The Dallas Stars limp home from a three-game winless road trip to face another struggling team when they host the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday afternoon. Dallas suffered a pair of lopsided drubbings sandwiched around a shootout loss to fall to 3-7-1 away from home this season, including a 5-4 setback at Edmonton late last month.
Stars forward Alexander Radulov had a career-best nine-game point streak snapped in Thursday’s 6-1 mauling at Tampa Bay, but he had a goal and two assists in the 5-4 loss at Edmonton on Oct. 26. “This was probably the biggest disappointment of a game so far this year,” Stars captain Jamie Benn said of the loss to the Lightning. “It was just more embarrassing hockey.” Edmonton was last in the league in scoring before erupting for eight goals against expansion Vegas, but the scoring woes returned in Thursday’s 4-1 home loss to St. Louis. “... Obviously we’re not happy with our game,” Oilers center Leon Draisaitl said. “It will be grumpy teams going at it.”
TV: 2 p.m. ET, Sportsnet West (Edmonton), FSN Southwest (Dallas)
ABOUT THE OILERS (7-10-2): Edmonton has been limited to two regulation goals or fewer in six of the last seven games, and coach Todd McLellan conceded Friday “there’s a chance” he could split up superstar captain Connor McDavid and linemate Draisaitl. The Oilers are 3-3-2 away from home as they open a five-game road trip, with seven of the eight games decided by one goal. “I‘m not sure exactly what the reason is,” Ryan Nugent-Hopkins said. “We’ve definitely done a good job on the road so far, this season. We have to keep that going.”
ABOUT THE STARS (9-9-2): Dallas surrendered the second-most goals in the NHL last season and that same issue cropped up on the 0-2-1 road trip as it was outscored 14-4. “We are giving up way too many goals,” Stars coach Ken Hitchcock said. “You can’t play this way and be successful. ... We’ve got to be better across the board defensively. Let’s start from there.” Kari Lehtonen, who will make just his fifth start and seventh appearance of the season, has enjoyed success against the Oilers with a 14-5-1 mark and 2.49 goals-against average.
1. Dallas is converting on a league-best 28.6 percent of its power-play chances.
2. McDavid has six goals and one assist in five games versus Dallas.
3. Benn has 16 goals in 27 games against Edmonton -- his highest total against any opponent.
PREDICTION: Stars 4, Oilers 3