Dallas Stars at Edmonton Oilers
Thursday, October 26
TV: FOX Sports Southwest Plus
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM
About the Stars
The Stars (5-4-0) had a four-game winning streak snapped with a 5-3 loss at Colorado on Tuesday. The Stars struggled through the first two periods and were down 4-2 after 40 minutes. They made a big push in the third period and pulled to within 4-3 but Matt Nieto's empty-net goal, his third tally of the night, sealed the win for the Avalanche.
"We're asking the same people to do everything," said Stars coach Ken Hitchcock. "We don't have enough participants. If we want to win on the road and be a good team, we don't have enough participants. That's the bottom line."
Goaltender Ben Bishop, who was pulled six minutes into the second period after the Stars fell behind 3-2, will start Thursday. Hitchcock shrugged off Bishop's postgame comments expressing displeasure with being pulled.
"Ben's starting in Edmonton, so that is old news," Hitchcock said. "It's all what is best for the team. You do what is best for the team. If you coached in this business worried about conflict you wouldn't last five minutes."
The Stars lost defenseman Stephen Johns in the first period after he took a high hit from Avalanche forward Matt Duchene. Johns, who was experiencing concussion-like symptoms, did not return to the game. He is out Thursday.
With Johns out, Hitchcock indicated that Jamie Oleksiak and Greg Pateryn could both be in the next two games.
Thursday's game is the second of a five-game road trip for the Stars.
Injuries: D Stephen Johns (concussion-like symptoms) is out.
Video: Hitch gives an update on the off day
About the Oilers
The Oilers (2-5-1) lost 2-1 in overtime at Pittsburgh Tuesday. Connor McDavid scored with 2:53 remaining in the third to tie the game for the Oilers but Pittsburgh's Phil Kessel scored 42 seconds into overtime to give the Penguins the extra point. The Oilers went 1-1-1 on a three-game road trip.
"It's a big one point," Oilers forward Patrick Maroon told media after the game. "We crawled back. It was a really good game I thought. I really felt we made some strides on this road trip. I think three points got away from us this road trip and it could have been good for us, but I think we need to keep building, keep grinding away at this, keep chipping away at this. We can't hang our heads. We have to try to win a hockey game."
Since their opening-night victory, the Oilers are 1-5-1 in their past seven games.
Forwards Drake Caggiula and Leon Draisaitl both came off injured reserve and played Tuesday.
Thursday's game opens a five-game homestand for Edmonton.
Injuries: D Andrej Sekera (knee) is out.
Video: Bishop focused on Oilers
The Stars are 1-3-0 on the road.
The Oilers are 1-3-0 at home.
The Stars rank 20th in goal scoring at 2.89 per game.
The Oilers rank 31st in goal scoring at 1.88 per game.
Edmonton has scored two goals or fewer in six of their eight games.
The Stars are tied for 15th in goals against at 2.89 per game.
The Oilers are tied for 17th in goals against at 3.00 per game.
The Stars are 16-16 on the penalty kill over the past five games.
The Stars are 1-8 on the power play over the past four games.
Jamie Benn leads the Stars with eleven points (five goals, six assists).
Connor McDavid leads the Oilers with nine points (four goals, five assists).
This story was not subject to approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club. Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on DallasStars.com reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow Mark on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.