Stars-Oilers Preview

The Dallas Stars are riding high in confidence as they start a
three-game trip in the same place where their previous one ended
last week.

The Stars seek a fourth straight victory Tuesday night when they
visit an Edmonton Oilers team searching for consistency.

These teams are both one-quarter through their season with 13
points apiece, but there’s a different mood for Dallas (6-5-1) than
Edmonton (5-4-3). The Stars are enjoying their longest win streak
of the season entering a trip that also goes to Calgary and

“We’ve been winning now the last three games so we have to build
on that,” winger Loui Eriksson said. “We know it’s going to be a
tough road trip up here in Canada so it’s going to be fun to get
there and try to win the first one and just keep going.”

The Oilers ended a five-game losing streak (0-2-3) with Sunday’s
3-1 victory at Columbus, but were outshot 40-14 as Devan Dubnyk
came to the rescue with a season-high 39 saves.

“You need a goalie to steal one for you once in a while,” coach
Ralph Krueger said. “We were really flat as a team and he was just
world class and outstanding all the way through.”

Dallas swept four 2011-12 meetings with Edmonton, and capped a
2-1-0 trip with a 3-2 victory at Rexall Place last Wednesday on
Jaromir Jagr’s overtime goal.

The Stars were 0 for 13 on the power play in four games before
Derek Roy scored with the man advantage in that contest. Jamie Benn
and Trevor Daley came through with power-play goals Friday in a 3-1
home victory over Anaheim.

“Just keep working on it, watching some video, working on it in
practice,” Benn said about the power play. “I think it just comes
down to shooting pucks and keeping it simple and I think we did
that tonight.”

Benn has played in nine straight victories for the Stars over
the Oilers, totaling eight goals and four assists.

Kari Lehtonen improved to 8-1-0 with an 1.89 goals-against
average in his last nine starts against the Oilers last

Dubnyk, meanwhile, fell to 0-3-1 with a 4.01 GAA in four career
starts versus the Stars. He has not been helped by his defense
lately, facing at least 38 shots in four of his last five

The Oilers, beginning a season-high five-game homestand, know
they must get more offensive zone time.

“It’s hard to create shots when you’re in your own end, it’s as
simple as that,” said center Sam Gagner, who has a team-high 13
points. “You’ve got to give them credit for the way they
forechecked and hemmed us in. We just need to be a little harder in

Stars coach Glen Gulutzan expects Michael Ryder to play Tuesday
after the veteran sat out practice Sunday for “maintenance.” Ryder
has three goals and two assists in three career games at Edmonton
with Dallas.

Oilers rookie Nail Yakupov is tied with Ales Hemsky for the team
lead with five goals, but has not scored in a season-high four
straight contests.