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Sliding Stars take on Oilers
(SportsNetwork.com) - A stunning collapse cost the Dallas Stars a chance at snapping their five-game losing streak last time out.
The Edmonton Oilers couldn't capitalize on a shocking goal to beat one of the NHL's top teams.
The Stars and Oilers both aim to halt their recent struggles on Tuesday night with a meeting in Dallas.
Just minutes away from a victory over the New York Islanders on Sunday, the Stars instead watched as the Isles scored three times over the game's final 4:16 to hand Dallas a 4-2 setback. It was the Stars' sixth defeat in a row, all in regulation.
Ray Whitney and Sergei Gonchar scored in the first period to stake Dallas to a 2-0 lead and Dan Ellis made 27 saves.
"When you're struggling as a group, instead of finding ways to win you find ways to lose, and that's kind of where we're at right now," said Whitney.
The Stars have lost six in a row in regulation for the first time since Dec. 5-15, 1995 and have fallen eight points back of the eighth spot in the Western Conference.
Dallas will now try to avoid losing seven straight for the first time since an 0-5-2 rut from March 17-30, 2009 and will do so against an Edmonton club that is 2-4-2 in its last eight games.
The Oilers visited the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday and lost a 5-3 decision despite a gift goal in the second period.
During a delayed penalty call, Blackhawks' goaltender Antti Raanta skated off for an extra attacker as Patrick Kane passed the puck to the point in the Oilers zone. However, there was not Blackhawk there and the puck traveled all the way into the Chicago net, with Boyd Gordon getting credited with a goal despite not even being on the ice.
That strange tally tied the game at 2-2 with 8:31 left in the second period, but Chicago's Marian Hossa scored during the 5-on-3 power play just 29 seconds later and Jonathan Toews added another Blackhawks goal before the end of the period.
Ales Hemsky had one goal and an assist for the Oilers, while Devan Dubnyk was beaten five times on 41 shots.
"We made it pretty easy on them. Against a team like that, they're going to make you pay," said Edmonton forward Taylor Hall, who scored his 18th goal of the season to make it 4-3 in the third period before Chicago again answered.
The Stars and Oilers have split two meetings this season, with each club winning on the road. Dallas has won seven of nine and 12 of the last 15 meetings overall.
Edmonton has won back-to-back road games in this series, but has still lost 10 of its last 13 in Dallas.
Ilya Bryzgalov will start tonight for the Oilers and is 13-8-2 with a 2.26 goals against average in 29 games (26 starts) versus the Stars. He made 28 saves in a 3-2 shootout win in Dallas on Dec. 1.
Kari Lehtonen is likely to start for the Stars and owns a 10-3-1 lifetime mark versus the Oilers with a 2.06 GAA. He shut the club out for the first time in his career with a 3-0 road decision on Nov. 13, then stopped 30 saves in the loss to Bryzgalov.
Former Oilers captain and current Stars forward Shawn Horcoff faces his old club for the third time. He totaled 162 goals, 285 assists and 447 points in 796 games with Edmonton to begin his career and has no points in the two meetings this season.
01/14 11:22:21 ET