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Stars at Oilers preview

Draisaitl returns to top line for Edmonton; Bishop to start for Dallas

by Derek Van Diest / Correspondent

STARS (5-4-0) at OILERS (2-5-1)

9 p.m. ET; SNW, FS-SW+, NHL.TV

The Game

Forward Leon Draisaitl will play with center Connor McDavid and left wing Patrick Maroon on the top line when the Edmonton Oilers host the Dallas Stars at Rogers Place on Thursday.

Draisaitl returned to the lineup in a 2-1 overtime loss at the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday after missing four games with concussion-like symptoms. He began the game on the third line but was moved to the first line in the third period. Edmonton has lost two straight and is 1-5-1 in its past seven games. A loss Thursday would equal the Oilers' worst start since they opened 2-6-1 in 2013-14.

Goaltender Ben Bishop will start for the Stars, whose four-game winning streak ended with a 5-3 loss at the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday. Bishop was pulled in the second period after giving up three goals on 17 shots.


Players to watch

Stars center Tyler Seguin has eight points (four goals, four assists) in a five-game point streak. He had two assists against the Avalanche and has 10 points (six goals, four assists) in nine games this season.

Oilers forward Mark Letestu will play right wing on the second line with center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and left wing Milan Lucic. Letestu, who has two goals in eight games this season, had been centering the third line.


They said it

"The big thing for me is when they play them together, they can dominate and they can control a hockey game, because they control the O-zone and even if they don't score, they can occupy the zone for such extended periods of time, they can wear you down. That's what we have to guard against." -- Stars coach Ken Hitchcock on playing against Draisaitl and McDavid

"We have enough skill in this room that we know the goals will come. We know we have to bear down a little harder on the chances we do get. But we're in a good spot, we're not panicking and tonight is another good chance for us to get two points." -- Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl

Stars projected lineup

Jamie Benn -- Tyler Seguin -- Brett Ritchie

Devin Shore -- Mattias Janmark -- Alexander Radulov

Antoine Roussel -- Martin Hanzal -- Jason Spezza

Remi Elie -- Radek Faksa -- Tyler Pitlick

Marc Methot -- John Klingberg

Dan Hamhuis -- Greg Pateryn

Jamie Oleksiak -- Esa Lindell

Ben Bishop

Kari Lehtonen

Scratched: Julius Honka, Gemel Smith

Injured:  Stephen Johns (concussion)


Oilers projected lineup

Patrick Maroon -- Connor McDavid -- Leon Draisaitl

Milan Lucic -- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins -- Mark Letestu

Drake Caggiula -- Ryan Strome -- Zack Kassian

Jujhar Khaira -- Jussi Jokinen -- Anton Slepyshev

Oscar Klefbom -- Adam Larsson

Darnell Nurse -- Kris Russell

Eric Gryba -- Matt Benning

Cam Talbot

Laurent Brossoit

Scratched: Iiro Pakarinen, Kailer Yamamoto, Yohann Auvitu

Injured: Andrej Sekera (knee)


Status report

Johns was injured against Colorado on Tuesday. … Yamamoto will be a healthy scratch.


Stat pack

McDavid has six points (one goal, five assists) in his past seven games after scoring three goals on opening night … Bishop is 5-1-0 with a 2.38 goals-against average and .920 save percentage.

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