Do you remember, O God, what the Stars did year after year in April?
"Let's knock them out again!" they said laughing,
"Let's toy with these losers!"
O hateful whore of Texas, doomed to destruction,
change is on the horizon!
Yahweh our God will rejoice in casting you down,
for all that you forced us to endure!
Yes, and we'll be so happy
to see the hopes and dreams of your people
end in nothing but wretched misery and despair.
American Airlines Center, 4:00 p.m. MST
Visiting Team Scouting Report: Kari Lehtonen is having another fine season with the Dallas Stars, and with teams like Minnesota, Phoenix and Vancouver falling back over the last few weeks, Dallas remains in the playoff race. In a lot of ways, the Stars are now where the Oilers expected to find themselves at the start of the season, a reasonably strong team showing progress at even strength (the Stars have a Fenwick percentage of 52.0% with the score tied during five-on-five play), some very good young talent, and staying in the conversation for a playoff berth.
Edmonton Oilers (8-17-2):
Hall - Nugent-Hopkins - Eberle
Yakupov - Gagner - Hemsky
Smyth - Gordon - Perron
Jones - Arcobello - Joensuu
Ference - Petry
Grebeshkov - J Schultz
N Schultz - Belov
Dallas Stars (12-9-3):
Benn - Eakin - Chiasson
Garbutt - Peverley - Whitney
Roussel - Fiddler - Cole
Jeffrey - Horcoff - Nichushkin
Daley - Goligoski
Dillon - Oleksiak
Benn - Gonchar
By The Numbers:
- The Oilers have had five centers take at least one hundred faceoffs during five-on-five play so far this year. Boyd Gordon (60.6%), Mark Arcobello (53.1%) Will Acton (51.5%) have all been good to excellent, but Sam Gagner (43.4%) and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (36.3%) have both been absolutely atrocious. That's a bit of a problem when those two are your top two centers.
- Dallas is 11th in the NHL with a 52.0% Fenwick percentage with the score tied, but that only puts them 8th in the Western Conference and just 0.9% ahead of ninth-place Vancouver. The Western Conference really is that much stronger.
- At the start of the season, I would have been pretty confident in my prediction that Taylor Hall would be leading the team in shots per game during five-on-five play, but Hall (2.1) is actually well behind the team leader, David Perron (2.5) who is having an excellent first season with the Oilers.