EDMONTON OILERS (27-29-5) at
DALLAS STARS (37-22-5)
6:38 p.m. MST
Molson Canadian Oilers Pay Per View (starting at 6:15 p.m.)
630 CHED, Oilers Radio Network and online at edmontonoilers.com.
Game Notes | Oilers/Stars Stats Comparison | Player Head-to-Head Statistics
If the Edmonton Oilers want to finish their current four-game road trip at .500 they'll have to do it against the league's second best team in the Dallas Stars.
With 79 points, the Stars are second in the Western Conference and second in the NHL's overall standings. They are also the only team in the league with eight wins in their last 10 games (8-2-0).
In fact, the Stars won seven straight games earlier this month and have come away with two points in nine of their last 11 outings. However, they fell 3-2 to the Calgary Flames in their most recent game at home on Wednesday night.
Edmonton's most recent game was a wild back-and-forth affair with the Nashville Predators.
The Predators held leads of 2-0 and 3-1 but Edmonton battled back to the point where they had a 4-3 advantage. However, Nashville tied it up and ultimately won the game 5-4 with a late third period goal.
This is the fourth and final meeting of the season between Edmonton and Dallas. The Stars have won the previous three - once in regulation, one in overtime and once in a shootout.
Just The Facts...
TONIGHT'S GAME ON MOLSON CANADIAN OILERS PPV:
Tonight's game can be seen on Molson Canadian Oilers PPV. Head out to a local establishment to watch the game or order it in the comfort of your own home. Click here for information on how to order the game
and click here for information on the PPV Block Party Contest
OILERS TO WATCH: Sam Gagner
has now picked up a point in seven straight games for the Oilers with two goals and eight assists for 10 points in that time... Although he was held off the scoresheet last game, Kyle Brodziak has four goals in his last four games with the Oilers... Fernando Pisani has seven goals in 35 games this season with four of those goals coming in his last seven games and three coming in his last four. Pisani played a season high 20:00 last game with a goal, an assist and three shots on net... Dustin Penner
was moved to centre last game, playing between Pisani and Ethan Moreau. He led all Oilers going 9-for-16 in the faceoff circle for a 56% success rating. He was also 5-for-8 (63%) in the offensive zone.
STARS TO WATCH:
Mike Ribeiro has had an outstanding season for Dallas. In 61 games, he has 24 goals and 67 points and leads the team with a +14 rating. Both his goal and assist totals are career highs...Tied with Ribeiro for the team lead in goals is captain Brenden Morrow. Morrow has been held without a point in each of his last three games. Prior to that, he had netted points in 10 of 13 games with 8 goals and 5 assists for 13 points in that time... Nklas Hagman has 22 goals and 34 points this season in 64 games - both are career highs for the 28-year-old winger. Hagman has scored a goal in each of his last two games.
Edmonton – Joni Pitkanen (hip flexor) is probable. Mathieu Roy (bruised sternum) is probable. Ladislav Smid
(leg) is doubtful. Shawn Horcoff
(shoulder) is out. Sheldon Souray
(shoulder) is out. Raffi Torres (knee) is out; Dallas – Stu Barnes (partially torn retina) is doubtful. Phillippe Boucher (shoulder) is doubtful. Sergei Zubov (groin) is questionable.
FAST FACTS: Sam Gagner
is the Oilers' current record holder for consecutive games with an assist. He now has an assist in seven straight games, eclipsing Dean McAmmond's mark of five straight set between March 11-23, 1994... Dallas has been dominant in recent games against the Oilers, winning eight of the past nine meetings. Six of those eight wins have been by a single goal with four being decided in a shootout or overtime. Since the Stars moved from Minnesota in 1993-94, they are 41-9-5 against the Oilers... Dallas has the second-best record in the NHL since the start of the 2005-06 season. In 228 games, they are 140-70-18 for 298 points. Only Detroit is better with 326 points.
- Will be available later today.
The Other Side
- Prospect adjusting to life in Texas - He might still be a couple of years away from appearing in the NHL, but there's no question Dallas Stars prospect Sergei Korostin, a speedy right wing from Russia, is already making quite an impact in North Texas. ...more
- Guys behind the guys - These are long days for the Stars equipment managers, who are responsible for keeping the team's players outfitted from top to bottom. Take a behind-the-scenes look during a recent one game road trip to Minnesota. 700K | ...more
Odds and Ends
- Archive of Cal Nichols on Oilers Live - Cal Nichols was Thursday's guest on Oilers Live. He recounted the history of the EIG and hinted that a book is in the works that will reveal much of the group's hard work and hidden history. Follow the link to listen to the podcast. ...more
- Order PPV, win an Oilers block party! - The Edmonton Oilers want to put you into the game with the ultimate Pay Per View Block Party! Just watch Molson Canadian Oilers Pay Per View on February 22nd, when the Oilers take on the Dallas Stars and again on February 26th. ...more
- Comparing the last three seasons - Cal Nichols was Thursday's guest on Oilers Live. He recounted the history of the EIG and hinted that a book is in the works that will reveal much of the group's hard work and hidden history. Follow the link to listen to the podcast. ...more
- Fans battle Oilers alumni on Saturday - The Coca-Cola Ultimate Street Hockey Game is ready to roll this Saturday, February 23rd, at 1:00 PM, in the parking lot of the Save-On Foods at 11541 Kingsway Avenue. ...more
From the Wire
The Dallas Stars know that to secure another Pacific Division title, they'll need to keep beating clubs fighting to reach the postseason. That would certainly describe the Edmonton Oilers.
Dallas looks for its sixth straight win over Edmonton as the teams wrap up their regular-season series on Friday night at American Airlines Arena.
Coming into this game, the Stars (37-22-5) have a four-point lead over Anaheim, which faces St. Louis later on Friday. Dallas has won the Pacific in three of the last five seasons, but also hasn't advanced past the first round since 2002-03.
Dallas center Steve Ott told the Stars' official Web site that they cannot afford to relax against any opponent. That includes the Oilers (27-29-5), who have only 59 points and the second-worst record in the Western Conference.
"They're another desperate team," he said. "I think every team we're going to be facing the rest of the way is going to be desperate to get in the playoffs, and for us, we have to play that way. We have to play our game and bury the bottom-tier teams."
Dallas, though, is coming off just its second loss in 11 games, 3-2 to Calgary on Wednesday. Marty Turco allowed the Flames' Jarome Iginla to score the go-ahead goal with just 2:27 to play and finished with 15 saves.
"We just made some crucial errors at bad times and didn't create enough chances," Stars coach Dave Tippett said.
Turco needs just four wins to reach 30 for the fifth straight season and also will be looking to extend his winning streak over Edmonton. Since a 2-0 loss at home to the Oilers on Dec. 8, 2006, Turco has allowed just nine goals in five wins against them.
He also hasn't dropped consecutive starts since Jan. 12-15. Following those losses, Turco is 9-3-0 with a 1.92 goals-against average and one shutout.
Edmonton will wrap up a four-game road trip trying to avoid its third consecutive loss. The Oilers scored three goals in a 2:18 span late in the second period on Tuesday to take a 4-3 lead, but fell 5-4 to Nashville.
"I think the past couple of games, we have battled pretty hard," Edmonton's Robert Nilsson said. "We just need to find ways to win games. We scored four goals. And when we score four goals, we should win."
The loss was Edmonton's first in regulation (14-1-3) when scoring at least four goals.
With season-ending injuries to leading goal scorer Shawn Horcoff and offensive-minded defenseman Sheldon Souray, rookie Sam Gagner continues to be a bright spot for Edmonton. The 18-year-old center, picked sixth overall in last season's NHL draft, has two goals and eight assists in a seven-game points streak. Prior to that run, Gagner had only four goals and 17 assists in 51 games.
He has one goal in three games when facing Dallas.
If Dwayne Roloson gets the start for Craig MacTavish's team in this game, he will have to forget a poor outing the last time he was in Dallas. Roloson allowed three goals in the first 9:06 of a 5-4 overtime loss on Dec. 10. Roloson is 0-2-2 with a 3.51 GAA in his last five starts versus the Stars.
Mathieu Garon has fared worse against Dallas recently, going 0-3-1 with a 3.35 GAA in his last four games, including three starts.