Dallas Stars vs. Edmonton Oilers Pick & Prediction FEBRUARY 17th 2024

The Dallas Stars look to keep rolling when they host the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday.

The Stars are coming off a 9-2 thrashing of the Nashville Predators on Thursday, their third straight win and eighth in their past 10 games (8-1-1). That run has propelled them to the top of the Central Division standings, four points ahead of the Colorado Avalanche and five up on the Winnipeg Jets.

The Stars were five points behind the Jets Jan. 20, the start of the current stretch of success.

“We got contributions from everyone (against Nashville), but our fourth line got the first three goals. That was critical,” Dallas coach Pete DeBoer said. “You need depth scoring.

“I thought (Matt) Duchene’s line was fantastic. They created something every time they were out there. Everyone was going, we didn’t have any passengers.”

Duchene has enjoyed a stellar season with the Stars. The 33-year-old, who was signed by Dallas after being bought out by Nashville last summer, has 21 goals and 31 assists for 52 points — all of which rank second on the team.

“You try to think more about the team and where we’re going and what we want to achieve,” Duchene said. “It’s just another W in the win column and we’ve got to keep putting some space behind us and the teams below us.

“Obviously, there might be a time down the stretch here we might hit a little skid, and you’ve got to get the points when they’re there.”

The Oilers, meanwhile, aim to bounce back after a 6-3 loss to the St. Louis Blues Thursday. Since winning 16 straight, Edmonton has hit a lull, going 2-3-0 in the five games since, with alternating wins and losses in that stretch.

Coach Kris Knoblauch tweaked his lines in the game against the Blues, reuniting Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl and adding Corey Perry, a trio that will likely stick together to face the Stars.

Perry has a goal and an assist in six games since signing a one-year contract with the Oilers on Jan. 22.

“I think with Connor and Leon playing together, usually in the offensive zone, kind of on the perimeter, making incredible plays, we need a guy around the net,” Knoblauch said. “(Zach Hyman) has been great at that but I think we’ll share the scoring a little more.

“Putting them with a guy like Perry — he complements those guys really well. Obviously, he’s not going to play the same minutes as Connor and Leon, but I think he adds that element of net presence but also being able to break the puck out and getting those guys the puck. I think he can provide that.”

Edmonton’s penalty kill has struggled over the past four games, allowing seven goals on 15 opposing power plays after killing 18 straight in their previous seven outings.

“It’s been a tough (few) games (on the penalty kill),” Oilers forward Derek Ryan said. “That’s a pretty small sample size.

“We’ve been really good for a long time and maybe haven’t been getting the bounces and haven’t been as structured as we were before. But it’s a confident group. We know we can kill penalties.”

–Field Level Media

Docsports, The most trusted name in sports handicapping