Stars hope to solve home issues
Tuesday, 01.11.2011 / 7:30 PMOILERS (13-20-7) at STARS (25-13-5)
SNET-EDM (HD), FS-SW (HD)
Last 10 --
Edmonton 2-6-2; Dallas 5-3-2
Season series --
This is the first of four regular-season meetings between these clubs. The Stars went 2-0-2 in the 2009-10 series, with Edmonton getting two wins via the shootout.
Big Story --
Dallas and Edmonton each will seek to end losing streaks Tuesday. The Stars have dropped five in a row at home, while the visiting Oilers have lost four straight road games. This contest also will mark right wing Jamie Langenbrunner's first home game with the Stars since being traded back to Dallas from New Jersey this past Friday. Langenbrunner was drafted by the Stars in 1993 and won a Stanley Cup with them in 1999. He was traded to the Devils during the 2001-02 season and went on to capture the Cup with New Jersey in 2003.
Edmonton is a team that still is working its way toward becoming competitive again, but appears to be at least another season away from being a viable playoff threat. The Oilers' 33 points through 40 games has them 15th in the Western Conference, seven points behind the 14th-place Calgary Flames.
A 6-1 loss at Vancouver Friday dropped the Oilers to 0-3-1 in their last four road games.
Despite the lopsided result, many of the Edmonton players appeared to be giving it their all Friday.
"The thing that I was impressed with was that we continued to push forward," forward Ryan Jones
said. "There wasn't a whole lot of guys giving up on the bench. Guys were sticking up for each other."
While Dallas has matched a franchise record with a seven-game road win streak achieved via a 4-0 shutout of the Wild on Sunday, it has hit some hard times at American Airlines Center. The Stars have totaled just eight goals while going 0-3-2 over their last five home games.
Coach Marc Crawford would like to see his club improve on home ice, but he understands why they have been so solid on the road, especially after the convincing win at Minnesota.
"Sometimes you play a game that's a little simpler on the road, and I definitely believe that was the case tonight," said Crawford following Sunday's game.
Who's Hot --
Oilers forward Dustin Penner has 2 goals and 5 assists in his last seven games. … Dallas center Brad Richards has a goal and 6 assists in his last four games.
Injury Report --
Oilers defenseman Ryan Whitney
has been sidelined for the last six games with an ankle injury and defenseman Jim Vandermeer missed Friday's game with his own ankle problem. The team recalled defenseman Taylor Chorney
from AHL Oklahoma City on Monday to help fill the void on the blue line. Rookie forward Jordan Eberle
hasn't played since suffering an ankle injury New Year's Day, followed by an emergency appendectomy Jan. 5. ... Dallas defensemen Karlis Skrastins (broken nose) and Matt Niskanen (hand laceration) are listed as day-to-day, while forward Toby Petersen
(lower body) is on injured reserve.
Stat Pack --
The Oilers have been held without a goal over their last 20 power-play opportunities.
Puck Drop --
There are many factors a team can look at when justifying why it has struggled, but most of the Oilers players are aware that the lack of a spark on special teams is the main culprit. Edmonton killed just two of four power plays against Vancouver Friday and was 0-for-4 with its own man-advantage.
"We lost the special-teams battle, and I think on most nights when that happens, you're not going to win," Jones told reporters following the game.