NHL Playoff Preview: Edmonton Oilers vs. Dallas Stars | Round 3, Game 3 | 05/27/2024

I remember during one of the intermissions for Game 1, the Hockey Night In Canada panel mentioned that Stuart Skinner usually plays his best games when he’s really busy in the net and facing a lot more shots. This can be both good and bad, depending on your view of each game.

Skinner didn’t have a bad game on Saturday, not at all. My opening sentence critiques the team as a whole more than just him. The Edmonton Oilers came out flying in Game 2, outshooting the Dallas Stars 16-4 after the first period. But like we saw in the Vancouver series and back in the regular season, sometimes, they have an incredible start to a game, then it’s either even or they’re a no-show. They’ve also had bad starts and then have a great finish. If every period was either the first period or the third period, this team would never lose. But that’s not how hockey works, the Stars came out as desperate as they needed to as the night went on.

I mentioned in my Game 2 preview that both Roope Hintz for Dallas and Adam Henrique for Edmonton are nearing returns to their respective line-ups. They were pegged as game-time decisions, and they both opted out for another night. Hintz can help elevate a snakebit, Jason Robertson, who hasn’t scored a goal in his last 10 games. But what about Henrique? If he draws back in, who draws out? Mattias Janmark and Connor Brown have been instrumental to how good the penalty kill is for the Oilers. Plus, Brown scored a goal on Thursday; kind of unfair to sit someone out after that. Sam Carrick has been good in face-offs since getting in the line-up and brings more physicality to the bottom 6. So that leaves someone on the third line, either Warren Foegele or Ryan McLeod. Neither of these guys are producing at the pace you’d like them to for secondary scoring. It’s more evident that their regular season stats were a product of playing with Leon Draisaitl. After putting up his first 20-goal season, Foegele has only 1 goal in these Playoffs, and it was an empty netter. McLeod has no points in these Playoffs. He’s good defensively, but so are the other bottom 6 forwards; you can’t hang onto everybody. He’s a fast skater, but he always looks like he’s trying to avoid contact. That can be a weakness in the Playoffs when the games are getting tighter and more intense. Kris Knoblauch will probably keep Foegele in for the same reason as keeping Brown in; he got an assist on that lone goal. I like McLeod, but if he’s the odd man out, maybe the time off benefits him the same way it benefitted Skinner.

Draisaitl’s Playoff game point streak ended at 13 games. It’s always cool to see records get broken and possibly go even higher. But if you ask him, this is not an issue. He has something else on his mind that he’d prefer, as he should. Here we are, back in Canada. Can they regain the series lead? The keys to the game are…

How You Respond: Cody Ceci made a costly pinch in the offensive zone before Jamie Benn went the other way and opened the scoring for Dallas on Saturday. Less than a minute later, he went on a rush and was credited with the primary assist on Brown’s tying goal. Don’t fret if you lose a lead or go down.

Vets And Goals: Benn and Tyler Seguin used to be the two centerpieces for the Stars in the mid to late 2010s. They are now just old time leaders guiding their all-stars and showing them the way. They’ve also contributed on the scoreboard in the first two games of the series. At a crucial time of the year, the game hasn’t passed them by yet. They’ve still got game.

Through The Block Wall: When I said earlier that Edmonton’s shot clock increased less, Dallas has also been blocking a lot of shots in this series. 22-9 was the shot block total on Saturday night, more lopsided than in Game 1. The shot decrease in the last 2 periods of Game 2 wasn’t for a lack of trying. The Oilers just need to figure out a way to get even more pucks through the Stars defensemen.

We Got The Jack Inside The Rink

In episode 8 of the Inside The Rink podcast, Matty and Smitty are joined by new co-host Conrad Jack. After the long hiatus, we get back to hockey with a PACKED episode!Matt Rempe & the Devils vs. Rangers Line BrawlCould the Vancouver Canucks squander a playoff opportunity? Have the Winnipeg Jets finally figured out their lines?Flyers Head Coach John Tortorella is a sound byte MACHINEOvechkin is on his way to 895, Who is next?McDavid joins elite company with 100 Assists in a seasonRyan Hartman was suspended 3 Games, was it worth 3 games??Can Auston Matthews hit 70 Goals this season?The Eastern Conference Wild Card race is heating up, who lands the two playoff berths?For all of your hockey news and more from the show, visit us at insidetherink.com and watch us on YouTube! How to support us and our sponsors:TicketmasterColumbia Sports ApparelESPN+ SubscriptionFanaticsDraft Kings – CODE ITR
  1. We Got The Jack
  2. Episode 7. Player Safety First!
  3. Episode 6. Early Trade Season
  4. Episode 5. Longing For The Chiarelli Years
  5. Episode 4. Ottawa’s On Fire

Stephen Vani

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

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