The Edmonton Oilers open a three-game road trip tonight with their first trip to Dallas this season. Edmonton is coming off a stretch that saw them play eight of their last nine games on home ice.
After winning five games straight, the Oilers slipped a little going 0-2-1 in their next three outings. However, they seem to be getting things back on track despite being bit by the injury bug and have won their last two. Overall, Edmonton is 7-2-1 in its last 10 games and is tied with Minnesota for top spot in the Northwest Division.
While the Oilers are likely in the league's most competitive division from top-to-bottom with only five points separating first from fifth, the Stars are in arguably the league's best division.
Despite having six more points than Edmonton, the Stars are third in the Pacific Division - 10 points behind first-place Anaheim.
The Stars won their last three games but previous to that lost three in a row.
OILERS TO WATCH: The line of Patrick Thoresen, Marty Reasoner and Brad Winchester was reunited last game and had some success with Winchester scoring the game's opening goal. In Reasoner's last 16 games, he has four goals and seven assists for 11 points... Shawn Horcoff
has been strong on the road this season for the Oilers, ranking third on the team with seven points in 11 games. Petr Sykora and the injured Ryan Smyth
are tops with eight points apiece.
STARS TO WATCH: In the past seven games, the Stars have gotten seven goals from its defencemen. Philippe Boucher leads the way with five goals in the past seven and Sergei Zubov has a pair. In the previous 21 games before that, the Stars' blueline had nine goals total. Boucher has seven goals on home ice this season, tying him with Mathieu Schneider for tops in the league among defencemen... Marty Turco has been on fire with a shutout in each of his last two games. Overall, he has blanked opponents for 143:06.
ROSTER UPDATES: Edmonton - Ethan Moreau (shoulder) is out. Ales Hemsky
(shoulder) is out. Ryan Smyth
(shoulder) is out; Dallas - Mike Modano (lower body) is day-to-day. Brenden Morrow (groin) is day-to-day. Eric Lindros (bruised foot) is day-to-day. Antti Miettinen (lower body) is day-to-day. Steve Ott (ankle) is out.
FAST FACTS: The Stars have won 1-0 on three separate occasions already this season... Edmonton's penalty kill is tied for first in the league at 89.6% and Dallas is fourth at 88.1%. The Stars have killed off 15 straight power plays coming into tonight's game... Dallas has historically been very successful against the Oilers on home ice since moving to Texas. In 25 all-time games, they are 19-3-2... Marty Turco is 31-8-1 with a 1.82 goals-against average and .925 save percentage against Canadian teams since the start of the 2002-03 season.