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
Taylor Hall - Mark Arcobello - Jordan Eberle
Nail Yakupov - Sam Gagner - Ales Hemsky
Darcy Hordichuk - Ryan Smyth - Lennart Petrell
Magnus Paajarvi - Anton Lander - Teemu Hartikainen
Ladislav Smid - Jeff Petry
Justin Schultz - Nick Schultz
Ryan Whitney - Corey Potter
Scratches: Eric Belanger, Ben Eager, Mark Fistric, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Shawn Horcoff
By The Numbers
Edmonton is last in the league in shots against at: 34.4 per game. Dallas is 29th in the league in shots against at: 33.8 per game.
Edmonton is 29th in the league in faceoffs at: 45.3%. Dallas is 28th in the league in faceoffs at: 46.4%.
Edmonton is 24th in the league in shots for at 27.4 per game. Dallas is 29th in the league in shots for at 24.6 per game.
Taylor Hall has just one goal and one assist in 7 career games against the Stars. Jordan Eberle has just 1 goal and 1 assist in 5 career games against the Stars.
Sam Gagner has 11 points in 19 career games against the Stars, Ales Hemsky has 16 points in 27 career games, and Ryan Smyth has 37 points in 58 career games.