DALLAS (Ticker) -- The Dallas Stars went to the well one too many times.
Ryan Smyth and Shawn Horcoff scored second-period goals and Tommy Salo made 20 saves as the Edmonton Oilers rallied for a 2-1 victory over the Stars in Game One of their Western Conference quarterfinal series.
Tied for second in the NHL with eight wins when trailing after two periods during the regular season, Dallas could not recapture that magic in their playoff opener.
The eighth-seeded Oilers held the Stars to seven shots in the third and were aided by a five-minute penalty on Dallas captain Derian Hatcher, who was called for elbowing fellow defenseman Steve Staios with just over two minutes to go.
Mike Modano gave the Stars the lead midway through the first period with a power-play tally, but Smyth tied it 3 1/2 minutes into the second with a shorthanded goal.
"We got some momentum from the quick shorthanded goal by Ryan," Edmonton coach Craig MacTavish said. "I think that was a really big goal for the club."
"Every second of the game is an important time," Stars coach Dave Tippett said. "That shorthanded goal, we just thought the puck was coming back and it ends up in our net."
Horcoff snapped the deadlock less than four minutes later, converting a 2-on-1 for his first career postseason tally.
After Modano's goal, Salo closed the door, stopping 13 shots over the final two periods for just his fourth career playoff victory.
"It's a team effort and I'm just one person," Salo said. "If I can do my job and the other guys do theirs, we have a good chance to beat them."
"He's underrated and rises to the occasion," Smyth added. "Tonight he didn't face a great deal of shots, but when he did, he was there."
Marty Turco, who led the league with a 1.72 goals-against average during the season, turned aside 21 shots for Dallas, which has won five of the previous seven postseason meetings between the teams.
Game Two is Friday in Dallas.
"We don't know if we're the front-runners yet," MacTavish said. "It's a big win, obviously. Anytime you can get a win in the first game, especially if you're the underdog, it gives your team confidence."
"I'd have put a lot of money on us," Modano said. "The pressure is on us, not them. But that's not new. We've been in that situation before."
After edging Detroit for first place in the West on the final day of the season, Dallas grabbed the lead when Modano cashed in on his second scoring chance of the first period.
The veteran center took a cross-slot feed from defenseman Sergei Zubov five minutes into the game and put a shot from the bottom of the right faceoff circle off the left goalpost.
But with Edmonton defenseman Scott Ferguson serving an inteference penalty, Modano broke through for his 46th career postseason tally.
Defenseman Darryl Sydor fired a shot from the left point that went wide of the left post. After hitting the end boards, the puck came to the right side of the net, where Modano stuffed it in at 8:52.
"We didn't get rattled," Oilers center Todd Marchant said. "We were able to stay composed and execute like we did all season."
The Oilers had a league-leading 13 shorthanded goals during the regular season and got another to draw even early in the second.
Brad Isbister was assessed a roughing penalty at 3:15 and the ensuing faceoff took place in the Dallas zone. With the puck on its way to the blue line, defenseman Cory Cross flipped a backhander into the slot.
In one motion, Smyth turned and whacked a shot that got between Turco's pads seven seconds after the infraction to make it 1-1.
"It was fresh ice and I was a little surprised," Smyth said. "I followed it in the air and just whacked it in and saw it squeeze through his legs."
"It's been a long time since I've given up a bad goal," Turco said. "The puck was up in the air and he caught me off-guard and it trickled in. He missed it more than anything else. I lifted my stick too early and it was a bad goal."
Salo denied Jere Lehtinen's shot from the doorstep on the power play, keeping the contest tied, before Horcoff put Edmonton in front.
Isbister took a feed from Georges Laraque in the neutral zone and led a 2-on-1 into the Dallas zone. Taking a feed across the top of the slot, Horcoff blasted a slap shot that caromed off the left post and past Turco at 7:10 for his first career playoff goal.
"It's exciting, but at that point in the second, there was plenty of time left," Horcoff said. "It's only the first game, but it's definitely gratifying."
"We had a bad 10 to 15 minutes in the second where we gave up two bad goals, and it cost us," Modano said. "And then when they get a lead, they play smart and conservative. That's been our trademark the last three or four months. We have an emotional letdown and I don't know why."
Edmonton smothered the Stars in the third, allowing few quality chances. With time winding down, Hatcher leveled Staios at the Dallas blue line, drawing a major penalty while ending his team's comeback hopes.
"Well, I guess there is a rule if you hit a guy in the face, it's a penalty, but I looked at the replay and I did everything right," Hatcher said. "They think I elbowed him and I don't think I did. It's a tough call, but it was a two-minute penalty at best."
Smyth appeared to give the Oilers a two-goal cushion with six seconds remaining, but the tally immediately was waved off because he batted it in with a high stick.
"It's a good feeling knowing we can beat a team like this in a close game," Smyth said. "But it's a long way from over."