Lupul, Torres offer helping hands

ROBIN BROWNLEE -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 10:30 AM ET

DALLAS -- Raffi Torres and Joffrey Lupul are starting to heat up at a time when you might expect the Edmonton Oilers offence to be cooling down.

With Ales Hemsky, Ryan Smyth and Ethan Moreau out with injuries, Torres and Lupul have been picking up the slack with their best offensive showings of the season.

Torres had an assist in the Oilers 3-1 win over Carolina Wednesday and has scored 3-5-8 in his last eight games. That comes after he managed just 0-2-2 in his previous 10 games.

"You can't have enough guys getting hot, especially this time of year," said coach Craig MacTavish.

Lupul was held off the score sheet Wednesday, but he's tallied 4-2-6 in his last nine games after managing just 2-1-3 in his previous 11 outings. Lupul has scored 9-5-14 overall.

"The thing I like about Joffrey is the overall part of his game is getting better," MacTavish said. "The system part, the execution and the checking is a fair bit better than what it has been.

"That's the goal of every player, or should be, and the coaching staff to get players to the point where if they're not contributing offensively they're still helping you win games. I'd say he's getting closer to that point."


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