Nov 13, 2013; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (93) is chased by Dallas Stars forward Cody Eakin (20) during the third period at Rexall Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

Preview: Edmonton Oilers vs. Dallas Stars

Tonight, the Edmonton Oilers head to the American Airlines Arena to go head-to-head with the Dallas Stars.

Both of these teams are sitting in the proverbial cellar of their respective divisions. This could be the opportunity that both sides are waiting for in regards to pulling themselves out of the basement.

While each side has their fair share of star players that can find the back of the net, they do not share very many similarities. In fact, their numbers are a bit of a back and forth.

Stars Oilers
Goals Per Game 2.71 2.56
Goals Against Per Game 2.83 3.41
Shots on Goal Per Game 31.08 28
Penalty Minutes Per Game 11.21 12.19
Power Play Goals 9 18
Power Play Percentage 11% 19.6%
Penalty Kill Percentage 79.7% 81.8%

 

While the Stars seem to have the offensive stats on lock, the special teams squad gives a clear advantage to Edmonton. Dallas has one of the lesser penalty kills in the league, sitting around the 20th position right now. This does not bode well when the competition has 18 goals on the Power Play so far this season.

While the Oilers have a slightly better Penalty Kill than the Stars, the Stars have the next to worst Power Play in the league right now.

I am sure that Dallas fans hope that their offense prowess is enough to overcome; especially since they lost one of their key defenseman, Stephane Robidas, who went down with a broken leg in the Stars’ 2-1 shootout loss against the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday.

Stars General Manager Jim Nill gave some insight into the defenseman’s current situation on the Official Stars website.

“He had a broken fibia and a broken tibia,” said Nill. “They placed a rod in his leg, screwed it in, and the surgery went very well. He’s in the hospital, he may get out today and tomorrow for sure. He’s been texting guys and communicating with guys. He’s doing well.”

In response to that, the Stars have called up defenseman Jamie Oleksiak from the Texas Stars on Saturday.

Right now, center Jamie Benn is holding down the points for the Stars. His 7 goals and 17 assists give him a total of 24 points so far this season with a plus-8 rating. Center Tyler Seguin is leading the team in goals right now with 12. Adding in his 11 assists so far this season, this gives him a point total of 23 going into tonight’s matchup.

On the other side of the ice, it is right wing Jordan Eberle who is holding down the points for the Oilers. Right now, he has 9 goals and 14 assists for a total of 23 points. Right now, left wing David Perron is tied with Eberle for the most goals on the team. Add in his 10 assists, and that gives him 19 points so far this season. It is center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins who leads the Oilers in assists with 15.

Recently acquired goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov  has the best numbers in net right now for the Oilers. He is 1-1 in his 3 appearances so far this season with a GAA of 2.24 and a Save Percentage of .928. Oilers starting goaltender Devan Dubnyk is 6-11 with a GAA of 3.27 and a Save Percentage of .892.

On the other side of the ice, the Stars have goaltender Kari Lehtonen. Lehtonen is 10-5 in his 18 appearances this season with a GAA of 2.20 and a Save Percentage of .926.

If nothing else, this is going to be a hard fought, and possibly high scoring game ahead of us.

Start Time: 6:00 p.m. EST

Network: SNET-W, SNET-EDM, FS-SW

Tags: Dallas Stars Edmonton Oilers NHL

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