards Ales Hemsky and Marc Pouliot, both suffering from concussions. . . . Dallas winger Landon Wilson suffered an undisclosed injury in the first perid and did not return. He will be evaluated on Sunday. . . . Stars Joel Lundqvist (shoulder) and Fabian Brunnstrom (lower body) did not make the road but Lundqvist is skating and reportedly close to returning. . . . Loui Eriksson has been making a major contribution for the Stars this season with 20 goals in 37 contests this season. Eriksson netted 14 goals in 69 games last year. . . . Oiler Shawn Horcoff's second period assist was the 200th of his NHL career.