The Dallas Stars showed some toughness in their last trip to the ice, a sign that the club may finally be ready to string some wins together.
The Edmonton Oilers know just how tough the Stars can be on their home ice.
Dallas looks to extend a 10-game home point streak versus Edmonton this evening and pick up back-to-back victories overall for the first time in close to a month.
The Stars had dropped three of four prior to Thursday's road contest in Nashville. Mike Ribeiro scored a pair of goals in the first period before taking a puck off the face in the third period from a shot by teammate Trevor Daley. Despite the injury, he returned to action later in the frame wearing a full cage.
"He was definitely one of our players that stood out and got us going there with two big goals," forward Jamie Benn said of Ribeiro. "We need that from him. He's one of our best players and it was good to see."'
Benn recorded his third straight multi-point game with a goal and an assist and Kari Lehtonen made 24 saves for the Stars, who haven't won consecutive contests since a three-game run from Dec. 10-15. However, Dallas is still only three points behind San Jose for first place in the Pacific Division.
The Stars have won six of their past seven versus the Oilers, including a 4-1 home win on Nov. 21 in the first of four meetings this season. That triumph was Dallas' fourth in a row at home versus Edmonton and gave it a 9-0-1 mark in the past 10 games played between these clubs in Dallas.
Lehtonen made 17 saves and four different players scored for the Stars, who haven't lost at home in regulation to the Oilers since Dec. 8, 2006.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored the lone goal for the Oilers, but the rookie missed his second straight game on Thursday due to a shoulder injury and is out indefinitely.
Without their young forward, the Oilers blew a two-goal lead on Thursday and suffered a 4-3 loss against the hosting Blues. Taylor Hall, Ben Eager and Jordan Eberle scored second-period tallies, but St. Louis scored three times in the third, including twice on the power play.
"The bottom line is you don't want to get penalties in the third period," Oilers head coach Tom Renney said. "The big thing is discipline, first and foremost."
Devan Dubnyk was touched for all four goals on 37 shots for Edmonton, which has lost five of six on a seven-game road trip and is just 4-13-1 overall since Nov. 26. The Oilers dropped to 6-15-1 on the road this season and 13-3-1 when leading after two periods.