Work in Sports
EDMONTON, Alberta (Ticker) -- Guy Carbonneau again showed there is no substitute for playoff experience.
The NHL's oldest player scored with 14:59 remaining as the Dallas Stars took a commanding three games to one lead in their Western Conference quarterfinal series with a 4-3 victory over the Edmonton Oilers.
Bill Guerin produced Edmonton's second hat trick in as many games, but the Oilers were pushed to the brink of elimination by Dallas for the third straight season.
Carbonneau, 40, used defenseman Igor Ulanov as a screen and wristed a shot from the top of the slot that beat goaltender Tommy Salo to the glove side. It was the 37th career playoff goal and seventh game-winner for Carbonneau, who was appearing in his 212th postseason game.
"I took a stupid 10 minutes and when I got back to the bench I wanted to make up for that. I guess that goal was a good answer," said Carbonneau, who drew a misconduct early in the first period for arguing a high-sticking penalty on Richard Matvichuk.
After two wide-open periods, the defending Stanley Cup champions held the Oilers to two shots over the final 20 minutes. Matvichuk snuffed Edmonton's last chance when he slid to block Alexander Selivanov's shot with just over a minute to play.
"The thing that helps us is the way we're able to bounce back from things," Carbonneau said. "We had a bad game the other night and we needed to play better tonight because that club doesn't give anything away."
Brett Hull had a goal and an assist for the Stars, who can advance to the conference semifinals with a win at home on Friday.
"We came here to get one game and now that we've done that, it's a chance to close this series out at home and get some rest. I could really use that," joked Carbonneau.
"We've been here before," Oilers captain Doug Weight said. "I remember against Colorado (in 1998), we talked about taking it one thing at a time. And the next thing we knew, we were in a Game Seven. We've got a lot of confidence. We scored eight goals in two games. We came back from a two-goal deficit tonight and a 3-2 deficit and we had our chances to tie.
After the Oilers stormed to a 3-0 lead in Game Three, Dallas silenced the boisterous Skyreach Centre crowd tonight by scoring twice in a 48-second span early in the first period.
Brett Hull got his second goal of the series at 5:02, putting home a rebound of Scott Thornton's slap shot. Matvichuk made it 2-0 when he beat Salo from the left point.
Guerin helped Edmonton tie it before the end of the period. He put the Oilers on the board on the power play at 9:19 and got the equalizer just under 2 1/2 minutes later, motoring around Matvichuk and flipping a backhander over goalie Ed Belfour.
"Billy's second goal was beautiful, a really explosive move to the puck. And it really gave us a lift," Weight said. "He showed tonight his real value to this hockey club. He's a guy that we need in games like these."
Mike Modano broke the deadlock for Dallas 52 seconds into the second period. Salo stopped Hull's wrister from the right faceoff circle, but Modano put in the rebound for his second playoff goal.
"The tempo tonight was 1,000 miles an hour, just nuts," Stars coach Ken Hitchcock said. "And our third goal settled us down. It may have been a turning point that allowed us to get a little better handle on things."
Belfour stopped Ryan Smyth on a breakaway with 7 1/2 minutes left in the second and Joe Nieuwendyk nearly gave the Stars a two-goal cushion three minutes later when he hit the crossbar from close range.
Guerin tied it again and completed his first career postseason hat trick with 1:54 left in the period. He took a drop pass from Jim Dowd, used a defenseman as a screen and ripped a slap shot from the top of the right circle that tipped off Belfour's glove and found the net.
The Oilers had gone nearly eight years without a playoff hat trick before Weight scored three times in Game Three.
"This isn't the time of year to be worrying about points and goals and that sort of thing," Guerin said. "You've got to win the games, and we didn't do that tonight."