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Oilers vs Stars Game 3 From the Albertan Capital

Get ready for the action tonight between the Edmonton Oilers and Dallas Stars live from Rogers Place for Game 3 of the 2024 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs Western Conference Finals with the series tied at a game a piece. The Dallas Stars have a major headline to watch for ahead of Game 3 and that is whether or not Roope Hintz draws in. Moreover, the Edmonton Oilers do have a couple storylines of their own, but maybe not quite as significant. The first being the presence of Adam Henrique in the lineup. While the other news has been the play of late of starting goaltender Stuart Skinner.

Will Dallas Stars Roope Hintz Be in Tonight for Game 3 vs the Edmonton Oilers

Whether Roope Hintz plays for the Dallas Stars or not is a big deal. He is a top-line NHL centre-iceman, and his impact on the game is definitely two-fold. First of all, he is one of, if not the best, matchup forwards for the Stars against Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. Now Game 2 did see the Stars shutdown the Oilers top players, but Game 1 was a different story. That game saw Connor McDavid record an assist, and he was buzzing a lot of the game. So much so, he would net the eventual winner 32 seconds into the second overtime period. In contrast, the Stars did figure out defending the Oilers in Game 2. In fact, Draisaitl saw his impressive 13-game point streak to start the playoffs snapped. If he had reached 14 last game, it would have been tied for the second longest streak in NHL history. Therefore, even though the Stars battled through, having Hintz as an option certainly helps them on the defensive of the puck.

The Edmonton Oilers Western Conference Game 1 Ends with Memorable Goal

How Does Hintz Get it Done for Big D

Where Roope Hintz can really benefit the Stars is the offensive side of the puck. One player in particular who would benefit from his presence would be Jason Robertson. Case in point, Robertson has just a lone assist in the past three games. He did however have two assists in the Game 5 loss to the Colorado Avalanche in the previous round series without Hintz in the lineup. Either way the Stars have struggled without one of their top forwards, and looking at the regular season numbers is proof. When Hintz was teamed up with Robertson on a line, they tend to dominate. They didn’t play a lot with Wyatt Johnston, but when they did, opposing defences better take watch. In 111 minutes of ice time together, they had an incredible xGoals/60 min of 4.58. Also, their xGoals Against/60 min was a William Jennings-like 1.13. Their main line from the regular season saw Robertson and Hintz play with Joe Pavelski. In 718 minutes, they had a very steady xGoals% of 54.7. Therefore, along with being a matchup booster, having Hintz in the lineup will definitely help a number of his teammates offensively as well.

One further reason the Oilers might struggle offensively has been the play of Miro Heiskanen. Heiskanen has been an even or better in seven games in a row now. Furthermore, his ice time in the playoffs is a tremendous 28:15 a night. Also, he’s getting his name all over the stats line, with 34 blocked shots and 24 hits recorded as well. His offence isn’t too shabby either with 14 points through 15 playoff games in the 2024 post-season thus far.

What About Edmonton Oilers Game 3 Lineup News vs the Dallas Stars

In terms of Edmonton Oilers lineup news, Adam Henrique is ready to go. It was actually speculated that he was available for Game 2. Conversely, it is a known thing that Edmonton Oilers Head Coach Kris Knoblauch doesn’t like messing with a winning lineup. Corey Perry is another player who hasn’t found his way back into the Oilers lineup. The last game he played was Game 5 in the Vancouver Canucks series. On the other hand, a couple of their replacements have played very well, and made it difficult to sit down. Since the beginning of round two, Connor Brown has played in every Oiler game, except the only one Henrique suited up for. That was Game 2 versus Vancouver. Brown has been quietly very efficient. In eight games he has a goal and an assist. But, those points he has been recording have been important, including the Oilers lone goal from Game 2 versus the Stars. At the time, it had tied the game at one and gave the Oilers a shot. Also, his ice time and responsibility has been gradually increasing as well, and is up over 13 and a half minutes a night the past three Oiler games. Therefore, given his good play, Brown is staying in the lineup.

McLeod Not in for Game 3 in Edmonton

Sam Carrick has also been skating hard for the Oilers when he’s been in the lineup. He has been the other name drawing in with both Perry and Henrique not playing. The player that sits to allow Henrique to play, is Ryan McLeod. This is a good job of Knoblauch pushing buttons and holding players accountable. It is not that McLeod has been playing bad, but he has been a minus in three of his last four games. Also, he did get caught wandering on the game-winner, so a re-set won’t go astray.

And Lastly, the Last Line of Defence

The last player to mention regarding the Oilers is their starting goalie Stuart Skinner. Since being sat for two plus games in the previous series, he hasn’t allowed more than two goals in any of his four starts, winning three of them. Also, his save percentage has been an outstanding .921. However, his save percentage could be higher, if it weren’t for such strong team defence. The Oilers have outshot their opponents in those four games, 29 to 25, 38 to 33, 29 to 17, and 27 to 15. Some people may question the Oilers depth, but credit is due somewhere. Their blueline is one spot, with someone like Vincent Desharnais elevating his play. All three of their pairings are very strong, and will be an important factor whether Hintz injects depth back in his Stars lineup.

Main photo credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports






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