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EDMONTON OILERS (27-29-5) at
DALLAS STARS (37-22-5)
Start Time: 6:38 p.m. MST
Television: Molson Canadian Oilers Pay Per View (starting at 6:15 p.m.)
Radio: 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.
LAST GAME: Predators 5, OIlers 4
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...
Pre-Game Audio... 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.