Edmonton Oilers Game Day: What can McDavid and Draisaitl do for an encore against Dallas Stars?

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After combining for 11 points in the 6-2 win over Colorado, what do Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl do for an encore?

In the last three games, Draisaitl has 10 points and leads the NHL with 41 in 21 games.

McDavid, meanwhile, has two hat-tricks in the last three games and is second in the scoring race with 37 points.


Dallas Stars (10-8-2) at Edmonton Oilers (13-6-2): 2 p.m., TV: Sportsnet, radio: 630 CHED

Oilers’ keys to the game

Hard-charging opponent

Ignore that the standings say Dallas is eighth in the Western Conference.

They are far and away the hottest team in the NHL right now with an 9-1-1 record in their last 11 games.

They haven’t lost in regulation since Oct. 26 (eight games ago). They looked dead out of the gate with a 1-7-1 start, but they are an emerging powerhouse.

Killing it

Edmonton’s penalty-killing has climbed to fourth in the NHL after a stretch of 18-straight kills dating back to the third period five games ago.

Even during Edmonton’s miserable 6-3 loss in San Jose, the PK was a perfect 3-for-3. They’ve killed off 26 of the last 28 penalties over seven games.


Oil Spills podcast: Oilers hit November’s heavy Western playlist

Hockey Hall of Fame writer Jim Matheson talks to host Craig Ellingson about the Oilers and their upcoming slate of Western games and about how they got to this point: with improved defensive play, the emergence of Ethan Bear, solid goaltending by the tandem of Mikko Koskinen and Mike Smith, and the continued scoring prowess of Leon Draisaitl — the NHL’s leading scorer — and Connor McDavid.


Stingy Stars

The Oilers scored six goals in two of their last three games, but offence might be very hard to come by against Dallas.

The Stars have completely locked things down during their hot streak, holding their opponents to just one goal in seven of the last 11 games and two goals in two of the other wins.

They’ve outscored their opponents 33-18 during that time.

Mikko time

After Mike Smith had his two starts, it’s back to Mikko Koskinen in the Oilers net. Koskinen has been lights out in his comeback season, posting a 7-1-1 record and a .928 save percentage, which ties him for seventh in the NHL.

In Koskinen’s only regulation loss of the season, he gave up two goals to the Detroit Red Wings.

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Projected Oilers lineup

Forward lines

Leon DraisaitlConnor McDavidZack Kassian

James NealRyan Nugent-HopkinsJosh Archibald

Joakim NygardGaetan HaasAlex Chiasson

Jujhar Khaira • Riley Sheahan • Patrick Russell

Defence pairings

Darnell NurseEthan Bear

Oscar Klefbom • Caleb Jones

Kris Russell • Matt Benning

Goal

Mikko KoskinenMike Smith

Injured: Adam Larsson


Projected Stars lineup

Forward lines

Jamie BennJustin DowlingTyler Seguin

Alexander Radulov • Jason Dickinson • Corey Perry

Nicholas CaamanoJoe Pavelski • Denis Guriano

Andrew Cogliano • Radek Faska • Blake Comeau

Defensive pairings

Jamie OleksiakMiro Heiskanen

Esa Lindell • Andrej Sekera

Joel Hanley • Taylor Fedun

Goal

Ben Bishop • Anton Khudobin

Injured: Roman Polak, John Klingberg, Roope Hintz


The big matchup: Corey Perry vs. Leon Draisaitl

Who knows how the match-ups will go, but there is a good chance that old Oilers’ nemesis Corey Perry will be going head-to-head with NHL scoring leader Leon Draisaitl for a lot of Saturday’s game.

Perry is a 6-foot-3, 205-pound, hard-nosed veteran who plays a hard game.

He knows how to skirt the rules and influence the referees, so Draisaitl, who has a point in 19 of Edmonton’s 21 games this year, will likely have to battle hard for everything he gets. At 6-foot-2 and 208 pounds, he is well-equipped to do so

rtychkowski@postmedia.com

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