EDMONTON OILERS (10-10-2) at
DALLAS STARS (7-11-4)
Start Time: 4:08 p.m. MST
Television: Rogers Sportsnet West (HD)
Radio: 630 CHED, Oilers Radio Network and online at edmontonoilers.com.
Today's Game Notes
|Oilers Captain Ethan Moreau prepares to make a play during Edmonton's 3-2 pre-season win in Dallas on Sunday, Oct. 5. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
by Marc Ciampa | edmontonoilers.com
The Edmonton Oilers wrap up a short two-game road trip tonight when they face the Dallas Stars in an early evening game.
Dallas has had a rough go of it this season and current sit in the basement of the Western Conference with 18 points.
The Stars have only one win in their last five games and two in their last nine. A big reason for their drop-off this year has been the play of goaltender Marty Turco. Turco has a record of 6-10-4 with a 3.64 goals-against average and .864 save percentage in 20 appearances. Both numbers put him at the bottom of the league in those respective categories.
After a rough opening period on Saturday afternoon that saw them fall behind by a pair, the Edmonton Oilers rebounded to defeat the St. Louis Blues 4-2.
The win was the Oilers' first in three games. The club has struggled through most of November and are 2-4-1 in their last seven games despite four of those games being at home at Rexall Place.
The Oilers are currently two points out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference with a game in hand on the eighth-place Nashville Predators.
This is the first of four meetings this season between Edmonton and Dallas. Last year, Dallas won all four meetings.
Just The Facts...
Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers will get the start in goal today for the Oilers. Lubomir Visnovsky remains a game-time decision.
OILERS TO WATCH: Ales Hemsky
lhas a goal and five assists for six points in his last four games for a four-game scoring streak. Hemsky leads the NHL with 11 power play assists... Andrew Cogliano
has two goals and two helpers for four points in his last four games... With Mathieu Garon out with the flu, Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers will get the start in goal tonight. Deslauriers is 3-1-0 this season with a 2.44 goals-against average and .927 save percentage.
STARS TO WATCH:
Mike Modano has appeared in 61 career games against Edmonton and leads the Stars in goals (30), assists (41) and points (71) versus the Oilers. Sergei Zubov has recorded 34 points (7 goals, 27 assists) in 44 career games vs. Edmonton, while Brad Richards is averaging over a point-per-game vs. the Oilers with nine points (4-5-9) in seven games. Marty Turco has posted an 15-4-0 record against Edmonton with a 2.08 goals-against-average and three shutouts.
Edmonton – Lubomir Visnovsky (head) is probable; Mathieu Garon (flu) is doubtful. Steve MacIntyre
(orbital bone) is out. Fernando Pisani (broken ankle) is out.; Dallas – Joel Lundqvist (shoulder) is out. Jere Lehtinen is out. Brenden Morrow (torn ACL) is out. Steve Ott (broken hand) is out.
Dallas has won six straight games versus the Oilers... Since moving to Dallas, the Stars are 42-9-5 against the Oilers, their best record against any opponent since the relocation... They have only lost four times on home ice (22-4-2)... Tonight marks the seventh of 16 times that the Oilers have to complete a set of back-to-back games. So far in the previous six outings, the team has won four times and lost twice in regulation... Edmonton's 16 sets of back-to-back games this season puts them in a tie for ninth most in the NHL in that category...
Saturday's Post-Game Video:
Saturday's Post-Game Audio:
The Other Side
- In Depth: Krys Barch - Krystofer Barch sits down with Bob Sturm to discuss a myriad of topics including his soft hands tipping a shot and skills as a National Hockey League tough guy in this exclusive interview available on DallasStars.com. Watch >> | ...more
- In Depth: Stu Barnes -The newest Stars coach sits down with Bob Sturm to discuss a myriad of topics including his full transition from playing to coaching over the summer and more in this exclusive interview available on DallasStars.com. Part 1 | Part 2 | ...more
Odds and Ends
- The LINK: The Horcoffs Give Back - This edition of The Link looks at Horcoff's Heroes where Shawn Horcoff gives away a block of tickets to 20 Oilers home games throughout the season. We also look at the Gingerbread House competition featuring Cindy and Jade Horcoff. ...more
- 5 Questions with Dwayne Roloson - A certain cat, mouse, and golf nut named Bob are among Dwayne Roloson's favourite things. Click the link to check out his answers to five frequently (or not-so frequently) asked fan questions. ...more
- Download your December wallpaper! - Celebrate the final month of 2008 with one of three brand new Oilers wallpapers featuring the team's complete December schedule for your desktop. ...more
From the Wire (AP)
Mired in last place in the Western Conference mere months after nearly advancing to the Stanley Cup Finals, Dallas Stars coach Dave Tippett hinted that changes might be coming in net.
With the team slumping and the goaltending situation shaky, Tippett's Stars host Edmonton on Sunday, looking to defeat the Oilers for the seventh straight time.
Dallas (7-11-4) lost for the fourth time in five games overall Friday, falling 6-2 to the San Jose Sharks. Marty Turco was pulled in favor of backup Tobias Stephan after allowing five goals on 19 shots in the first two periods. Loui Eriksson and James Neal each scored for the Stars, who are allowing an average of 4.1 goals in their last five games, during which they are 1-3-1.
"Our goaltending has to be better," Tippett said. "Our (penalty kill) has to keep pucks out. We have a lot of things we have to work on. We expect a lot more from certain players and that starts in goal with Marty."
Turco, who was 32-21-6 with a 2.31 goals-against average last season when the Stars lost in six games to Detroit in the Western Conference Finals, fell to 1-4-3 with a 4.37 GAA at home in 2008-09.
"It's disheartening," he told the Stars' official Web site. "I wanted to be able to do so much more and be the guy who turns it around. We've all got to do this together, we realize that, but we're just not ... We thought it could have been a big night for us, a big spark for us, but in fact, it was the total opposite."
If Turco continues to struggle, Stephan could see more ice time. After stopping 10 of 11 shots in the third period against the Sharks, Stephan is 1-1-0 with a 3.47 GAA in five games, including two starts.
Turco, though, could benefit from facing the Oilers (10-10-2), against whom he is 15-4-0 lifetime. Dallas has won six straight over Edmonton, including a four-game sweep of last season's series.
"We are in a tough spot right now so we just have to keep battling through," said Eriksson, who has five goals in his last six games. "We have talked about playing harder and more together and it's been frustrating."
Edmonton (10-10-2), meanwhile, has dropped five of its last seven. The Oilers rallied from an early two-goal deficit to avoid a third straight loss Saturday, beating the St. Louis Blues 4-2. Andrew Cogliano, Sheldon Souray, Dustin Penner and Shawn Horcoff scored the goals for Edmonton, while Dwayne Roloson stopped 27 shots to improve to 3-4-2 this season.
"When he's on his game, he's like a sponge and everything is absorbed in the body," coach Craig MacTavish said of Roloson. "He was good and he was really solid."
Souray's goal was his third in the last four games and team-leading eighth of the season. He has never scored a goal against the Stars in six career games.