NHL Game Preview: Edmonton Oilers vs. Dallas Stars | 04/03/2024

(Jeff Roberson / Associated Press)

Contrary to popular belief from most Oilers fans, I’ll play devil’s advocate and say I agree with the ruling on both of the goals reviewed by the officials. The goal by Ryan Nugent-Hopkins got called back because Zach Hyman made moved Jordan Binnington’s pads slightly when driving to the net before Nugent-Hopkins put in the rebound. It would’ve been 2-0 for Edmonton if the goal counted, even Hyman’s assists get called back. Then Brayden Schenn tied the game 1-1 with his first of 2 goals on the night. The Oilers challenged it because they argued that Alexey Toropchenko’s stick made contact with Stuart Skinner’s pad. It may’ve slightly done so, but it didn’t seem as bad to me. It at least wasn’t enough to overturn a goal. The disallowed 2-0 goal was more obvious to me. It’s not like Toropchenko held Skinner’s leg or anything like that.

I would like to take a moment to give credit to both Evan Bouchard and Cody Ceci. They both made terrific plays that prevented goals against. They get a lot of flack for some of their defensive gaffes, but it’s important to also give credit where it’s due. Now imagine if Ceci put up as many points as Bouchard.

Edmonton can fly back to Alberta with 3 out of a possible 4 points on this brief road trip with a win tonight. The keys to the game are…

Dead Even Offense: Edmonton and Dallas have exactly the same Goals Per Game stat, listed at 3.6. With how skilled the forwards on both teams are, it’s gonna be “First Save Wins.”

New Texan Block: Since being acquired before the Trade Deadline, Chris Tanev has blocked 18 shots for the Stars in 12 games. He’s done what teams inquiring about him expected him to do. I said in the first key, “First Save Wins,” but this defenseman might as well be a goalie when you look back at his career.

Muscle Carried Over: After the 2-0 goal was called back in St. Louis, Evander Kane dropped the gloves with Tyler Tucker. If you’re having trouble scoring, or even trouble getting assists, you need to find other ways to contribute. Getting gritty is what Kane likes to do, he needs to bring that energy from the fight into the rest of the game and maybe that’ll help him out a little.

Stephen Vani

Oilers fan in Toronto. Staying up past my bedtime for Western games since the mid 2000s.

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