The Edmonton Oilers are growing frustrated with their recent lack of offense.
A visit from the Dallas Stars might not provide them with the ideal opportunity to increase their production.
The Oilers look to avoid a fourth consecutive loss overall and fifth straight to the Stars on Wednesday night.
Edmonton (4-3-2) scored three or more goals in four of its first five games but has not had more than two in any of the last four. The Oilers were fortunate to begin this run of minimal production with a 2-1 overtime victory at Phoenix last Wednesday, but they’ve since gone 0-1-2.
“The bottom line is we have to score more goals,” forward Taylor Hall told the Oilers’ official website. “Their goalie can only make so many saves for so long before we start scoring.”
Hall’s club has been outshot in six consecutive games, averaging just 24.5 shots in that span.
Edmonton led 2-0 in the second period Monday against Vancouver but allowed the tying goal late in the third and lost 3-2 in overtime. Ales Hemsky scored the Oilers’ only power-play goal in their last 10 chances, Ryan Smyth added a short-handed score and Devan Dubnyk matched a season high with 37 saves.
“It’s good to get points,” said Dubnyk, who has a 1.74 goals-against average in his last five starts. “We had opportunities to close it out. But we need to get two and not one.”
Earning even a single point against Dallas (4-5-1) has been a problem for Edmonton of late. The Stars have won nine of 10 against the Oilers - all in regulation - after sweeping last season’s four meetings and holding Edmonton to one goal in each.
Dallas has won four of five at Edmonton, including the last two by 3-1 scores.
Jamie Benn who has eight goals and four assists in 10 career games versus Edmonton, recorded his first two goals of the season and added an assist in Dallas’ 3-2 win at Colorado on Monday. The Stars blew a 2-0 lead before Benn’s winner late in the third.
“I thought there was more composure and more focus on what we needed to do,” coach Glen Gulutzan told the Stars’ official website. “Games are going to be like this, it’s a tough league, everyone is playing hard. We’ve got to stay focused.”
The Stars, who have yet to win consecutive games in 2013, are among the league’s lowest-scoring teams at 2.0 goals per contest and have only two in their last 29 power-play chances.
Michael Ryder has a team-leading four goals but only one in the last five games and has no assists. He has five goals and two assists in his last five against the Oilers.
Kari Lehtonen who made 29 saves Monday, is 7-2-0 with a 2.12 GAA versus Edmonton and stopped 67 of 70 shots while going 3-0-0 against the Oilers in 2011-12.
It’s uncertain if Edmonton captain Shawn Horcoff will play after injuring his hand Monday in his return from missing two games with a strained neck.
The Oilers also could be without defenseman Mark Fistic, who injured his back against the Canucks.
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