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High-scoring Oilers, Stars meet in elite matchup

The Dallas Stars are aiming for a franchise-record winning streak Wednesday when they host the Edmonton Oilers.

No Stars team has ever won eight consecutive games, but this season’s club became the seventh to reach the seven-win plateau with Saturday’s 3-0 victory over the Seattle Kraken.

Dallas (47-19-9, 103 points) is in first place in the Western Conference and a point behind the New York Rangers in the Presidents’ Trophy race. Edmonton (45-23-5, 95 points) is also firmly in the playoff mix, chasing the Vancouver Canucks for the Pacific Division crown.

The Oilers were given some help in their title run when the Stars picked up a 3-1 win in Vancouver last Thursday.

The Stars then didn’t score until 18:12 into the second period against Seattle, but kept the momentum going for their seventh straight win.

“(I was) a little worried about an emotional letdown after the Vancouver game, but I didn’t see that,” Dallas coach Pete DeBoer said. “I thought we came ready to play. We had good legs, we had good energy.”

The Oilers are also on a roll, taking a four-game points streak (3-0-1) into Dallas. Monday’s 3-2 overtime loss to the St. Louis Blues left Edmonton short of the full two points, as the team was hampered by a tough second period.

The middle frame saw the Oilers called for six penalties, and they twice came up short on video reviews. A Ryan Nugent-Hopkins goal was called back when St. Louis challenged for goaltender interference, while the Oilers’ own interference challenge on Brayden Schenn’s power-play goal wasn’t accepted by the officials.

“I think the refs had a couple tough choices to make,” Oilers goalie Stuart Skinner said. “Sometimes the game kind of happens like that. … We’re on the (penalty kill) for basically the whole second period, gave up the 5-on-3, 4-on-3. Momentum was definitely on their side and I thought we did a good job … being able to gain it back.”

Skinner stopped 26 of 29 Blues shots, and should be back in net against Dallas. Skinner has gradually started to assume the majority of starts in the Oilers’ goaltending timeshare with Calvin Pickard.

Jake Oettinger is expected to start for the Stars again Wednesday, following his 17-save shutout of the Kraken. Oettinger is 5-0-0 with a .942 save percentage over his past five starts.

The goalies will be tested by the offensive firepower on both rosters. The Stars (273) and Oilers (262) are both among the league leaders in goals scored.

Connor McDavid has 20 points (four goals, 16 assists) and Leon Draisaitl has 13 points (six goals, seven assists) on concurrent eight-game points streaks. Since the two Oilers superstars naturally draw most of the spotlight, Zach Hyman’s outstanding 52-goal season has almost flown under the radar.

Jason Robertson leads the Stars in points (76) and assists (49), and is one of seven Dallas players with at least 20 goals this season. Twenty-year-old phenom Wyatt Johnston leads the club with 29 goals in his second NHL season.

The visiting side has won each of the two previous meetings between the clubs. The Stars won 4-3 in Edmonton on Nov. 2, and the Oilers won 4-3 in overtime on Feb. 17.

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