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Preview: Stars return home for clash with Oilers

Following a disappointing three-game road trip, Dallas will look to get on track in Saturday's matinee

by Mark Stepneski @StarsInsideEdge / Inside Edge
Edmonton Oilers at Dallas Stars

Saturday, November 18
1 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Southwest
Radio: KLIF 570-AM


About the Stars

The Stars (9-9-1) are coming off a 6-1 loss at Tampa Bay on Thursday. It was a scoreless game after one period, but the Lightning outscored the Stars 3-1 in the second period and 3-0 in the third.

"This was probably the biggest disappointment of a game so far this year," said Stars captain Jamie Benn. "They pretty much took it to us from the start of the second and took over. They kept coming at us, and we didn't help ourselves at all."

The Stars fell to 2-4-1 in their past seven games overall and sit in seventh place in the Central Division.

"We've got to look at ourselves in the mirror," Benn said. "We are far away from being at an elite level like Tampa is right now. We've got to put the work in and try to keep getting better."

Defenseman Marc Methot (lower body) practiced briefly Friday, but it is still not ready to play. He will miss his fourth straight game due to the injury. Brett Ritchie is expected to return to the lineup after sitting out the past two games as a scratch.

Kari Lehtonen will get the start in goal.

The Stars play three of their next four games at home where they have won six of their past seven games.

Injuries: D Marc Methot (lower body) is out.


About the Oilers

The Oilers (7-10-2) lost 4-1 to St. Louis in Edmonton Thursday. The game was tied 1-1 after 20 minutes, but the Blues dominated the second period and took the lead for good on an Alexander Steen power-play goal. The Blues tacked on two more goals in the third.

"They were better than us in a lot of areas tonight," Oilers coach Todd McLellan told media. "It was spread out amongst the team. It was a team loss tonight, we just didn't play well."

It was the third loss in the past four games (1-2-1) for the Oilers who were expected to be one of the top teams in the West this season but are seventh in the Pacific Division.

"[The Stars] have lost a couple in a row and obviously we're not happy with our game. It will be grumpy teams going at it," said Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl.

Saturday's game opens a five-game road trip for the Oilers.

Injuries: LW Jujhar Khaira (upper body) is day to day. LW Anton Slepyshev (lower body) and D Andrej Sekera (knee) are out.


Season Series
  • This is the second of three meetings between the Stars and Oilers.

  • The Oilers won the first meeting, 5-4, in Edmonton on Oct. 26.

  • The Stars are 4-1-1 in their past six home games against Edmonton.


Statistical Tidbits
  • The Stars are 6-2-0 at home.

  • The Oilers are 3-3-2 on the road.

  • The Stars are 4-2-0 vs. the Pacific Division.

  • The Oilers are 2-2-0 vs. the Central Division.

  • The Stars are tied for 23rd in goal scoring at 2.74 per game. The Oilers rank 29th in goal scoring at 2.47 per game.

  • The Stars and Oilers are both allowing 3.00 goals per game, tied for 16th in the league.

  • The Stars rank first in the league on the power play at 28.6 percent.

  • The Oilers rank 29th on the power play at 73.4 percent.

  • The Stars are 23-31 (74.2 percent) on the penalty kill over the last eight games.

  • The Stars have not scored a goal in the third period over the past eight games and they have been outscored 12-0 over the final 20 minutes of regulation during that stretch.

  • The Stars have been outscored 26-11 in third periods this season. The 11 goals in the third period rank last in the league and the 26 goals against rank 30th.

  • Jamie Benn leads the Stars in scoring with 19 points (ten goals, nine assists).

  • Connor McDavid leads the Oilers in scoring with 22 points (nine goals, 13 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 reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow Mark on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.

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