Stars open important road trip in Edmonton

Holding on to a slim lead for the final playoff spot in the game road trip this evening against the Edmonton Oilers.

The Stars have logged a 5-1-2 mark in their past eight games and have 71 points on the season. Though that is only four points back of the first-place Coyotes in the Pacific Division, they hold just a one-point edge over the Kings and Avalanche for eighth place in the West.

Dallas, which is embarking on a three-game tour through Western Canada, picked up a point last time out on Wednesday with a 4-3 shootout setback to visiting Pittsburgh. Kari Lehtonen made 26 saves, but was bested three times over the four-round shootout.

Jamie Benn scored after missing six games due to a leg laceration, while Sheldon Souray and Michael Ryder also scored for the Stars, who had a four- game win streak end.

"I thought we played hard and had a solid game, wish we could have that second point," said Dallas head coach Glen Gulutzan. "Huge road trip up ahead that we'll need points in."

Ryder has logged eight goals and 12 points over his past 13 games, while Mike Ribeiro and Trevor Daley each had assists. Ribeiro now has 11 points over an eight-game point streak, while Daley has points in a career-best five games in a row.

The Oilers continue a brief two-game stay at home this evening after dropping a 5-2 decision to the Blues on Wednesday. Rookie Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Corey Potter scored goals in Edmonton's fifth loss in six home games. It had won three of its previous four overall.

Taylor Hall had an assist to push his point streak to five consecutive games, logging three goals and four assists in that span, while Devan Dubnyk gave up three goals on 19 shots before being replaced in the second period by Yann Danis.

Danis made 10 saves and was sent back to the minors on Thursday with Nikolai Khabibulin set to return from a groin injury that has held him out of action since Feb. 19.

The Stars have gone 8-1-2 in their past 11 games versus the Oilers, taking both meetings so far this year in Dallas by an 8-2 margin. Ribeiro and Benn both have two goals and Loui Eriksson has four assists in the two meetings, while Hall and Nugent-Hopkins have the Edmonton tallies.

The Stars have lost four of their past six in Edmonton.