Oilers meet Blackhawks on Pay Per View
EDMONTON OILERS (4-0-0) at
CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS (2-2-2)
Start Time: 7:08 p.m. MDT
Television: Oilers PPV (click to order)
Radio: 630 CHED, Oilers Radio Network and online at edmontonoilers.com.
by Marc Ciampa | edmontonoilers.com
|THE ESSENTIALS FOR TONIGHT
The Edmonton Oilers kick off a four-game road trip tonight in the Windy City where they will face the Chicago Blackhawks.
Already off to their best start since 1985-86, the Oilers look to improve to 5-0-0 with a win tonight.
The team is coming off back-to-back wins over the Calgary Flames with the most recent coming on Saturday night. With the team trailing 2-0 in the second period, a fight by Steve MacIntyre
ignited the club and was followed shortly with goals by Ethan Moreau and Andrew Cogliano
. Fernando Pisani added the winner in the third.
Chicago has not had the start everyone expected them to have this season. After stumbling out of the gate at 1-2-1, the team fired head coach Denis Savard.
This year, Edmonton takes on Chicago four times as Conference rivals. This is the first of four meetings.
Just The Facts...
LINEUP UPDATE (5:31 PM):
Steve Staios has returned to Edmonton due to a personal matter which means Sheldon Souray
draws back into the lineup.
LINEUP UPDATES (1:03 PM):
Dwayne Roloson will be starting in goal tonight. Sam Gagner
also returns to the lineup.
OILERS TO WATCH:
Edmonton's scoring leaders have some surprising names at the top of the list right now. Despite missing the last game due to injury, Sheldon Souray
has four points in three games... Also with four points so far on the season for the Oilers: Ethan Moreau, Ales Hemsky
and Denis Grebeshkov... The Oilers' captain Moreau also leads the team in plus/minus at +4. Last season he had only nine points total through 25 games.
BLACKHAWKS TO WATCH:
Plenty of eyes will be behind the bench of the Blackhawks tonight as Head Coach Joel Quenneville leads the troops for the second time this season. Quenneville replaced Denis Savard earlier this week following a 1-2-1 start by the team. His debut was a 4-2 win over Vancouver... Sam Gagner
's former linemate Patrick Kane was NHL rookie of the year last season. Kane is off to a great start with four goals and eight points in six games. Six of those points were registered in the last two games... After a breakout season last year with 36 goals and 62 points, Patrick Sharp is tied with Kane for the team lead with four goals and eight points. 22-year-old rookie Kris Versteeg has points in all but one game this season for the 'Hawks. He has six in total through six games. He had four points in 13 games last season.
Edmonton – Sam Gagner
(leg) is probable. Sheldon Souray
(charley horse) is questionable; Chicago – Niklas Hjalmarsson (upper body) is out.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman will be in attendance at tonight's game... From October 13 to November 16, the Chicago Blackhawks play 11 of 14 games on home ice... Contrasting to that, the Oilers from October 12 to November 13 play 12 of 15 away from home... Sharp had three goals in four games last season in games between the two clubs to lead Chicago. Leading the charge for Edmonton was Dustin Penner
, who also had three goals... Both Chicago goaltenders - Cristobal Huet and Nikolai Khabibulin
- have recorded a 1-1-1 mark with a 2.61 goals-against average in three appearances apiece this season.
- Power forward Erik Cole – a 6-foot-2, 205 pound left winger who hits anything that moves and can put the puck in the net – is expected to bring a strong presence to the ice this season for the Edmonton Oilers. ...more
Mural celebrates Joey Moss
- One of the brightest stars of the Edmonton Oilers organization was honoured in a big way Monday afternoon, and a crowd of family, friends, and fans braved a crisp fall wind to join in the celebration. ...more
The Other Side
- Hockey Fights Cancer Awareness Night - Blackhawk Charities will donate all proceeds from tonight’s 50/50 raffle and silent auction to local organizations fighting cancer. The Blackhawks showed support at the "Making Strides Against Breast Cancer" event last Sunday. Video | ...more
- Campbell Mic'ed Up/Goals of the Week - Comcast Sportsnet mic'd up Brian Campbell for Sunday's win against Vancouver. Campbell Mic'd Up ... Plus, you knew Martin Havlat's goal against Phoenix would make the Goals of the Week. But where did it rank? Goals | ...more
Odds and Ends
From the Wire (AP)
Considering the late surge the Edmonton Oilers put together to conclude last season, it shouldn't be too surprising that they're off to one of the best starts in the NHL thus far.
The unbeaten Oilers look for their fifth straight victory on Wednesday, when they kick off a three-game road trip against the Chicago Blackhawks.
Edmonton (4-0-0) went 14-5-1 over the final five weeks of 2007-08, but missed the playoffs for a second straight season as it finished tied for ninth in the Western Conference with Chicago (2-2-2) and Vancouver.
But despite failing to come away with a postseason berth, the Oilers carried their positive momentum into the new season as they've opened with four straight victories for the first time since starting 5-0-0 in 1985-86.
Ethan Moreau and Fernando Pisani each had a goal and an assist during a three-goal second period as the Oilers topped visiting Calgary 3-2 on Saturday.
Andrew Cogliano notched his second goal of the season, but indicated that 28-year-old rookie Steve MacIntyre's punishing hit and subsequent fight sparked the club's offensive barrage.
"That was a momentum turner for us," Cogliano said. "We were joking on the bench that we hadn't seen a hit like that in a long time. The guy that took that hit, we feel bad for him. And then he wins the fight right afterward. It was a big boost for the team and something we didn't have last year."
Edmonton is one of two remaining undefeated teams in the West along with Minnesota.
The Oilers will try to contain a Chicago team that has won two of its last three games.
Patrick Sharp scored twice and added an assist, while Patrick Kane had a goal and two assists in a 4-2 victory over visiting Vancouver on Sunday.
It was the Blackhawks' first win under Joel Quenneville, who replaced the fired Denis Savard on Thursday and watched his team build a two-goal lead before an eventual 4-3 shootout loss in St. Louis two nights later.
"I liked the response," Quenneville said. "It was a real emotional loss for us (in St. Louis). There's a big picture that's very bright here.
"The skill level of our kids will get better and better. But as a coach, we're in a short-term business. We want to win hockey games."
Kane - the reigning Calder Trophy winner - appears to have benefited from Quenneville's presence, providing three goals and three assists since the coaching change.
He and Sharp - tied for the team lead with eight points apiece - converted two of the Blackhawks' five power-play chances after entering Sunday's game 2-for-22 with the man-advantage.
Goaltender Cristobal Huet made 28 saves Sunday for his first victory with Chicago, and has compiled a 2.03 goals-against average in splitting two games versus Edmonton.
Huet signed a four-year, $24.45 million free-agent contract on July 1, but continues to share the net with Nikolai Khabibulin, who is 5-1-2 with a 1.94 GAA in his last nine matchups against the Oilers.
Meanwhile, the Oilers' Mathieu Garon, who made 31 saves versus Calgary, is 6-2-0 with a 2.37 GAA in eight all-time games versus Chicago.
The Oilers went 3-1-0 in last season's series versus the Blackhawks, winning once in two tries at the United Center.