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Dallas Stars @ Edmonton Oilers Game Preview

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Oilers look to get back on track with a W after disappointing loss to Montréal

Jason Spezza is third in scoring for Dallas
Jason Spezza is third in scoring for Dallas
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports


dallas stars

@

Edmonton
27-31-10, 64 points, .942 p/g Ranks 35-24-8, 78 points, 1.162 p/g
Central Division - 6th Pacific Division - 4th
26th Points per Game 12th
24th Special Teams 16th
11th Shots on Goal 11th
29th Goals Against per Game 12th
7 PM MDT
TV - Sportsnet
Radio - 630 CHED
Rogers Place

The opposing view

PROJECTED
FORWARDS

Patrick Maroon - Connor McDavid - Leon Draisaitl
Milan Lucic - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - Jordan Eberle
Benoit Pouliot - David Desharnais - Zack Kassian
Matt Hendricks - Mark Letestu - Anton Slepyshev

DEFENCE

Oscar Klefbom - Adam Larsson
Andrej Sekera - Kris Russell
Darnell Nurse - Matthew Benning

GOAL

Cam Talbot
Laurent Brossoit


Opposite Directions

Cam Talbot played 54 minutes of shutout hockey before the Canadiens finally cashed in.  Paul Byron knotted the score at 1-0, while Max Pacioretty scored on a weird bounce to give the Canadiens a 2-1 edge.  Montréal would go on to score two empty net goals to seal the deal.

The Oilers' homestand isn't going quite as they had planned.  At 1-2-1, it's allowed the Flames to roar up the standings.  Three points out of their last eight has also put the Oilers into the Wild Card slot in the Western Conference.

Dallas comes into Edmonton on the heels of a 5-1 loss to San Jose.  They've got the league's worst penalty kill and they've had trouble in net all season.  Can the Oilers grab two badly needed points?

Let's go to the tape.

The Oilers are saying

"It's been talked about & debated... We'll likely give this group an opportunity again." Coach McLellan on possible #Oilers line shuffling

— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) March 13, 2017

67-97-14.  What's the worst that could happen?  For a game?

The opponents are saying

That's Stars captain Jamie Benn on some numbers after Dallas' 5-1 loss to the Sharks.

Some of the numbers he's probably bickering about:

  • Stars have allowed eleven shorthanded goals this season, most in the league
  • Stars have allowed 221 goals in the league, tied for the most allowed with the Avalanche, who I'm pretty sure have been relegated to the ECHL this year
  • Stars have allowed the most power play goals
  • Stars have the worst SV%
  • Stars have the league's worst PK (74.1%)
  • They're also just 29th in GAA per game.  Kind of a drag in Dallas right now.

Have some of this

  • In 56 games, Spezza ranks third on the Stars with 40 points (12-28-40)
  • ADDITIONAL NUMBERS WHICH ARE LIKELY AGGRAVATING - Dallas has to replace a goalie twelve times during a game this season.  Kari Lehtonen (16-21-6, .902 SV% / 2.96 GAA 1 SO) was replaced last game by Antti Niemi (11-10-4, .895 SV% / 3.23 GAA), Cam Talbot (33-20-8, .920 SV% / 2.39 GAA / 5 SO)
  • Benoit Pouliot missed morning skate, but he'll be in tonight.  Look for Anton Slepyshev to be in for Iiro Pakarinen, and Matthew Benning will be back in for Eric 'The Sledgehammer' Gryba.
  • Tyler Pitlick (knee) will be out for the Oilers.  The Stars will be without Antoine Roussel (hand) and Mattias Janmark (knee)
    • MUST WIN? In a word, yes.  A loss won't put the Oilers out of playoff contention, but the Stars just aren't a good team in any way, shape or fashion.
    • Tonight, the Oilers are playing to keep pace in the Wild Card race.  A win gives them 81 points, one point behind the Flames.  A loss keeps them within striking distance of St. Louis, who kindly took out the Kings last night.
    • #GOILERS