The Dallas Stars continue their current three-game road trip against the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday night. They are 0-1-0 after a 6-2 loss to Vancouver on Monday.
Stars Looking For the Sweep
Dallas is 2-0-0 against Edmonton this season with both previous games coming at the American Airlines Center. The first matchup saw Miro Heiskanen shadow Connor McDavid all around the ice and the second was a 5-3 back-and-forth affair. The Stars have also earned points in nine of their last 10 games against the Oilers.
“It was a great hockey game,” said Stars coach Rick Bowness. “That’s an excellent hockey team over there. That was a fun game to be a part of. It was back-and-forth, it was fast and it had a lot of good chances at both ends.”
After a poor performance on Monday night, a victory would be a huge one for Dallas. With just six games remaining on the schedule, the Stars are still in a tight battle for both the playoffs and a higher seed. Nashville secured a win on Tuesday night, so two points for the Stars would keep pace with the Preds for that top wild card.
Wedgewood Likely in Net
Jake Oettinger did not have himself a good game on Monday in Vancouver. The 23-year-old netminder allowed four goals on 19 shots and was pulled midway through the second period. Scott Wedgewood came in and stopped all but one in the second half of the game.
Wedgewood is 3-0-2 on the season with a 2.69 goals-against average and .916 save percentage. He has been exactly what Dallas needed with the injuries to Ben Bishop, Anton Khudobin, and Braden Holtby throughout the season. After starting two straight games, he watched as Oettinger did the same. Both goalies will likely be called upon over the final six games as the Stars make their playoff push.
Oilers Scouting Report
There are no surprises when you dive into the leaders of this Oilers team. Connor McDavid leads all players with 42 goals and 110 points while his buddy Leon Draisaitl sits close second with 54 goals and 105 points. For reference of how important these two are to their offense, Zach Hyman is next on the list with 50 points.
“Any time you play against Draisaitl or McDavid, it’s not one guy, it’s a group effort,” Bowness said. “You try to play those guys one on one, and you’re playing right into their strength. So, it’s always a group effort, you try to outnumber them, we try to crowd them, we try to slow them down as much as we can.”
This season is a rare occurrence where three different players have 50 goals (Auston Matthews, Draisaitl, and Chris Kreider). Matthews leads the league with 58, overshadowing an excellent season from the Oilers’ best forwards.
“They’re huge,” Bowness said about the final two road games of the season. “And you don’t win at this time of year with half your team playing and the other half not playing well. So, the guys who didn’t show up and didn’t play well better find their game by Wednesday night.”
- Vladislav Namestnikov remains out and in Dallas rehabbing a lower-body injury. His status is ‘week-to-week’
- Scott Wedgewood is the likely starter in goal
- Esa Lindell is questionable with an illness
He Said It
“He’ll bounce back,” Bowness said of Oettinger. “We have faith in Jake, we have faith in Scott. A couple of bad goals? Yeah, they were, and at the wrong times. But it’s up to the rest of the guys to battle back and give them some run support, and we didn’t do that. When your goalie gives up a bad goal, try to bail him out.”
Sam Nestler is a credentialed Dallas Stars contributor for the ‘The Hockey Writers’. Growing up in New Jersey, Sam has been playing hockey since he was 7 years old. Developing a love for writing in college, Sam uses his hockey knowledge to create analyses and articles on every aspect of the game. Sam also hosts his own podcast on Spotify, the “Slapshot Sammy’ podcast, breaking down action across the Stars, the NHL, and college hockey. Check out the podcast here, and give his latest article a read!