ST. LOUIS BLUES (15-9-1) at
EDMONTON OILERS (13-15-1)
7:08 p.m. MST
Rogers Sportsnet West (HD)
630 CHED, Oilers Radio Network and online at edmontonoilers.com.
Game Notes | Edmonton/St. Louis Stats Comparison | Player Head-to-Head Statistics
With an eye on finishing their homestand strong, the Edmonton Oilers look to head out on a three-game road trip with a win tonight versus the St. Louis Blues.
St. Louis has been red hot of late, with a record of 8-2-1 in their last 11 games. However, their last game was a 3-1 loss in Calgary versus the Flames on Tuesday night.
After starting the season 7-7-0, the Blues have taken off and now sit in a tie for sixth place in the tight Western Conference.
However, the Oilers have played well lately and are within four points of the Blues currently. Edmonton had won three straight and five of six before Wednesday’s loss to the Penguins. As a result of their success, they’ve moved up the standings.
This is Edmonton’s first of four meetings with St. Louis this season. Last year, St. Louis won three of four meetings including one in overtime.
Just The Facts...
LINEUP UPDATE (12:44 PM):
Dick Tarnstrom will not play tonight.
LINEUP UPDATE (11:11 AM): Liam Reddox
will be making his NHL debut tonight and Patrick Thoresen returns to the lineup with Raffi Torres and Jarret Stoll healthy scratches. Mathieu Garon gets the start in goal tonight.
OILERS TO WATCH: Liam Reddox
will make his NHL debut tonight for the Oilers. In 22 games with the Falcons, he has 6 goals and 19 points with a +6 rating... Patrick Thoresen comes back into the lineup after scoring a goal in his last game Monday vs. Los Angeles... On Wednesday, Edmonton’s line of Sam Gagner
, Robert Nilsson and Fernando Pisani did well, combining for six shots on goal and two points. Nilsson’s goal extended his scoring streak to a career high of four straight games. It matched his only other four-game scoring streak, reached March 19 to 25, 2006 while with the New York Islanders… Pisani played 17:19 Wednesday, the most in three games since returning from his illness… Shawn Horcoff
has picked up a point in five straight outings, registering eight points (three goals) in those games… Joni Pitkanen has registered at least a point in three straight games, with two goals and two assists.
BLUES TO WATCH:
Paul Kariya has been a great off-season addition for the Blues. So far, in 25 games he has 25 points… Brad Boyes is on pace to shatter his career high of 26 goals. Through 25 games, Boyes already has 15 which puts him on pace for 49 on the year… After scoring 27 goals in his second NHL season last year, Lee Stempniak has struggled to light the lamp this season. He only scored his fourth goal Tuesday against Calgary but is fourth on the Blues in points with 14… Former Oilers captain Doug Weight is still looking for his first goal of the season. He has six assists through 25 games.
Edmonton – Geoff Sanderson (back) is out. Sheldon Souray
(shoulder) is out. Ethan Moreau (foot) is out. Matt Greene (ankle) is out. Dick Tarnstrom (concussion) is questionable; St. Louis – Martin Rucinsky (hand) is out. Manny Legace (right knee) is out.
If Raffi Torres doesn't play tonight, his iron man streak will end at 215 games. He has played every Oilers game from February 21, 2004 to the present - the 15th longest streak in Oilers history... The Oilers are 2-3-0 against the Central Division this season... Edmonton is now 5th in the league in terms of fewest average penalty minutes per game at 12.0... St. Louis ranks second in the NHL on the penalty kill (90.0%), killing 99 of 111 penalties this season. They’ve been even better lately, killing 45 of their last 49 penalties… When scoring three or more goals in a game, the Blues are 14-0-0… St. Louis is 7-1-0 when leading after one period and 10-0-0 when leading after two periods. Their only loss came Tuesday against Calgary. Edmonton is 0-12-0 when trailing after two and 6-1-1 when leading after 40 minutes. The Oilers' only loss when leading after two periods came in their last game as well… Five times this year, the Blues have scored a goal within the opening minute of a game. Most recently, Lee Stempniak scored 36 seconds into Tuesday’s game.
- Craig MacTavish, Jarret Stoll, Liam Reddox, Patrick Thoresen & Mathieu Garon talk about MacTavish's decision to make Stoll and Torres healthy scratches tonight vs.the Blues. 700K
Oilers recall Liam Reddox from Springfield; Sanderson placed on NHL IR -
The Edmonton Oilers have placed forward Geoff Sanderson on the National Hockey League Injured Reserve List and recalled forward Liam Reddox
from the Springfield Falcons of the American Hockey League. ...more
The Other Side
- Blues place Legace on Injured Reserve - After tweaking his right knee in warmups before the Dec. 4 game against Calgary, goaltender Manny Legace has been placed on injured reserve. The Blues have recalled goaltender Marek Schwarz from the Peoria Rivermen. ...more
Odds and Ends
- Top 3 Plays of the Week - Sam Gagner's shootout goal on Monday night against the Los Angeles Kings was voted by the fans as the Play of the Week from Nov. 26 to Dec. 3 with 52.6% of the vote. To see the play again or see which other plays made the top 3, follow the link. ...more
- Listen to a Podcast of Matt Greene on Oilers Live - Oilers defenceman Matt Greene was today's guest on Oilers Live, answering questions submitted throughout the week by fans. If you missed the show, you can still listen to the podcast by following the link. ...more
From the Wire
Hannu Toivonen has been a solid backup goaltender in his first season with the St. Louis Blues, but he might need to be more than that if starter Manny Legace's recent injury keeps him out for an extended period of time.
Toivonen will likely make his third straight start Friday night when the Blues visit the Edmonton Oilers in the second stop on their three-game, western road trip.
Toivonen, whom the Blues acquired in a July trade with Boston, made an emergency start in St. Louis' 3-1 loss at Calgary on Tuesday night after Legace injured his right knee during pregame warmups.
The veteran Legace is 11-6-1 with a 2.22 goals-against average and a big reason the Blues (15-9-1) are one of the Western Conference's top teams through the first two months of the season. However, Legace's status for Friday and Sunday's game at Colorado remains uncertain after he re-injured the same knee her underwent surgery on last spring.
Toivonen, who started 33 games in his first two NHL seasons with the Bruins, is 4-3-0 with a 1.99 GAA and a .927 save percentage for St. Louis.
He was in net for St. Louis' 3-1 home win over Chicago on Saturday, as Legace was given the night off in the second of back-to-back contests. Pressed into action Tuesday, Toivonen made 34 saves, but allowed two goals in a second period when Calgary outshot the Blues 20-2.
"It sucks, it really does, but it's gone now, there's nothing you can about it, you have to learn from it and see what I can do better next time," said Toivonen, who made 36 saves to win his only previous start versus Edmonton, 5-4 on Dec. 3, 2005.
Tuesday's defeat was St. Louis' first regulation loss in six games.
"We got off to a good start then rested on our laurels after the first 12 minutes," said St. Louis coach Andy Murray, whose team is 8-2-1 since losing a season-high three straight contests Nov. 3-9.
Right wing Lee Stempniak scored a goal in his third straight game. He has fared well in eight career games versus Edmonton, with five goals and two assists.
The Blues went 3-1-0 versus the Oilers last season and have won three of their last four trips to Edmonton.
The Oilers (13-15-1) had their three-game winning streak snapped Wednesday with a 4-2 home loss to Pittsburgh. Edmonton was unable to hold a 2-0 lead, as it got outshot 31-19.
"I thought we sat back and tried to hold the lead too much," Oilers rookie forward Sam Gagner said. "It's something we have to improve upon."
Shawn Horcoff scored his team-leading 12th goal, giving him three goals and five assists during a five-game point streak. The center had a goal and five assists in four contests versus St. Louis in 2006-07.
Oilers goalie Dwayne Roloson made 27 saves Wednesday, but lost for the second time in three starts. He's also lost two of three starts against St. Louis since coming to Edmonton from Minnesota in 2005-06.