The Edmonton Oilers approached Friday night's preseason finale at the Cox Convention Center as a dress rehearsal for Tuesday night's season opener. The Stars sat many of their top-line players after playing Thursday night in Dallas.
So what happened? The Stars' “B” team notched a 4-0 win in front of 8,841 fans even though the Oilers played No. 1 goaltender Devan Dubnyk and the Stars went with backup Dan Ellis.
“In a lot of areas they out-battled us,” said Oilers forward Jordan Eberle. “I don't think our structure was 100 percent there. This is definitely a wake-up call as far as what we need to do before Tuesday.”
The Oilers open the regular season Tuesday night at home against Winnipeg.
Austin Smith, Luke Gazdic, Vernon Fiddler and Brett Ritchie scored goals for the Stars, who outshot the Oilers 29-20.
Edmonton entered Friday's game with the NHL's best preseason record, but the finale was a clunker.
“I have a couple of assistant coaches that want to climb the walls,” said Edmonton coach Dallas Eakins. “All I said is it was good that this happened. It's good to let our team know that our diapers do stink. That's not going to happen again.
“I let our players know that was their free pass. If this was Oct. 1 (the season opener) I would have shortened that bench down really fast. Guys who weren't doing what was being asked of them would be on the bench.”
YOUNG STARS SHOW VETERANS OKC
Four young Oilers played last season in Oklahoma City during the NHL lockout. In addition to making community appearances while in OKC the past three days, Taylor Hall, Justin Schultz, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Eberle showed veteran teammates Bricktown.
“We hit some old spots,” Hall said. “We didn't have our bikes like we did when we were here. But it was neat to come back. It's weird when you never think you'll be back in a place and sure enough you're back. We had a lot of fun while we were here. It was great to see everyone again.”
Continue reading this story on the...