GAME: Dallas Stars (39-24-13-0) at Edmonton Oilers (33-27-12-4).
TIME: Wednesday, 10 p.m. EST.
The Dallas Stars have been unbeatable at home for six weeks. They appear
determined to carry over that dominant play to a critical four-game road trip.
The Stars look to improve to 2-0 on their western swing and win their fourth
in a row overall when they take on the streaking Edmonton Oilers.
Dallas, unbeaten in 17 straight at home, opened this trip with a 4-0 victory
over Calgary on Monday night. Marty Turco stopped 29 shots for his 21st career
shutout and Shayne Corson scored twice for the Stars, 4-0-1 in their last five.
Dallas is locked in a tight battle with San Jose for the Pacific Division
title. Starting with Tuesday's contest, the Stars play five of their last seven
games on the road, where Dallas is just 14-18-5.
Judging from Tuesday's victory, though, the Stars have brought their
confidence with them on a trip that includes Saturday's matchup with Vancouver
and Sunday's showdown at San Jose.
"That first period is one of the best periods we've had on the road," said
Corson, who had one of the Stars' three goals in the first period as they
outshot the Flames 15-4.
Corson has three goals in 11 games since signing with Dallas as a free
Calgary outshot Dallas 25-9 in the second and third periods, but couldn't
beat Turco, who appeared in his league-high 71st game and improved to 35-21-13.
The red-hot Turco has allowed only one goal in his last three starts and has
earned four shutouts in his last 13.
"This is the best I've felt all year," Turco said. "There have been some
ailments that have dissipated."
The Stars, however, do have some injury issues. Defenseman Sergei Zubov
sustained what a club official said was a charley horse and is questionable for
Right wing Jere Lehtinen (back spasms) did not make the trip to Calgary, but
coach Dave Tippett said he could join the team either in Edmonton or Vancouver.
The Stars are also competing with the Canucks for fourth place and home-ice
advantage in the first round of the playoffs. Monday's win moved Dallas two
points ahead in that race.
Dallas will be facing an Edmonton club that has surged into playoff position
in the Western Conference with five consecutive wins. The Oilers beat Los
Angeles 2-1 on Monday to move past St. Louis and into a seventh-place tie with
Nashville with 82 points.
Ryan Smyth scored on a deflection with 6:22 left in the third period and
Fernando Pisani also scored for Edmonton.
Two months ago, Edmonton was 12th in the conference, 10 points out of a
playoff spot with 20 games remaining.
"We've played extremely hard to put ourselves in this position," Smyth
said. "This was a playoff atmosphere, but it's been that way for the past
month. Those were two desperate teams fighting for those last two playoff
spots. We jumped into seventh for the time being, but by no means is it over
Edmonton is opening a three-game homestand.
STANDINGS (through March 22): Stars - 91 points, 2nd place, 1 PB, Pacific
Division. Oilers - 82 points, 4th place, 11 PB, Northwest Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Stars - Bill Guerin, 32 goals and 64 points; Jason Arnott, 36
assists; Steve Ott, 150 PIM. Oilers - Smyth, 21 goals, 33 assists and 54
points; Georges Laraque, 97 PIM.
SPECIAL TEAMS (through March 22): Stars - Power play: 16.2 percent (50 for
308), 17th in NHL. Penalty killing: 85.9 percent (243 for 283), 3rd. Oilers -
Power play: 12.5 percent (39 for 311), 29th. Penalty killing: 80.5 percent (265
for 329), 28th.
GOALTENDERS: Stars - Turco (35-21-13, 9 SO, 1.97 GAA); Ron Tugnutt (3-3-0,
1, 1.95). Oilers - Jussi Markkanen (9-13-3, 2, 2.44); Ty Conklin (15-12-4, 1,
SEASON SERIES: 1-1.
LAST MEETING: Feb. 29; Stars, 5-4, OT. At Dallas, Guerin scored his second
goal of the game 55 seconds into overtime as the Stars rallied from a
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Stars - 14-18-5-0 on the road; Oilers - 20-12-4-2 at