Skip to main content

Stars-Oilers Preview @NHLdotcom

A rare strong game on special teams helped the Dallas Stars get out of last place. A matchup with the Edmonton Oilers would give any team a good chance to build some momentum on the power play.

The Stars, playing well in recent weeks, look to take advantage of a porous Oilers penalty kill unit when the teams continue their season series Saturday night.

Dallas (16-15-5) is 5-1-1 after losing three of its previous five and climbed out of last place in the Pacific Division with a win in its last game, leapfrogging Los Angeles after beating New Jersey 4-2 on Wednesday night.

The Stars have 37 points, one better than the Kings.

Dallas has struggled on special teams all season, stopping 77.3 percent of its opponents' power-play chances while taking advantage of only 15.0 percent of its own. Against the Devils, though, the Stars got a pair of special-teams goals and killed three of four power plays.

Loui Eriksson gave Dallas its first short-handed goal of the season, finding the back of the net in the first period. The Stars were one of four teams that had yet to score a short-handed goal.

"It's been a lot of games without one," Eriksson said. "It was nice to finally get one."

Edmonton (17-16-3) has been terrible against the man advantage, killing off 73.6 percent of its opponents' opportunities. The Oilers, last in the Northwest Division, allowed three power-play goals in a 6-4 loss at Calgary on Wednesday night.

"That's killed us all year long. We've got to find a way or find some new guys who can kill penalties," coach Craig MacTavish said.

At home, the Oilers have been even worse, with opponents capitalizing on 29.5 percent of their power-play chances.

Now, after one of its worst defensive performances of the season, Edmonton will try to find a way to stop Eriksson and Dallas. Eriksson also scored an empty-net goal against New Jersey, giving him a team-high 20 on the season.

"His all-around play has been phenomenal," Dallas winger Steve Ott said. "He's easily our MVP horse right now. We were a cellar team three weeks ago and now we're looking ahead and not behind."

Eriksson has eight goals in his last seven games, but has found the back of the net once in nine contests against Edmonton.

Oilers right wing Ales Hemsky, who has two goals and an assist in two games against the Stars this season, has missed two straight games with a broken nose and is listed as day-to-day. He leads Edmonton with 35 points (10 goals, 25 assists).

The Oilers had little trouble scoring against the Flames, with Denis Grebeshkov tallying a goal and three assists. Robert Nilsson, Lubomir Visnovsky and Eric Cole also scored for Edmonton, while Sam Gagner had two assists.

Edmonton, though, has lost two straight after winning three in a row.

View More

The NHL uses cookies, web beacons, and other similar technologies. By using NHL websites or other online services, you consent to the practices described in our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service, including our Cookie Policy.