MORNING SKATE REPORT: Oilers at Blues

Whitney and Peckham are in, Fistric and Potter are out & more from Friday morning

Friday, 01.03.2013 / 2:55 PM
Marc Ciampa  - edmontonoilers.com

ST. LOUIS, MO - After an overnight flight from Dallas to St. Louis, the Edmonton Oilers had a team meeting on Friday ahead of tonight's tail end of a back-to-back set against the St. Louis Blues.

The Oilers come into the game a bit banged up on the back end.

"Corey Potter sustained a head injury last night which we would put into the category of day-to-day, like the one with Petrell last week," said Oilers head coach Ralph Krueger. "It's precautionary. He's sitting out today. Mark Fistric has an elbow injury which is also a day-to-day injury. We're just going to give it rest today."

Ryan Whitney and Theo Peckham were among a small group of skaters who took part in the morning skate at the Scottrade Center and both will draw in.

"We'll bring in Peckham and Whitney tonight and up front everything is as is."

Krueger added that Whitney and Peckham will be a likely pair on the back end to start the game at the very least but beyond that, he was still going to have some discussion with his coaching staff.

"We're going to take a good look at that this afternoon. We were waiting for all the medical assessments and just got them an hour ago. It's about building the team but initially we will start with them as a pair."

The Oilers bench boss talked about the loss of Fistric, who had been playing some of his best hockey of the season as of late.

"It's an acute injury that has some swelling today. You'd like to give it a couple days and then assess it but we really see it as a day-to-day right now," he began. "What we like is specialists and Mark is a specialist in what he does. He's a physical presence at all times on the ice, he's uncomfortable to play against and a stabilizing factor on our defence. He's been really excellent for us as a person too so the whole package has been what we expected."

ALL GOOD WITH JONES

Krueger mentioned that it's status quo up front, which means that Ryan Jones will play after taking a shot from the Stars' Jamie Benn late last night.

"I'm doing pretty good," said Jones this afternoon. "A little bit sore, obviously. You don't get hit like that without having some sort of soreness but I'll live. It's not the worst thing I've ever experience, that's for sure."

Jones stated that the team is heading into tonight's game with some positive momentum after a big win in Texas last night.

"As an entire team, four lines deep, we played a solid road hockey game. We didn't do anything too spectacular. We threw pucks on net and forced Lehtonen to see some shots that he probably didn't want to see in his first game back, so we were a little bit opportunistic and hopefully we can carry that on."

Taylor Hall echoed Jones' thoughts.

"We know the circumstances that we hadn't won there in a long time and we had a bad record against that team," he said. "I think we just wanted to come out against that team and play our game. Getting a goal on the first couple of shifts was huge and it just goes to show that if you have a good start it lets you settle into your own game and that's what happened last night."

The third-year winger added that back-to-back situations like tonight -- for both the Oilers and the Blues who played against Chicago last night -- are always a challenge.

"They're tough. You've got to regroup. Know what you did wrong, know what you did right in the previous game and try to get a good rest."

-- Marc Ciampa, edmontonoilers.com

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