The Dallas Stars have the Edmonton Oilers right where they want them

The Dallas Stars have the Edmonton Oilers right where they want them

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Removal, deletion of schemes.

The Dallas Stars have the Edmonton Oilers right where they want them.

Oh, of course. One more loss and they’ll be the ones who will see stars, turn around and hide all the way to Texas, wondering how the Western Conference regular-season champions couldn’t make it in the Western Conference finals.

What the math and statistical data say means nothing when it comes to the score at Rogers Place at the end of Game 6 on Sunday (6 p.m., Sportsnet).

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And anyone in Edmonton who’s calm since the Oilers took a 3-2 series lead with a convincing 3-1 win in Dallas on Friday is kidding themselves.

The Stars don’t need to win two games in a row to advance to the Stanley Cup Final. They already have the sixth game in the bag.

Go ahead and bet on it. Bet the farm, if you want. It’s as safe as it’s ever been in sports.

The Stars are the NHL’s best road team, going 26-10-5 during this year’s regular season to propel themselves to the top of the conference standings with 113 points.

And they also continued to be the best road team in the playoffs, having lost just once in six road games before losing Game 4 to the Oilers on Wednesday to tie the series 2-2.

And while it might seem like losing back-to-back at this point gave Edmonton all the momentum it needs to finish things off and punch its ticket to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 2006, think again.

It’s the Stars who will regain momentum with another road win in Game 6, reducing the best-of-seven series to a single-game elimination matchup for all the proverbial marbles. And anything can happen in a game, regardless of whether it’s home or away.

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And as we saw a series ago, when the Oilers were the ones behind the 8-ball and needed to win back-to-back wins to clinch a series and advance to the next round, well, it certainly can be done.

So, you’ll have to excuse the stars if they don’t wear panic on their sleeves.

“We haven’t had our best time, except for probably the third game of this series,” forward Matt Duchene said. “But the good thing is that we are still in this series. Here we only have to win one at a time.

“We’ve been a little disjointed offensively this whole series, so hopefully we can find it here next game.”

Even without playing their best, they managed to hang in there with Connor McDavid & Co., a team that featured no less than the league’s top four playoff points leaders as of Saturday morning.

And while he’d like to take back a couple of recent goals, Stars goalie Jake Oettinger has been the best face-to-face player in the playoffs, posting a 2.25 goals-against average and a . .917. compared to Stuart Skinner’s 2.59 goals-against average and less-than-stellar .890 save percentage.

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The difference, so far, is that more often than not the Oilers have managed to overcome what they’ve been lacking on the back end.

“We’ve been in this situation before,” Duchene said. “We’ve already been to a Game 7.

“This team we played against had the same situation we are in now. So, this team we will never be out of it. “We have a great hockey team and we have a lot of character in this room and we will not give up.”

At this point in the postseason, there’s not much that separates winning from losing anyway. The task is simply to continue producing.

It’s not like they have to convince anyone, much less everyone, that they deserved to win the series, they just have to finish ahead of Edmonton at the finish line.

“Here you are at the end, only four teams left,” Stars head coach Pete DeBoer said of the conference final round. “These are the best teams in the league. It’s not going to look pretty every night. You’re not going to go out there shooting shots and making plays in all kinds of spaces.

“It’s muddy, tight hockey. There’s not much space there. And you get to the end like this, you have two really good teams that are very deep and there’s not a lot of space there. So it’s not going to feel very good most of the time for either team.”

Email: [email protected]

On Twitter: @GerryModdejonge

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