NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, December 5th
(All times eastern)
Edmonton Oilers (11-13-4) at Dallas Stars (13-8-7), 2 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Edmonton Oilers will be shooting for their first
winning streak in more than six weeks when the injury-plagued club pays a
visit to the American Airlines Center for an afternoon tilt with the Dallas
Edmonton entered Thursday's matchup at Detroit mired in a three-game slide and
had lost five consecutive road outings before putting together a surprisingly
easy win over the struggling Red Wings. Patrick O'Sullivan netted a pair of
goals and Jeff Deslauriers stopped 27-of-28 shots in the Oilers' 4-1 decision,
just the club's third victory in 13 games (3-8-2) as the visitor this season.
The Oilers jumped out to a 2-0 advantage on first-period goals by Lubomir
Visnovsky and Robert Nilsson, and Deslauriers made the lead stand while
rebounding strongly from a forgettable showing in last Saturday's 7-3 defeat
at Vancouver in which the young goaltender let up four goals on only 11 shots
before being removed less than nine minutes into the game.
"We played a full 60 minutes tonight for the first time in a long time,"
O'Sullivan told the Oilers' official site. "That's what we have to do if we
want to win games."
The battered Oilers have not won back-to-back contests since a three-game
winning streak from October 16-22. Edmonton has gone just 5-11-3 since that
Deslauriers has been serving as Edmonton's No. 1 backstop with veteran Nikolai
Khabibulin sidelined indefinitely with a sore back that has kept him out of
action since November 16. Nilsson played for the first time since suffering a
concussion in a November 8 win at Colorado.
Dallas was dealt a 4-1 loss by the Red Wings in Detroit on Monday, but bounced
back well with Thursday's 3-1 triumph over Anaheim at the American Airlines
Center. The Stars scored all three of their goals in the third period.
James Neal and Steve Ott scored 71 seconds apart in the final frame to give
Dallas a 2-1 lead, and Brenden Morrow added an empty-netter with 43 seconds
left to extend his personal goal-scoring streak to five games. The Stars
captain has notched a point in six straight tests, recording five goals and an
assist over that stretch.
Goaltender Marty Turco gave up a goal to the Ducks' Saku Koivu 1:28 into the
game, but kept Anaheim off the scoreboard the rest of the way and finished
with 26 saves.
"I thought that Marty was the difference tonight," Stars head coach Marc
Crawford said. "[The Ducks] got a lot of quality chances, and he was equal to
that task tonight."
The win was the fourth in the past five home games for Dallas, which sports a
7-3-4 mark as the host this year. The Stars have also beaten Edmonton five
straight times at the American Airlines Center, and the Oilers are a poor 3-21
with a tie over their last 25 trips to Dallas.
Edmonton did post a 5-4 shootout win over the Stars in Alberta on October 6,
however, despite two goals and an assist from Morrow.
12/05 10:28:05 ET