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THE TEAM TODAY

GAME DAY: Oilers drop shootout to Coyotes

Monday, 19.03.2012 / 2:00 AM / The Team Today
By Marc Ciampa  - edmontonoilers.com
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GAME DAY: Oilers drop shootout to Coyotes
   SUNDAY, MARCH 18

COYOTES 3 - OILERS 2

GAME ESSENTIALS
 GAME DAY
 IN-GAME VIDEO
 POST-GAME VIDEO
 POST-GAME AUDIO
 THREE STARS
1. Ales Hemsky - EDM
2. Jordan Eberle - EDM
3. Mike Smith - PHX
 UPDATE
WIth the shootout loss, the Oilers' record drops to 28-36-8 on the season.
 WHAT'S NEXT
The Oilers hit the road for a four-game road trip beginning Tuesday night in Nashville. Game time is 6:00 p.m. MT and it can be seen on Sportsnet Oilers.
Jordan Eberle scored his 32nd of the season, while Ales Hemsky tallied 33 seconds later, vaulting the Oilers to a commanding 2-0 second-period lead; but the Coyotes stormed back, scoring twice in the third and twice more in the shootout en route to a 3-2 win Sunday night at Rexall Place.

AT THE MORNING SKATE

Edmonton, AB - The Edmonton Oilers  take on the Phoenix Coyotes tonight on Fan Appreciation Night at Rexall Place looking to build on their previous two games -- both victories.

However, they will have to do it without the services of Taylor Hall who was taken out by Calgary's Cory Sarich on Friday.

"I feel good. I feel pretty much normal. While I don't remember too much of the hit and I wasn't too great the other night I woke up yesterday morning feeling pretty good and woke up this morning feeling even better so I'm just going to take it day-by-day. Hopefully tomorrow I feel the same."

As for timelines, Hall said he didn't have one at this point in time.

"I'm going to talk to the doctor tonight and he's going to talk about what I can and cannot do. Tonight I'm going to get a sweat on and ride the bike during the game. I anticipate feeling good then from there it's just getting on the ice and getting contact again."

The injury was Hall's first concussion.

"I've never been knocked out or anything like that before. It's pretty scary for me, pretty scary for the people around me. I'm really glad that I'm okay now. I feel normal, I feel fine."

As for the hit itself, Hall didn't think it was questionable.

"I lost an edge. I don't know if it hurt or help me regarding the hit. I didn't think he was going to come because they had three guys caught down low. I didn't think Sarich would be the guy to pinch. I just need to keep my head up and expect that guy to come."

"Who knows what would have happened if I had stayed on my feet. Whether I would have played that whole game or if I would have been hurt worse. It looked like something was going to hit my head whether it was his elbow or his shoulder. Regardless, that's not for me to decide."

Oilers head coach Tom Renney said that the team was going to follow protocol when it came to monitoring the status of Hall and deciding when he will get back in the lineup.

"There are steps that are in place for us follow, no question. we need to let the medical team give us the right information. We're not going to guess on this," he said.

"At the end of the day, we've got a number of games left and he could participate in a whole chunk of those if he's healthy," Renney continued. "You have to listen to the athlete but you also have to take that with a grain of salt because they're competitive people and they want to play."

Renney said that Hall is likely to do a baseline test tomorrow morning to determine if he's good to go for some of the road trip. The team hasn't made a decision on whether or not to recall someone from OKC.

STILL A GAME TO PLAY TONIGHT

Hall won't be in the lineup tonight but the Oilers still do have a game to play.

Devan Dubnyk gets his fourth straight start in goal while both Linus Omark and Darcy Hordichuk draw back into the lineup as the Phoenix Coyotes come to town.

Omark was a healthy scratch on Friday while Hordichuk missed the game due to the birth of his son, Declan.

"The doctor said he was one of the best looking babies he'd ever seen," chuckled Hordichuk following the morning skate.

Renney remarked that Teemu Haritkainen is a likely replacement for Hall on a line with Ales Hemsky and Sam Gagner.

"We can all agree that Hartikainen had a pretty good night the other night so I'm going to try that one," Renney noted.

Omark is expected to play on the fourth line with Hordichuk and Eric Belanger. Ryan Smyth, Shawn Horcoff and Lennart Petrell make up the third unit.

In talking about the Coyotes, Renney said that ensuring the team doesn't have a let down after a big win against their provincial rivals was a big key if they hoped to play spoiler tonight.

"You've got to conjure up the proper emotion," Renney said. "You've got to make that connection with the game. You can only show so much video. At the end of the day, they've got to make the choice.

"If you're going to make mistakes, make mistakes going after the win."

-- Marc Ciampa, edmontonoilers.com



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