(SportsNetwork.com) - The Dallas Stars hope to get off to a positive start on a three-game road trip when they visit the struggling Edmonton Oilers for Wednesday's clash at Rexall Place.
The Stars were a perfect 3-0 on a recent three-game road trip, posting three straight wins after regulation in Ottawa, Boston and Detroit from Nov. 3-7. Dallas then returned home to face the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday and was handed a 5-2 setback by the defending Stanley Cup champions.
However, Dallas has a solid chance to return to the win column on Wednesday, considering it has taken four straight and six of its last seven games in Edmonton. The Stars had won six in a row overall against the Oilers until Edmonton posted a 5-1 win in Dallas on Feb. 28 of last season.
All told, the Stars have claimed 11 of the past 13 meetings in this series.
"One thing I am going to emphasize is we can't take what we did last road trip and take it for granted and think maybe these teams we are walking in against aren't quite as good as the last teams," Stars coach Lindy Ruff told his team's official website.
Wednesday's game also marks a homecoming for Stars forward Shawn Horcoff. The former Oilers captain was drafted by Edmonton in 1998 and spent the first 12 seasons of his NHL career with the club before being traded to Dallas over the summer.
Horcoff tallied 162 goals and 285 assists in 796 career games with the Oilers and has two goals and three helpers in 17 tilts this season with the Stars.
Edmonton acquired defenseman Philip Larsen and a seventh-round draft pick in 2016 in exchange for Horcoff. The 23-year-old Larsen made his debut with the Oilers earlier this month and has one goal and four assists in five games this season.
The Stars received goals from Cody Eakin and Tyler Seguin in Saturday's lopsided loss against the Blackhawks. Dallas actually led the game by a 2-1 score after Seguin's tally just under seven minutes into the second period, but Chicago closed the contest with four unanswered goals.
Kari Lehtonen allowed four goals on 30 shots in the loss. He is 9-3-0 with a 2.25 goals against average in 12 career games against the Oilers.
Stars winger Ray Whitney suffered a lower-body injury in Saturday's loss and will miss at least the next two games. The 41-year-old has one goal and seven assists this season.
The Oilers enter Wednesday with the lowest point total in the Western Conference, having earned only 10 points on a 4-13-2 record. Edmonton lost the final three games of a recent four-game road trip and is 1-7-1 since winning consecutive tests from Oct. 19-22.
Edmonton began its recent swing by beating Florida in overtime, but then lost three straight in regulation in Tampa, Philadelphia and Chicago. The Oilers, who are dead last in the NHL with an average of 3.90 goals surrendered per game, allowed four or more goals in each of those losses.
The Oilers last played on Sunday when they dropped a 5-4 decision in Chicago. Marcus Kruger and Duncan Keith scored less than two minutes apart in the third period to help the Blackhawks overcome another early 2-1 deficit.
David Perron and Jordan Eberle both had a goal and an assist for Edmonton. Larsen had three assists for the Oilers and Devan Dubnyk stopped 31-of-36 shots in a losing effort.
"I think we created enough chances to win the game. I think we should have had some points tonight," Larsen said.
The Oilers hope to get things turned around at home over the next few weeks. Edmonton is playing five of its next six games as the host, but is only 1-5-0 at Rexall Place this season compared to a 3-8-2 mark everywhere else.
Dubnyk could get the start again on Wednesday, while the Oilers await the arrival of Ilya Bryzgalov. Edmonton signed the Russian veteran to a one-year deal last weekend, but Bryzgalov has first been sent to the club's AHL affiliate in Oklahoma City for conditioning.
Dubnyk is 1-4-1 with a 3.50 GAA in six career outings against the Stars and is 3-8-1 with a 3.93 GAA in 13 games this season.