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Stars-Oilers Preview

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

Edmonton Oilers at Dallas Stars

Tuesday, October 13

7:30 p.m.

TV: Fox Sports Southwest

Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

About the Stars

The Stars (1-1-0) lost 6-3 at Colorado Saturday. The Stars had a 3-1 lead late in the second period, but the Avalanche scored five unanswered goals to win the game.

“We lost too many battles. We didn’t deserve to win. Our battle was just crap,” Stars coach Lindy Ruff said after the game. “It’s embarrassing. It’s worse than disappointing. Our best players have to be our best players. Can’t play like that. Won’t win.”

Ruff said Monday the Stars will need to shore up their defensive game moving forward.

“Defend with passion,” he said. “We’ve been working hard at that, blocking shots, getting people in the right places. I didn’t fully expect us to be 100-percent solid, we still have some players that aren’t quite up and running, but you have a responsibility to be in a certain place on the ice to take away a certain lane, and you just have to do your job.”

Ruff juggled his lines in Monday’s practice and goaltender Antti Niemi, who started the first two games, skated late, indicating Kari Lehtonen could start Tuesday. But Ruff would not discuss any possible lineup moves.

Injuries: None

About the Oilers

The Oilers (0-2-0) are coming off a 2-0 loss at Nashville Saturday night. The Oilers have scored just one goal in their first two games, which also included a 3-1 loss to St. Louis on Thursday. The Oilers outshot Nashville 31-26 Saturday but went 0-5 on the power play.

“Our offense has to get better, and a lot of that has to do with our power play,” Oilers coach Todd McLellan told the team’s official site. “I thought our power play sucked the life out of us, so that was disappointing. Some of the things we were doing on the power play were the right things, but we killed it ourselves with poor execution, poor passing. It was a little cute. We didn’t win many puck battles, like we did 5-on-5, surprisingly. That was disappointing.”

Oilers rookie forward Connor McDavid, the first overall pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, has no points, four shots and a minus-one rating through his first two NHL games.

"[McDavid] is going to get better as time goes on," McLellan said. "He played against two of the top defensive corps and defensive teams in the league so far. Got to experience [Shea Weber and Roman Josi] and how big and strong they are. It will still take some time. He's 18 years old."

Tuesday’s game wraps up a three-game road trip to open the season for the Oilers.

Injuries: F Jordan Eberle (shoulder) is out.

Series Notes

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

*The Stars were 2-1-0 against Edmonton last season.

*The Stars are 11-1-2 against the Oilers at American Airlines Center since 2007-08.

Statistical tidbits

*The Oilers have yet to score five-on-five and have been outscored 4-0 at full strength through two games.

*The Stars have been outscored 4-3 in five-on-five play.

*The Stars are 3-9 (33.3 percent) on the power play and 5-7 (71.4 percent) on the penalty kill.

*The Oilers are 1-8 (12.5 percent) on the power play and 5-5 (100.0 percent) on the penalty kill.

*Stars rookie Mattias Janmark has scored in each of his first two NHL games.

*Ales Hemsky leads the Stars in scoring with three points (one goal, two assists).

*Ryan Nugent-Hopkins leads the Oilers in scoring with one point (one goal).

*Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen is 12-4-1 vs. Edmonton with a 2.34 goals-against average and .923 save percentage.

*Stars goaltender Antti Niemi is 11-1-2 vs. the Oilers with a 2.45 goals-against average and .908 save percentage.

*Oilers goaltender Cam Talbot has faced Dallas once, stopping 22 of 25 shots in a New York Rangers 3-2 overtime loss to the Stars last season.

This story was not subject to the 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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