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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 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...
Pre-Game Audio... Shawn Horcoff
Saturday's Post-Game Video: Post-game comments from Robert Nilsson, Shawn Horcoff, Dwayne Roloson & Craig MacTavish Saturday's Post-Game Audio: Shawn Horcoff Robert Nilsson Dwayne Roloson Craig MacTavish
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.