Loui lights it up

DEREK VAN DIEST, EDMONTON SUN

, Last Updated: 9:27 AM ET

Heading into games, teams are usually well aware of their opponents' strengths.

The Dallas Stars have plenty of offensive firepower on their roster, with Mike Modano, Mike Ribeiro and Brad Richards, so it's understandable Loui Eriksson can easily be overlooked.

"I didn't know he had 20 goals this season," said Oilers captain Ethan Moreau. "Good for Loui."

Eriksson might be the most obscure 20-goal scorer in the league, but the third-year winger ranks up there among the league's best, currently sixth in goals this season.

"We knew he was a very good player," said Stars head coach Dave Tippett. "Coming into the season, we had Loui pegged as a 20-plus goal scorer and that comes from his history in the American Hockey League. We knew he was going to be very solid.

"But if you would have told me he would have 20 before the halfway point of the season, that would have surprised me. The thing about Loui is that he's not a real gifted goal scorer; he works for his goals and he's putting in a lot of great work allowing him to get the chances and capitalizing on them."

Selected in the second round -- No. 33 overall -- of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, Eriksson, 23, had 20 goals in total during his previous two years with the Stars.

Last season he finished with 14 goals and 17 assists in 69 games.

"I've been trying to stay in the front of the net more this year," Eriksson said. "I'm also playing with Rich (Brad Richards), who passes the puck real well and it's just a matter of me burying them."

A native of Goteborg, Sweden, Eriksson scored 31 goals in his one full season in the AHL with the Iowa. He's now playing on the Stars top line with Richards, who leads Dallas with 34 points this season.

"We're starting to know where we're going to be on the ice," Eriksson said. "He likes to go behind the net and it's just a matter of me trying to get open and getting opportunities to score."


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