Stars-Oilers battle of teams seeking consistency
Saturday, 12.05.2009 / 12:00 PM
OILERS (11-13-4) at STARS (13-8-7)
Last 10 --
Edmonton 3-5-2; Dallas 5-4-1
Season series --
The teams are meeting for the second time this season. The Oilers won the first game, 5-4 in a shootout at home on Oct. 6. The Stars have beaten the Oilers in their last five visits to the American Airlines Center.
Big story --
Which version of each team will show up for this matinee? Both clubs are coming off victories on Thursday night -- Edmonton beat the Red Wings 4-1 at Detroit and Dallas rallied for a 3-1 home win over Anaheim. Consistency hasn't been a hallmark of either club.
Edmonton acquired forward Patrick O'Sullivan at the trade deadline last March with the expectation that he would help their offense. So far, that hasn't been the case. He had just one point (a goal) in his previous eight games before scoring twice in Thursday's 4-1 win at Detroit.
"This, hopefully, will help him," Oilers coach Pat Quinn said. "He's fighting the confidence and has been a guesser when he has the puck. It's not good when you're a guesser out there."
For the second consecutive season, Stars goaltender Marty Turco has had his ups and downs. But he was the first star in Dallas' 3-1 win over Anaheim on Thursday after making 26 saves, and the Stars hope that's a sign of better things to come.
"I thought Marty was the difference tonight for us," coach Marc Crawford said. "That's a great sign for us that Marty played that well, because it wasn't an easy game and there were a lot of people crashing the net when you play Anaheim. Marty was a difference-maker tonight, so that was pleasant to see."
Who's hot --
Dallas captain Brenden Morrow
has a career-best five-game goal-scoring streak. … Oilers forward Dustin Penner has 3 goals and 4 assists for 7 points in his last six games.
Injury report --
Dallas defenseman Karlis Skrastins
left Thursday's game in the third period with a badly lacerated finger. … The Oilers were without center Mike Comrie (mononucleosis) for the seventh straight game on Thursday, and are still missing a handful of regulars, including top-line forward Ales Hemsky (shoulder; out for the season) and goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin (back).
Stat pack --
Facing Edmonton could be a boon for Morrow and the Stars. Dallas is 8-0-1 in its last nine games against the Oilers with Morrow in the lineup. He is 4-3-7 in his last three games against them. Dallas has scored 21 goals in its 5-0 home streak against the Oilers since Edmonton's last win at the American Airlines Center, 2-0 on Dec. 8, 2006. … Edmonton's win at Detroit was only the Oilers' third in 13 road games this season.
Puck drop --
The Oilers are 1-1 on a five-game trip that will send them to Florida for two games after this one. Both teams are looking for some consistency after winning efforts on Thursday night.