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game preview

Oilers at Stars preview

Draisaitl looks to stay hot for Edmonton; Khudobin in goal for Dallas with Bishop out

by Josh Clark / NHL.com Independent Correspondent

OILERS (35-23-8) at STARS (37-21-7)

8:30 p.m. ET; FS-SW, SNW, NHL.TV

 

The Game

Leon Draisaitl will look to continue his torrid scoring pace and the Edmonton Oilers will try to gain in the Pacific Division when they play the Dallas Stars at American Airlines Center on Tuesday.

Draisaitl had four goals and an assist in the Oilers' 8-3 win against the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena on Monday. He has 24 points (14 goals, 10 assists) in his past 12 games and leads the NHL with 107 points (43 goals, 64 assists). 

The Oilers, who are 7-3-2 in their past 12 games, are two points behind the Vegas Golden Knights for first place in the division. 

James Neal was activated from injured reserve and will return to the Oilers lineup after missing 16 games because of an ankle injury sustained Jan. 29. The forward is tied for fourth on the Oilers with 19 goals.

Goalie Ben Bishop is out for the Stars because of a lower-body injury. He skated Tuesday but is considered day to day. Anton Khudobin will start.

The Stars are six points behind the Colorado Avalanche for second in the Central Division. Dallas is winless in its past two games (0-1-1) after going 7-1-1 in their previous nine.

 

Players to watch

Oilers center Connor McDavid has 17 points (six goals, 11 assists) in his past nine games. He's second in the NHL with 94 points (32 goals, 62 assists). 

Stars captain Jamie Benn has six points (one goal, five assists) during a five-game point streak.

 

They said it

"We're trying to play a good team game. We've got some more balance in our lineup now. Every line that is going over the boards, it seems like there is energy for them. We want to keep getting better as a team, get these new guys integrated and get some rhythm in our lineup." -- Oilers coach Dave Tippett

"It's about knowing when they're on the ice and what they're good at. They create time and space for themselves and their teammates. You try to control the ice in front of you and set the gap a little different when you play against [Connor] McDavid, but you have to stay aggressive. It's more of the focus that anything can happen all of the time." -- Stars defenseman John Klingberg on defending Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl

 

Oilers projected lineup

Tyler Ennis -- Connor McDavid -- Josh Archibald

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins -- Leon Draisaitl -- Kailer Yamamoto

James Neal -- Riley Sheahan -- Zack Kassian

Andreas Athanasiou -- Gaetan Haas -- Alex Chiasson

Darnell Nurse -- Ethan Bear

Caleb Jones -- Adam Larsson

Kris Russell -- Matt Benning

Mikko Koskinen

Mike Smith

Scratched: William Lagesson, Patrick Russell, Markus Granlund, Jujhar Khaira

Injured: Joakim Nygard (hand), Oscar Klefbom (shoulder), Mike Green (knee)

 

Stars projected lineup

Jamie Benn -- Tyler Seguin -- Corey Perry

Roope Hintz -- Jason Dickinson -- Denis Gurianov

Andrew Cogliano -- Radek Faksa -- Blake Comeau

Mattias Janmark -- Joe Pavelski -- Alexander Radulov

Esa Lindell -- John Klingberg

Miro Heiskanen -- Stephen Johns

Jamie Oleksiak -- Andrej Sekera

Anton Khudobin

Jake Oettinger

Scratched: Taylor Fedun, Roman Polak, Justin Dowling

Injured: Ben Bishop (lower body)

 

Status report

The Oilers did not hold a morning skate. …Oettinger was recalled under emergency conditions from Texas of the American Hockey League to be the backup goalie. ... Johns will return after missing three games with an upper-body injury.

 

Stat pack

Edmonton has the best power play (29.7 percent) and second-best penalty kill (84.4 percent) in the NHL. … Khudobin is 3-0-1 with a 1.33 goals-against average and .959 save percentage in four games against the Oilers with the Stars.

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