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Wednesday, April 16

Updated: April 18, 12:14 PM ET

Oilers winger out with fractured hand

Associated Press

EDMONTON, Alberta -- The underdog Edmonton Oilers were looking for a break heading into Dallas with the series tied 2-2, but they don't like the one they got.

Radek Dvorak

As they were boarding the plane for Dallas on Wednesday, the players learned they had lost Czech sniper Radek Dvorak indefinitely with a broken hand.

It was a crushing blow for the club that has twice fumbled opportunities to get two games ahead of the Western Conference champion Stars in the quarterfinal playoff series.

Dvorak, whose highlight reel goal won Game 3 for the Oilers, broke his right hand when he missed his attempt to check Jere Lehtinen midway through the third period in the Oilers 3-1 loss to the Stars on Tuesday.

He was scheduled for surgery Wednesday.

"It's going to be a significant loss for us, the way he was playing,'' conceded coach Craig MacTavish. "He won us a hockey game with a great goal. He is the type of game-breaking player we've been trying to get for awhile around here.''

The Oilers acquired Dvorak and Cory Cross in a trade deadline deal that sent Anson Carter and Ales Pisa to the New York Rangers.

"He's been great ever since we acquired him,'' said Oilers veteran Todd Marchant. "But we have to have other guys step up.

"Everybody has to step up. We all have to play better if we want to win this series.''

The Oilers still haven't got any scoring from top scorers Mike York and Mike Comrie -- who are both still recovering from injuries -- and the power play, which was sputtering even before the Oilers traded power-play scorer Carter, has been woeful.

"Our power play has to be better,'' said Marchant. "We've struggled on the power play.''

"We had ample opportunity last game to get a goal or at least get some momentum back in our favor (with the power play) and we were unable to do that.''

MacTavish said he will make some personnel changes on the power play in a bid to spark some offense. The Oilers have scored only one power-play goal in the series despite 17 chances and their power play ranks behind all playoff teams except Anaheim.

"The power play has to get going,'' MacTavish said. "It has done nothing up until this point in the series.''

Rather than dwell on the lack of production by the team's top scorers, MacTavish credited the new additions to the team for making the series with the Stars even close.

He said players like Shawn Horcoff, Fernando Pisani and Ales Hemsky are a big reason why the series is tied.

"The real bright side is some of the young guys and new guys have stepped up their game and given us a chance to win this series,'' he said.

While Dvorak's skill and speed will be missed, MacTavish said he was anxious to see what Edmonton native Jason Chimera can do with a chance to play.

Chimera is one of the fastest skaters on the quick team and has filled the net during his years on the Oilers AHL farm team in Hamilton.

"I know he's chomping at the bit,'' said MacTavish. "He will give us a lot of energy. We can expect a good solid game out of him.''

The Oilers coach said his club played almost well enough to win Game 4, but a couple of mistakes at inopportune times cost it dearly.

He noted that Dallas scored the winner on a lucky bounce when Stu Barnes' shot from behind the net careened in off Oilers Jason Smith.

"We don't feel we have to get lucky to win, but we need some breaks, too.''

But Horcoff said the Oilers will go back to Dallas with a great deal of confidence as a result of their Game One victory there.

"We can win there,'' he said. "We've done it before. We need to go in there with a similar effort and the same game plan -- throw the puck at the net -- and try to get some bounces our way.''

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