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Stars Stops Oilers

With six regulars out with injuries, the Dallas Stars turned to two key contributors from last season's Stanley Cup run to end a three-game winless streak.

Jamie Langenbrunner and Mike Modano scored first-period goals as the Stars continued their dominance of the Edmonton Oilers with a 2-1 victory on Wednesday night.

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Game summary

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  • The Stars were without injured veterans Richard Matvichuk, Jere Lehtinen, Grant Marshall, Brian Skrudland and Shawn Chambers. Center Joe Nieuwendyk joined the inactives due to back spasms that flared just before the game.

    Until some of those players with their names on the Stanley Cup return to the lineup, the Stars will have to play the no-frills, patient style they used against the Oilers.

    "That was a sound, disciplined effort," Stars coach Ken Hitchcock said. "That's the type of game we're going to have to play for a while."

    The Stars were 0-2-1 over their previous three games, their longest winless string since going 0-2-2 from March 14-19 of last season.

    Dallas hadn't won since Oct. 9, scoring four goals over the three-game winless span. The Stars, who haven't scored more than three goals in a game since a 6-4 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on opening night, continued to struggle offensively. They went scoreless in three power-play chances.

    Part of the erly slump by the Stars has been attributed to a Stanley Cup hangover, another part because of the injuries to key players and the infusion of new players into the lineup.

    "This is what we're going to need to do until the injured guys get back," Modano said. "Each night you need to prove yourself. You get graded on a daily basis. We have to get an early lead and then do everything we can to hold onto it."

    Ed Belfour made 23 saves for the Stars, 20-3-2 against the Oilers since moving from Minnesota to Dallas for the 1993-94 season.

    "They get an early lead and it looked like the old Dallas curse for a while," said Oilers coach Kevin Lowe. "When they get the lead, they go into their (protect) mode. We had some unforced turnovers in the first period, that really bothered me."

    The Stars got off to their best start in the last two weeks, outshooting Edmonton in the first period 11-7.

    Modano notched his sixth from the slot at 11:10, then Langenbrunner converted his second at 17:04 from the bottom of the left circle one second after a Stars power play had elapsed.

    Edmonton got the only goal of the second period on Georges Laraque's first of the season at 1:54, a 30-foot blast from between the circles.

    The Oilers made a late push, outshooting the Stars in the final period, 10-5. But they got few good scoring chances against Dallas' tight defense and continued their losing ways in Dallas. Edmonton is 1-11-1 at Reunion Arena since the Stars moved to Dallas.

    "There's just something about this building and we've got to get over it," said Oilers center Doug Weight. "They're disciplined and well-coached, and we didn't have a lot of luck around the net. So it was the same old story here."

    ©1999 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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