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Dallas Stars @ Edmonton Oilers Game Preview

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Oilers back at home after 1-1-1 roadtrip

NHL: Preseason-Edmonton Oilers at Vancouver Canucks
Eric Gryba is here, man.
Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas Stars (5-4-0)

Edmonton Oilers (2-5-1)

Rogers Place - Edmonton

7 PM MDT

TV: Sportsnet West

Radio: 630 CHED

SB Nation Opponent: Defending Big D

BREAKDOWN

Oilers finished up their 3-game road trip with a 1-1-1 record after dropping an OTL in Pittsburgh. Connor McDavid would score Edmonton’s lone goal in the 2-1 decision, which culminated in a 3-on-3 featuring noted speedster Milan Lucic trying to chase Phil Kessel with the puck. Let me tell you how that ended.

Edmonton is back home, and they play host to the Dallas Stars. With just 15 goals scored in eight games so far, can the Oilers find the net with some consistency tonight?

Let’s go to the tape.

The Oilers are saying

"We just have to relax, calm down...We’re getting these chances in front of the net that should be automatic and we’re not scoring, myself included. We have to be better in that area. Talbs is standing on his head, the defence is playing great, the forwards have to be better in that area.”

Source

That’s Oilers forward Connor McDavid on the team’s struggle to put the puck in the net. The club has scored just fifteen goals in eight games. That’s not going to last, but it’s quite frustrating if you’re opening your season on that kind of a dry spell. Eventually a five goal game will come to pass, we’re kind of hoping to see it sooner than later.

The Stars are saying

“I’m getting chances, I'm just not burying them...I think I've had more chances 5-on-5 than I did a lot of parts of different years. The chances are there for me, and I'm shooting it pretty well in practice, I'm just not connecting in a game..”

Source

That’s Stars forward Jason Spezza, who’s currently in a little bit of a scoring drought himself. Spezza currently finds himself on the third line with three assists and no goals to open 2017-18.

Have some of this

  • Above it all, Connor McDavid is there. The Oilers will need some more from some others. They’re 31st in the league (I had to remember that there were 31 teams) in goals per game with 1.88. Their power play is 21st overall, and their PK is 28th. Not all of these will last. The Oilers will start scoring goals. I just hope it all starts tonight.
  • Back from injury, Leon Draisaitl and Drake Caggiula both played in Pittsburgh. Leon Draisaitl started on the third line with Drake Caggiula and Mark Letestu. It behooves the OIlers to stick him with Connor until the goals start flowing. Team needs a jump-start. 97-29 is the cure, even if it’s a temporary fix.
  • Currently leading the Stars in scoring, Jamie Benn (5-6-11) has had a nice start to his 2017-18. Right behind him is Tyler Seguin (6-4-10).
  • NET GAINS: Fears about Cam Talbot (2-4-1, .915 SV%, 1 SO) should be assuaged after his last performances in net. 42 saves in Pittsburgh ought to help you sleep a little better. He’ll face off against Ben Bishop (5-1-0, .920SV%)
  • The Oilers will be missing defenceman Andrej Sekera (out til December/January) as he recovers from ACL surgery. Dallas will be without defenceman Stephen Johns (concussion).

Edmonton needs to start putting goals up on the board. Is tonight the night it happens?