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Stars aim to extend recent success over Oilers
(SportsNetwork.com) - Looking to break out of a mini slump, the Dallas Stars try to extend their recent domination of the Edmonton Oilers as the two clubs do battle on Sunday evening.
The Stars have lost three of their past four games, scoring just four goals in the three setbacks. They did pick up a big 6-3 win over Anaheim on Tuesday, but then dropped a disappointing 2-1 shootout decision to the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday.
Rich Peverley scored in the first period and helped extend the shootout by following Patrick Sharp's second-round tally with one of his own. The next 16 shooters then came up empty before Chicago's Ben Smith wristed a shot over the glove of Kari Lehtonen in the 11th round.
Lehtonen made 25 saves through overtime, while Shawn Horcoff assisted on Peverley's regulation tally.
"When you lose one like that it hurts. But to know you got a point and played them as tough as you did, you can take something away from that," said Stars coach Lindy Ruff.
The loss wasn't the only thing that hurt Dallas as defenseman Stephane Robidas suffered a broken leg in the game and is expected to miss 4-to-6 months after undergoing surgery on Saturday. The steady 36-year-old had four goals and one assist in 24 games with a plus-7 rating.
Dallas recalled defenseman Jamie Oleksiak from the American Hockey League as an option to replace Robidas in the lineup. Ruff could also use Kevin Connauton, while veteran Aaron Rome is close to making his season debut after battling injury.
Minus Robidas, the Stars will try to beat the Oilers for the second time this season, having notched a 3-0 victory in Edmonton on Nov. 13. Lehtonen made 22 saves in his first career shutout over the Oilers, improving to 10-3-0 with a 2.08 goals against average in 13 career meetings.
Peverley scored in the second period to break a scoreless game and both Tyler Seguin and Antoine Roussel had empty-net goals.
The Stars beat the Oilers for the seventh time in the previous eight meetings, with Edmonton's lone win in that span coming on Feb. 28 in Dallas to snap a five-game series road losing streak.
Dallas has won 12 of the previous 14 meetings overall and 11 of the last 14 played at home.
The Oilers are trying to get on a bit of a roll, having won four of five before a 4-2 setback to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday. Sam Gagner and David Perron both scored late one night after Edmonton notched a 3-0 win over the hosting Nashville Predators.
Ilya Bryzgalov made 33 saves to record the shutout over the Predators, but let up four goals on 23 shots against the Blue Jackets before being removed in favor of Devan Dubnyk to begin the third period. Dubnyk stopped all five shots he faced in relief.
"We weren't ready to go out of the gate," said Oilers head coach Dallas Eakins. "We just seemed to be a second late all night."
Though Taylor Hall had a seven-game point streak halted in defeat, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins extended his run to five straight games, having totaled a goal and seven assists over his point streak.
Jordan Eberle added an assist to give him five goals and eight points over his last six games.
Dubnyk is just 1-5-1 with a 3.15 GAA in his career when facing the Stars, but gave up only one goal on 24 shots faced in the earlier loss.
Bryzgalov is 13-8-2 with a 2.27 GAA in his career versus the Stars.
12/01 10:13:06 ET