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Oilers see Stars tonight

by Staff Writer / Edmonton Oilers
The Edmonton Oilers look to rebound tonight after losing their first home game of the season on Wednesday night against the Nashville Predators.

Their opponents tonight, the Dallas Stars, are off to a great start this season with a record of 10-2-0. However, they only sit in second place in the tough Pacific Division despite currently holding the leagues third-best record.

The Stars opened the season with five straight wins before dropping a 2-0 decision on the road to San Jose. Their only other loss came at home last Friday versus Detroit.

OILERS TO WATCH: With 16 points through the first 12 games, Petr Sykora leads the Oilers in points and is tied with Ryan Smyth for the team lead at seven goals. Sykora didnt reach 16 points until his 27th game last season and didnt score his seventh goal until his 29th game on December 20 With seven points through the first 12 games of his NHL career, Patrick Thoresen is already the second-highest scoring Norwegian of all-time. He is tied for fifth on the Oilers in scoring.

STARS TO WATCH: The Stars are getting balanced scoring up front from a number of sources. Mike Modano has eight goals and 11 points through 12 games to lead the team. New captain Brenden Morrow has four goals and 10 points while newcomers Eric Lindros (10 points) and Mike Ribeiro (9 points) have both made an impression Marty Turco has been solid in goal, ranking fourth in the league in goals-against average at 1.99 and leading the league in wins with eight.

ROSTER UPDATES: Edmonton – Ethan Moreau (shoulder) is out; Dallas – Steve Ott (ankle) is out.

FAST FACTS: The Stars are off to their best start in franchise history with 10 wins through 12 games. Their second-best start was 1996-97 when they opened 9-2-1 Dallas is unbeaten when scoring the first goal of the game this season (6-0-0). The only other teams in the league that are still unbeaten after scoring the opening goal are Pittsburgh, Buffalo and Minnesota The Stars have outscored their opponent 14-6 in the third period this season. Their six goals against in period three ranks fourth in the NHL.

QUOTABLE: "It could just be a product of us doing so well at home. We're coming out here and thinking everything is going to be easy because some nights, it has been. That wasn't the case. We ran into a really good team that was ready to play. By the time we woke up, it wasn't too late, but it makes it tough when you're digging from behind all night."
- Oilers forward Joffrey Lupul on the team's slow start against Nashville on Wednesday.

After tonight, the Oilers embark on a five-game road trip that will take place over a seven-day period. The first game is next Tuesday, November 7 in Montreal. Game time is 5:30 p.m. and it can be seen on Rogers Sportsnet West.
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