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Preview: Game 27 Oilers vs. Stars

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Oilers face tall test as NHL's number one team visits Rexall Place

Jamie Benn (shown) and Tyler Seguin both have 35 points for the Stars.  That's not too shabby.
Jamie Benn (shown) and Tyler Seguin both have 35 points for the Stars. That's not too shabby.
Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports


Dallas

@

Edmonton
20-5-1, 41 points, 1.576 p/g Ranks 9-15-2, 20 points, .769 p/g
Western Conference - 1st Western Conference - 14th
1st P/G 30th
7th ST 19th
2nd S/G 19th
14th Goal 28th
7:00 PM MDT
TV - Sportsnet West
Radio - 630 CHED
Rexall Place
The opposing view: Defending Big D


Secondary Scoring, 38 Saves And A Win

Anders Nilsson turned away 38 of 40 Bruin shots (plus three in the shootout) and Jordan Eberle had the only shootout tally en route to a real, live Oilers victory.

The Oilers didn't get on the board until midway through the second period when Mark Letestu scored a shorthanded goal against the league's number one power play.  Boston would tie it up later in the period when Torey Krug made it 1-all with ninety seconds remaining.  Letestu would have the primary assist on a Matt Hendricks goal midway through the third, but Bruins capatain Zdeno Chara would tie it for Boston with under four minutes remaining in regulation.

Nobody scored in OT, and Jordan Eberle's shootout marker would be the decider in this game.  The Oilers emerged victorious against the Bruins, and for about 45 minutes, nobody said the term "soft skill".  It was really something.

The Oilers face a daunting task as the number one team in the NHL comes to Rexall Place tonight.  Can the Oilers catch lightning in a bottle?

The Oilers are saying

"We've got to find a way to put another good effort in and win another hockey game...It can't just be a one-in-every-three-game thing.  We have to find a way to consistently play well and play together."

Source

That's Oilers forward Jordan Eberle on Edmonton's inability to string quality performances together.

The Oilers will take on a Stars team who knocked off Vancouver in BC last night.  The Oilers can't afford to give up any slack to a team who has 20 wins in 26 games.  Can the Oilers exploit a tired team?

The opponents are saying

"We have so many great forwards, one of them is going to have a great night every night, so they can now think more about defense."

Source
That's Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen on Dallas' star forwards.

It's good to be the Dallas Stars right now.  Dallas currently leads the NHL in goals per game (3.50), they're second in the league in shots on goal (32 per game), and they've got 20 wins in 26 games.

It'll be February before the Oilers sniff 20 wins.  Happy Friday, y'all.

Have some of this
  • SECONDARY SCORING:  A THING - Oilers big guns didn't have a great night on the scoreboard, but Mark Letestu and Matt Hendricks both had two point nights.  Funny when it all works out.
  • FIREPOWER - The Oilers are going to have their hands full tonight with Dallas.  Jamie Benn (18-17-35) and Tyler Seguin (14-21-35) are first and third in the NHL's point race, while defenceman John Klingberg (5-22-27) trails only Ottawa's Erik Karlsson (5-24-29) in scoring among defencemen.
  • Anders Nilsson (6-7-1, .915 SV% / 2.63 GAA) will likely start for Edmonton once again.  It will be his twelfth start in fifteen games, and he's bringing home the groceries in net right now.  If the Oilers can get .915+ out of Anders Nilsson over the remainder of the year, he'll get offered a deal to remain a member of the Oilers.  Look for Antti Niemi (10-4-1, .908 SV% / 2.61 GAA / 2 SO) to start between the pipes for the Stars, as Kari Lehtonen (10-1-0, .918 SV% / 2.37 GAA) helped to pick up the W last night in Vancouver.
  • Connor McDavid (clavicle),  Nail Yakupov (ankle) and Benoit Pouliot (lower body) will be missing from action tonight.  For Dallas, Curtis Mckenzie (hip), Brett Richie (wrist) and Jason Demers (upper body) will be held out.