Stars-Oilers Preview

Tuesday, 11.12.2013 / 10:15 PM / Inside Edge
By Mark Stepneski
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Stars-Oilers Preview
Previewing Wednesday\'s tilt between the Dallas Stars and Edmonton Oilers.

Dallas Stars at Edmonton Oilers
Wednesday, November 13
9 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Southwest
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

About the Stars

The Stars (8-7-2) last played Saturday, when they lost 5-2 to the Chicago Blackhawks at American Airlines Center. The loss snapped a three-game winning streak for the Stars. The Stars were 0-6 on the power play in the game. Chicago scored the game-winning goal on its only power play chance of the night.

“They are one of the best team in the league for a reason and we had some opportunities that we needed to bury,” said Stars center Tyler Seguin. “Our power play needed to be better because we knew they had the ability to go down and get the big goals that they needed – and they did. We can take a lot of positives from the last few games. Tonight was a good measuring stick for us. I feel we skated with them the whole night and battled hard but you see why they are the Stanley Cup champions and a good team.”

The Stars will head out for a three-game road trip to Western Canada, where they will play Edmonton (Wednesday), Calgary (Thursday) and Vancouver (Sunday). The Stars have won four of their last five road games, including the sweep of last week’s three-game trip against Ottawa, Boston and Detroit.

“One thing I am going to emphasize is we can’t take what we did last road trip and take it for granted and think maybe these teams we are walking in against aren’t quite as good as the last teams,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. “Calgary is a real hard team to play against. I think Edmonton is on the way up, they’ve played a couple really good games of late.”

Dallas is 5-2-2 in its last nine games overall.

Dallas placed LW Ray Whitney on injured reserve Tuesday and recalled C Travis Morin from the Texas Stars of the AHL.

Injuries: LW Ray Whitney (lower body) is out.

About the Oilers

The Oilers (4-13-2) last played Sunday, when they lost 5-4 at Chicago. The Oilers had a 2-1 lead in the second and were tied 3-3 midway through the third, but Chicago scored two goals in less than two minutes to take a 5-3 lead.

"Right now, it's tough for me to stand here and say what we did wrong and what we did right," said defenseman Philip Larsen, who had three assists in the game. "Bottom line is that we didn't get any points, and that's what matters right now. We have to bounce back somehow."

The Oilers have lost three straight and eight of their last nine games (1-7-1).

The big story in Edmonton recently has centered on second-year forward Nail Yakupov, who has struggled this season. The first overall pick in the 2012 NHL Draft has four points (two goals, two assists) in 17 games and has been averaging between 10 and 12 minutes per game recently. His agent, Igor Larionov, is expected to visit with the Oilers to address Yakupov’s situation.

"I know that (Larionov is) coming and we've got to do something because I don't see any trust in me now," Yakupov told reporters in Edmonton Tuesday. "I'm playing lower and lower minutes and I just want to help my team win every game and try to do something. I'm trying to shoot, trying to skate, trying to hit but I haven't had that much chance to do that. It's been very hard to watch the game from the bench when my teammates are fighting for pucks or points because I know I can do the same thing."

"I understand his frustration," said Edmonton coach Dallas Eakins. "We have a lot of players frustrated right now. We have an organization that's frustrated. When you get into where we're at right now with our record, frustration mounts. We all want better. We all want more, but we have to earn the right to get more."

Goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov, who recently signed with Edmonton, has been assigned to Oklahoma City of the AHL, where he is expected to play a few games before joining the Oilers.

Injuries: LW Luke Gazdic (shoulder is questionable). D Justin Schultz (groin), G Richard Bachman (groin), LW Steve MacIntyre (knee) and RW Tyler Pitlick (knee) are out.

Series Notes

*This is the first of three meetings between the Stars and Oilers this season.

*The Stars were 2-1-0 against the Oilers last season, including 2-0-0 in Edmonton.

*The Stars are 62-40-18 all-time against Edmonton.

Statistical tidbits

*The Oilers are 1-5-0 at home.

*The Stars have won four of their last five on the road.

*The Oilers rank last in the NHL in goals against (3.90) and save percentage (.873).

*The Oilers have been outscored 24-13 in the first period this season.

*The Stars have outscored their opponents 17-16 in the first period.

*The Oilers have allowed a league-high 26 third period goals.

*The Stars have scored 9 third period goals, the second lowest total in the league.

*The Stars are 3-41 (7.3 percent) on the power play over the last 12 games.

*The Oilers have scored 5 power play goals in the last 4 games, and are 5-11 (45.5%) on the PP during that stretch.

*Tyler Seguin leads Dallas with 7 goals.

*Seguin and Jamie Benn lead the Stars with 16 points.

*Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Taylor Hall lead the Oilers with 5 goals.

*Jordan Eberle leads the Oilers with 15 points.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club. Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on DallasStars.com reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow Mark on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.

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