The Oilers come in on a three-game losing streak and have even more problems than that. They've been held in the last few games by Devan Dubnyk, but even Dubnyk can't save a team that's given up 117 shots in the last three. The Stars started slow, but have looked better in recent days, though the defense remains a weakness.
Oilers Report: Where to start? The Oilers will make four lineup changes tonight - Ryan Smyth to centre for Shawn Horcoff, Darcy Hordichuk to left wing for Ryan Smyth, Mark Arcobello to centre for Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Ryan Whitney left defense for Mark Fistric. These changes come on the heels of Anton Lander in at centre for Eric Belanger. This obvious news is that the Oilers are extremely weak down the middle. The Oilers are already the worst team in the league at shots against and now they're without three of their four centres. I wonder how many contingency plans had Mark Arcobello listed as the team's best defensive centre? Tomorrow is just around the corner.
Stars Report: The Stars, on the other hand, have their centre compliment healthy and signed for the first time this season. The Stars are almost as bad as the Oilers in the shots against category and lack of centre depth + a shallow defensive pool are the main reasons behind their problems. The Stars won't have the ageless Ray Whitney tonight - he's out for the next 4-6 weeks with a broken foot. Expect the Stars to lean on Jamie Benn and Derek Roy early and often.
Expected Line Combinations
Scratches: Eric Belanger, Ben Eager, Mark Fistric, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Shawn Horcoff