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Stars top Oilers to extended best start in team history

EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) -- Even the referee agreed the Edmonton Oilers might have gotten a bad break against the surging Dallas Stars.


That was the difference in the Stars' 3-2 victory Friday night.


With just 4 seconds left, Oilers forward Ales Hemsky appeared to
score on goalie Marty Turco but referee Mick McGeough called the
goal off. He blew the whistle a moment before during a faceoff,
convinced that Shawn Horcoff made a glove pass off the draw.


It was something video replays showed didn't occur.


"It was a blown call on my part," he said after the game. "It
was poor judgment on my part. I thought he had his hand on the puck
on the faceoff but it was his stick. My judgment was poor on the
play."


The sold-out crowd at Rexall Place littered the ice with debris
following the call.


Oilers coach Craig MacTavish was critical of McGeough's call and
chastised his often demonstrative on-ice personality.


"I know he is a veteran official and at times I have found his
antics humorous," MacTavish said. "But if this is the product of
that, there is a problem.


"It was a ridiculous call. I had no idea what he had called.
Nobody saw the hand pass on the play because quite clearly there
wasn't one. It's beyond reason. He should be suspended."


While Turco was sympathetic toward the Oilers, he said he heard
the whistle and stopped moving on Hemsky's shot.


"The whistle had gone a long time before the puck went in," he
said. "That's what we were going off of. It's a tough break for
them. Who knows what would have happened?


"But the whistle went as he was shooting. I had already reacted
to the whistle. I could have smothered it or swatted it away. I'm
sure they are disappointed, but by no means should that be thought
of as a possible goal."


Dallas (11-2) opened the scoring with a controversial goal when
Brenden Morrow beat Oilers (7-6) goaltender Dwayne Roloson with a
wrist shot during a scramble in front of the Edmonton net.


Roloson contested that he had been interfered with on the play
by Eric Lindros, but the goal was allowed.


"It was pretty clear what happened to me but obviously not
clear enough," Roloson said. "He said I touched the puck but it
doesn't really matter when a guy comes in the crease and takes me
out of the play and they score a goal. It's a no goal and a
penalty. It was blatant."


There was no dispute on the Stars' second goal. With just under
2 minutes to play in the first period, Dallas broke out on a
2-on-1. Stu Barnes was able to thread the puck under sprawling
Oilers defenseman Jason Smith to Niklas Hagman, who had a wide open
net in which to shoot. The Stars outshot Edmonton 14-5 in the
first.


Edmonton came out firing to start the second and got a big break
four minutes in when Ryan Smyth's shot from behind the net hit
Turco's leg and went in, making it 2-1.


But the Stars were able to restore their two-goal edge late in
the period. A seemingly innocent point shot by Trevor Daley eluded
Roloson, playing his 300th career NHL game, with just 58 seconds
remaining in the middle period.


For the second straight game, the Oilers were able to get back
to within striking distance late as Petr Sykora scored his eighth
of the season while Roloson was on the bench for an extra attacker
with 1:25 left.


Game notes
Oilers LW Ethan Moreau underwent surgery on his dislocated
shoulder on Thursday in Cleveland and is expected to be out for at
least 12 weeks. ... With 17 points in 13 games, Sykora leads the
Oilers in scoring. Sykora didn't reach 16 points last season until
his 27th game. ... With seven points in his first 13 NHL games,
Patrick Thoresen is already the second-highest scoring Norwegian in
league history. ... The Stars' previous best start was 9-2-1 in the
1996-97 season. ... Dallas is unbeaten when scoring the first goal
(7-0-0).