Game Day Centre: Wild vs. Oilers
MINNESOTA WILD (7-1-1) at
EDMONTON OILERS (3-6-0)
7:08 p.m. MDT
Molson Canadian Oilers PPV (broadcast starts at 6:45 p.m.)
630 CHED, Oilers Radio Network and online at edmontonoilers.com.
The Oilers look to get back on the winning side of things tonight when the Northwest Division leading Minnesota Wild pays a visit to Rexall Place.
In their last game, the Oilers outshot, outplayed and widely outhit the Colorado Avalanche but came up on the short end of the stick, losing 4-2. The team will be looking to rebound tonight before heading out on a weekend road trip in Los Angeles and Anaheim.
Minnesota was the last team this season to go without a regulation loss. Through their first eight games, they had a record of 7-0-1. Last night, the Wild had a 3-0 lead but let it slip away in a 5-3 loss to Calgary.
In a game in Minnesota earlier this season, the Wild defeated Edmonton 2-0.
Just The Facts...
TONIGHT'S GAME ON MOLSON CANADIAN OILERS PPV:
If you can't make it to the game, you can still watch it on TV as CBC has granted the Oilers permission to show the game to a Pay Per View audience. Click here for information on how to order the game
LINEUP UPDATE (12:01 PM): Ladislav Smid
draws into the lineup tonight and will skate alongside Steve Staios. It's expected Dick Tarnstrom will be the blueliner who sits out.
OILERS TO WATCH:
The two Oilers rookies Andrew Cogliano
and Sam Gagner
have impressed in a big way this season. They are tied for first on the team in scoring with seven points each and are tied for second in the entire NHL in rookie points. Cogliano also leads the team with a +4 rating… Ladislav Smid
was recalled from Springfield on Tuesday and could make his season debut for the Oilers tonight. Smid has scored a goal and four assists in eight games and is tied for fourth on the Falcons’ scoring list. The leading scorer among Springfield defencemen, Smid is tied for fourth on the team in assists and is +3 with 15 penalty minutes.
WILD TO WATCH:
Forwards Brian Rolston and Pierre-Marc Bouchard are both off to fast starts once again. In eight games, Rolston has eight points and Bouchard has seven. Since the 2005-06 season, Rolston has 16 goals and 30 points in October while Bouchard has 21 assists and 29 points… In his last 32 decisions, goaltender Niklas Backstrom has a record of 24-4-4 dating back to last season. He’s even better in his last 18 games, he’s even better at 15-1-2 with the only regulation loss coming last night in Calgary. So far this season he has a 1.98 goals-against average. Also, he has not allowed a goal against the Oilers for over nine periods. Not to be outdone, his backup Josh Harding shut the Oilers out last season and has allowed one goal in two starts this year.
Edmonton – Sheldon Souray
(shoulder) is out. Ethan Moreau (foot) is out. Joni Pitkanen (knee) is out; Minnesota – Dominic Moore (abdominal strain) is day-to-day. Pavol Demitra (groin) is questionable.
Heading into last night’s game in Calgary, Minnesota had allowed only four even strength goals all season and outscored its opponents 15-4 at even strength. Overall, Minnesota had allowed only 11 goals total which was the fewest in the NHL by far but what a difference a game makes. The Wild allowed four even strength goals in last night's game alone and are now tied with Philadelphia for second in the League in goals allowed with 16... The Wild have only led one game all season by more than two goals and that was last night, a game they ended up losing. It was also only the second game in the last 26 outings that goaltender Niklas Backstrom lost when leading at any point during the game.
Smid makes his return to the NHL tonight -
After being recalled yesterday from the Springfield Falcons of the American Hockey League, Ladislav Smid
plays his first game of the NHL season tonight for the Oilers. ...more
Souray placed on NHL IR; Smid recalled -
The Edmonton Oilers have placed defenceman Sheldon Souray
on the NHL Injured Reserve List and recalled defenceman Ladislav Smid
from the Springfield Falcons of the American Hockey League. ...more
Interviews from Wednesday...
The Other Side
- Tonight's Game Preview from Wild.com Wild line combinations, keys to the game and stats. ...more
- Wild TV Ratings Soaring As the Minnesota Wild's record improves with each game, so do the team's television ratings on KSTC TV and FSN North. ...more
- Best Wild Week Ever An entertaining look back at the week that was in The State of Hockey. ...more
Item of the Game
Each game, a different item is featured at The Oilers Store at Rexall Place.
Tonight's item is a Youth Challenger Top (Reg: $29.99, Now $14.99).
From the Fans
Odds and Ends
- VIDEO: Behind the scenes at the 2007 Oilers Scotiabank Homecoming Luncheon. WATCH
- VIDEO: Oil fans in Flames country - Oilers fans discuss the pros and cons of living in Calgary. WATCH