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Stars-Oilers Preview

by Mark Stepneski @StarsInsideEdge / Inside Edge

Edmonton Oilers at Dallas Stars
Saturday, November 19
6:00 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Southwest Plus
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

About the Stars

The Stars (7-6-5) are coming off a 3-2 win over Colorado that snapped a two-game losing streak (0-0-2). Kari Lehtonen was superb in net, stopping 34 of 36 shots. Other than Lehtonen, the first period and the Stars taking only two penalties in the game, coach Lindy Ruff was not happy with much else. The Stars led 3-0 after the first but were outshot 30-16 over the final two periods and gave up their fourth shorthanded goal of the season.

"I thought we played twenty minutes. Maybe a little bit more than that. Until the shorthanded goal, then I thought it was all them," Ruff said. "I don't think we played well enough, not even close to well enough. In fact, I thought it was embarrassing how we played. It's a product of careless mistakes, a product of not winning enough battles, a product of giving them another short-handed goal."

The Stars have points in five straight games (3-0-2).

Stars forward Patrick Sharp, who has missed the past 14 games due to a concussion, could return on Saturday.

"I feel I am in great shape and ready to get back in there whenever the coach wants," Sharp said.

The Stars assigned forward Gemel Smith to Texas (AHL) on Friday.

Saturday's game is the third of a four-game homestand for the Stars.

Injuries: RW Patrick Sharp (concussion) is probable. RW Jiri Hudler (illness), C/LW Mattias Janmark (knee), and RW Ales Hemsky (hip) are on injured reserve.

About the Oilers

The Oilers (9-8-1) lost their fifth straight game, falling 4-2 at Los Angeles Thursday. The Oilers rallied to tie from a 2-0 deficit but Kings forward Jeff Carter snapped the 2-2 tie midway through the second period with a shorthanded goal just 34 seconds after Edmonton drew even.

"We had just gained a ton of momentum and went on the power play right away," Oilers coach Todd McLellan told media. "[The shorthanded goal] sucked the life out of us for a little while."

In their past three losses, the Oilers have fallen behind 2-0, 3-0 and 2-0.

Forward Matt Hendricks, who has been out since the preseason with a lower-body injury, could return Saturday. Defenseman Kris Russell, who has been out with a lower-body injury, practiced Friday but his status still seems up in the air.

The Oilers assigned defenseman Dillon Simpson to the AHL on Friday and placed forward Anton Lander on waivers.

Saturday's game concludes a four-game road trip for the Oilers.

Injuries: F Matt Hendricks (lower body) is probable. D Kris Russell (lower body) is questionable. D Brandon Davidson (upper body), RW Iiro Pakarinen (lower body), D Mark Fayne (lower body), D Andrew Ference (lower body), and C Drake Caggiula (hip) are on injured reserve.

Season Series

*This is the second of three meetings between the Stars and Oilers this season.

*The Stars won the first one in Edmonton, defeating the Oilers, 3-2, on November 11.

*The Stars are 18-3-4 in their past 25 games against Edmonton.

Statistical Tidbits

*The Stars are 4-2-2 at home.

*The Oilers are 5-4-1 on the road.

*The Stars are 3-0-2 vs. the Pacific Division.

*The Oilers are 2-1-0 vs. the Central Division.

*The Oilers have scored eight goals over the past five games.

*The Oilers are 0-12 on the power play over the past five games.

*The Stars are 7-27 (25.9 percent) on the power play over the past seven games.

*Stars forward Patrick Eaves has scored five goals over the past four games. Eaves has ten points (7 goals, 3 assists) over the past nine games.

*Stars center Tyler Seguin ranks third in the NHL in scoring with 21 points (7 goals, 14 assists).

*Oilers center Connor McDavid ranks fifth in scoring with 19 points (5 goals, 14 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.

 

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