Oilers @ Stars Game 28 Preview

Nichushkin - Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Oilers look to finish road trip on a strong note after listless performance in Columbus

Oilers3

@

Dallas
8-17-2, . 666 p/g Ranks 12-9-3, 1.126 p/g
Western Conf: 14th Western Conf: 12th
29th P/G 15th
24th ST 11th
29th ES 14th
29th Goal 22nd
4:00 PM MDT - Sportsnet Oilers

American Airlines Center

The opposing view: Defending Big D

Top Story:

  • Third and final game of a three game roadie for the Oilers.  They can finish 2-1 on the trip should they emerge victorious tonight.  New Oilers goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov started back-to-back games to begin the series against Nashville and Columbus.  Bryzgalov posted a shutout in Nashville, but yielded four goals in 23 shots against the Jackets.

It appears he'll get a third straight start this afternoon.

The Oilers are saying:

"Fatigue makes cowards of us all"

That's Oilers coach Dallas Eakins on how he doesn't believe his team is fit enough in back-to-back games.

Shouldn't we be past this point by now?  I'm assuming words mean something.  When you say them, you're trying to communicate a point you'd like to get across. What's my point?  My point is that we're coming up to game 30, fitness is still an issue?  Yes, the team stunk on the second of a back to back, but if we're over 30% of the way in the season, fitness ought not be an issue.  Fitness really ought not to be an issue seeing as how it was your thing when you were installed.  I'm sure scribes are having a laugh at this one, especially if they're still getting celery and radicchio during media scrums.

The Opponent is saying:

"We played one hell of a game.  That was one hell of a hockey game...I thought puck wise and playmaking wise and skating, there was a lot of speed in the game.  I thought our guys played as hard as they could"

That's Stars coach Lindy Ruff on his team's effort in a 2-1 loss to the Blackhawks on Friday.

Losing sucks.  Losing sucks worse when you lose one of your defenceman to injury.  Taking a point on the road against a tough Blackhawk team may not ease the pain of losing, but it's not like you dropped points in Calgary.  Or Edmonton.

You've probably heard about the differences in quality between the Eastern and Western Conferences.  The Stars are a respectable 12-9-3, yet are just two spots higher in the conference standings than the Oilers.  ( note: the Stars are a full nine points ahead of Edmonton).  27 points is good for 12th of 14 in the West, it puts you on the playoff bubble in the East.  Dallas has a few games in hand, but even with a 12-9-3 record, they're last in the Central division.  They're staring at the Oilers in their home barn today.

Of note:

Projected Lines & Pairings:

The Edmonton Oilers

Taylor Hall - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - Jordan Eberle

Nail Yakupov - Sam Gagner - Ales Hemsky

Ryan Smyth - Boyd Gordon - David Perron

Jesse Joensuu - Mark Arcobello - Ryan Jones

Andrew Ference - Jeff Petry

Nick Schultz -  Anton Belov

Denis Grebeshkov - Justin Schultz

Ilya Bryzgalov

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Dallas Stars

Jamie Benn - Tyler Seguin - Valeri Nichushkin

Ray Whitney - Cody Eakin - Alex Chiasson

Erik Cole - Shawn Horcoff - Rich Peverley

Antoine Roussel - Vernon Fiddler - Ryan Garbutt

Brenden Dillon - Jamie Oleksiak

Jordie Benn - Trevor Daley

Alex Goligoski - Sergei Gonchar

Kari Lehtonen

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