The Oilers need 11 more points in the next 8 games, preferably against Dallas, Detroit, Nashville, and Minnesota. The first step is getting two points at Dallas and making sure it's only a two point game.
Oilers Report: Ralph Krueger has made the bizarre call to scratch Magnus Paajarvi after Paajarvi's wonderful performance with Sam Gagner and Ales Hemsky in Chicago. Paajarvi has been one of the few non-Taylor Hall forces at even strength and has been Edmonton's second-best penalty killer. Taylor Hall returns to the lineup after serving a two-game suspension for being mean to Cal Clutterbuck, so there should be a blip of life from Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Jordan Eberle. Hopkins called Hall a "sparkplug" today after practice, which is a bit like calling Wayne Gretzky "a nice player." Hall's possession dominance is going to be important, especially when matched against Jamie Benn and Derek Roy.
Stars Report: The Stars get Kari Lehtonen back from injury just in time for the matchup with the Oilers and will debut ex-Oiler Erik Cole in the lineup on the third line with Reilly Smith and Cody Eakin. Cole gives the Stars some serious depth at right wing and could create matchup problems when out against Lennart Petrell or Nail Yakupov.
Expected Line Combinations
Taylor Hall - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - Jordan Eberle
Ryan Jones - Sam Gagner - Ales Hemsky
Ryan Smyth - Eric Belanger - Nail Yakupov
Ben Eager - Chris VandeVelde - Lennart Petrell
Justin Schultz - Nick Schultz
Ladislav Smid - Jeff Petry
Mark Fistric - Corey Potter
Scratches: Magnus Paajarvi, Theo Peckham, Ryan Whitney
By The Numbers
- Edmonton still has the best special teams in the league with an STE of 110.4
- Jamie Benn kills Oilers, blah blah blah.
- Yann Danis has a career .667 save percentage vs. Dallas in 20 minutes of play.