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EDMONTON OILERS (13-16-1) at
DALLAS STARS (15-11-4)
Start Time: 6:38 p.m. MST
Television: Rogers Sportsnet West
Radio: 630 CHED, Oilers Radio Network and online at edmontonoilers.com. Game Notes | Edmonton/Dallas Stats Comparison | Player Head-to-Head Statistics With the Oilers meeting the Stars at American Airlines Center in Dallas tonight, both teams come into the game on a little bit of a slide.
The Dallas Stars have dropped each of its last two and four of its last six games after going 6-0-2 in its previous eight outings while the Edmonton Oilers have lost two straight after previously winning five of six.
Edmonton has also picked up points in five of its last six road games (4-1-1) and hope that tonight's opener to a three-game trip helps them get back on track.
Their last two games were both at Rexall Place and were games the team saw slip away with quick goals by the opposition in period three.
LAST GAME: Blues 4, Oilers 3 Last year, the Stars won three of four meetings including one in a shootout but the games these two teams played were among the most exciting in the NHL last season.
Back on November 3, 2006 it looked like Ales Hemsky had tied the game up at 3-3 with seconds left on the clock but the play was erroneously whistled down by referee Mick McGeough. The official thought the puck was gloved ahead by Shawn Horcoff off the faceoff but on review his glove never went anywhere near the puck.
Then, on January 4, 2007 the Stars looked to have the game sealed when Patrik Stefan had a breakaway on an empty net with about 15 seconds left. However, the puck hopped over Stefan's stick and he slipped and fell. Jarret Stoll scooped up the puck and fired it down ice to Sykora and Smyth before ultimately sending Hemsky in alone on Stars netminder Marty Turco. Hemsky deked him out for the goal with 1.2 seconds left on the clock.
This is Edmonton’s first of four meetings with Dallas this season.
Just The Facts...
Pre-Game Audio... Pre-Game at Dallas: Jarret Stoll and Raffi Torres More News The Other Side Taylor Made - In a move that was largely overlooked this past summer, the Dallas Stars made a key addition to their management team which should bring a positive impact to the club for years to come. ...more Dirty Work - The Dallas Stars penalty-kill unit currently ranks 5th overall in the National Hockey League. Take an inside look at some of the reasons why the Dallas Stars have a solid penalty kill unit, and what the players do to be effective when down a man. ...more Odds and Ends
Patrick LaForge on Oilers Live - Oilers President & CEO Patrick LaForge will be the guest on Oilers Live this Thursday, December 13 at 3:00 p.m. MST. Get your questions in today! ...more From the Wire
The Edmonton Oilers are hoping a change of scenery will end the third-period problems that have plagued them recently. The Dallas Stars, meanwhile, are hoping their dominance of the Oilers helps them avoid a three-game losing streak as the teams meet Monday at American Airlines Center.
The Oilers (13-16-1) are opening a challenging three-game road trip that includes stops at Detroit and St. Louis. Edmonton has allowed three goals in the third period of each of its last two games, most recently a 4-3 setback to St. Louis on Friday.
"It's two games in a row we've allowed three third-period goals, you think we'd learn from (Wednesday) but we didn't," said Oilers defenseman Tom Gilbert.
Edmonton suffered a brief but pivotal lapse in each loss. In Wednesday's 4-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Oilers squandered a 2-0 lead by allowing goals 21 seconds apart that triggered a four-goal rally.
On Friday, the Blues snapped a 1-all tie with a pair of goals in a 54-second span. The Oilers closed within one goal on two occasions but failed to tie the game.
"We gave up some untimely goals and it cost us again," Edmonton forward Dustin Penner said. "It's a lack of focus, especially when you enter the third period tied with a team that is as good as St. Louis. You have to kick it up a notch. And we didn't.
"It seems like right now it is two steps forwards and one step back. We have to start moving forward again."
Oilers center Shawn Horcoff had a goal and an assist in Friday's loss, giving him four goals and six assists during a six-game point streak. He has four points in his last two games versus Dallas and five goals and nine assists in 21 lifetime games against the Stars.
Dallas (15-11-4) has dropped four of its last six games after a season-high six-game winning streak, and fell 4-2 to Ottawa on Friday. Mike Smith made 16 saves, but took the blame for the loss after allowing two first-period goals - including a soft flip by Christoph Schubert 5:18 into the contest.
"I needed to make some saves early and I didn't do that tonight," said Smith, making his first start since Nov. 30. Once you get behind, you chase the game and it's unfortunate to start like that. A couple of more saves on my part would have made it a different game."
Marty Turco likely will get the start for the Stars. He is 11-4-0 with a 2.13 goals-against average and three shutouts lifetime against the Oilers, including a 6-2-0 mark with a 1.76 GAA and all three shutouts at home.
Turco's strong play against the Oilers is merely the most recent part of Dallas' mastery of Edmonton. The Stars are 22-6-3 with one tie versus the Oilers since the start of the 1998-99 season. Edmonton has played better at Dallas recently, though, winning three of its last five there after going 0-10-0 with one tie in a stretch from 1999-2004.
Veteran Stars center Mike Modano has 28 goals and 67 points in 57 games versus Edmonton.
Dallas won three of four games between the teams last season.