Stars try to build momentum vs. skidding Oilers

( – The Edmonton Oilers made a coaching change ahead of
Tuesday night’s matchup with the Dallas Stars, though it probably wasn’t the
one that fans have been calling for.

Following a winless homestand, the Oilers try to snap a season-high six-game
slide as they take on a Stars club that is aiming to stay on track on home

The Oilers are 0-5-1 in their past six games and failed to record a victory
over a recent five-game stay at home, capping the residency with a 7-1 setback
to the Chicago Blackhawks.

David Perron scored the only goal of the game for the Oilers, while Ben
Scrivens was tagged for five goals on 13 shots in a little over one period of
work. Viktor Fasth made 15 saves on 17 shots faced in relief.

Players and fans are obviously frustrated by the club’s performance thus far,
with the Oilers 6-13-2 on the season, but Perron deflected the blame off head
coach Dallas Eakins.

“It would be so unfair for our coach to get the blame for this,” said Perron.
“When we do well he gets none of the credit for it, but when we play like this
people want to try and say it’s his fault. That’s not the case at all.”

Still, Edmonton is in danger of losing seven in a row for the first time since
an 11-game skid from March 8-31, 2011 and it did address its coaching staff on
Monday by relieving goaltending coach Fred Chabot of his duties. He was
replaced by Dustin Schwartz.

“It’s a terrible day,” said Scrivens on Monday. “Vik and I, we’ve chatted and
we both feel terribly about what’s happened. Neither of us will come out here
and say that we’re pleased with our performances so far this season. As an
individual, I’ve got to elevate my game and I thought I was working hard to do
that and still feel I’m on the right path but it’s unfortunate.

“I take it personally that Freddy … I guess, took responsibility for the
work that Vik and I had done. The consequences basically ended up with him and
whether that’s fair or not, it something that happened. For Vik and I, we have
to keep working hard and stop more pucks.”

Scrivens is 4-9-1 on the season with a 3.35 goals against average and .887
save percentage, while Fasth is 2-4-1 with a 3.37 GAA and .890 save

It is unknown who will make the start tonight. Fasth is 2-1-0 with a 1.65 GAA
and .932 save percentage in four games (3 starts) versus the Stars, while
Scrivens gave up three goals on 32 shots in a loss the only time he faced

While the Oilers continue to struggle, the Stars have managed to win two
straight at home for the first time this season. They improved to 3-5-4 as the
host with Saturday’s 5-4 win over the Los Angeles Kings.

Jamie Benn led the way with two goals and one assist, while Kari Lehtonen made
37 saves as the Stars nearly blew a four-goal lead. However, they held on to
win for just the fourth time in 14 games.

Tyler Seguin and John Klingberg added a goal and an assist, while defenseman
Jason Demers, recently acquired from San Jose for fellow blueliner Brenden
Dillon, scored in his Dallas debut.

“We’re really confident here lately,” said Seguin, who leads the NHL with 15
goals. “There’s been games there where we were down in the third and we didn’t
get it done, but we’ve come back a few times now and we’re really building
some momentum.”

Dallas plays the fourth of a five-game homestand tonight and Lehtonen is
likely to draw the start. He is 11-3-1 in his career versus the Oilers with a
2.06 GAA and .931 save percentage.

Stars forward Ryan Garbutt practiced on Monday and is in line to return to
action tonight after missing three straight games with an upper-body injury.

The Stars have won six of their past eight at home versus the Oilers and 13 of
the previous 16 encounters overall.