Oilers complete seven-game trip against the Rangers
EDMONTON OILERS (7-6-1) at
NEW YORK RANGERS (11-5-1)
Start Time: 5:08 p.m. MST
Television: Sportsnet (HD)
Radio: 630 CHED, Oilers Radio Network and online at edmontonoilers.com.
Today's Game Notes
by Nick Conrad | edmontonoilers.com
|THE ESSENTIALS FOR TONIGHT
Round and round she goes, who’ll be the stopper, no one knows. Does Mathieu Garon still own the number one spot? Has Roli missed his chance to play back into top form? Has Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers sparked images of a hotshot young goalie? Well, he's done enough to get the call again tonight in New York.
After making 37 saves in his stellar second NHL performance (including scoring his first NHL point, an assist on Ales Hemsky
’s goal), Drouin-Deslauriers will jump at the chance to try it all again, this time, across the river in the Big Apple.
"I'm very glad to start again tonight," Drouin-Deslauriers said. "Yesterday was yesterday ...I have to prove myself today again and I'm going to have to prove myself tomorrow but for now, I try to focus on what I have to do today."
And Drouin-Deslauriers isn’t planning on changing anything now that his stock may be rising.
“I always (do) the same preparation,” he said. “That’s how I like it and that’s how it works...”
He and the Oilers will try and make it work against one of the top teams in the NHL. The New York Rangers, despite having lost three of their last four, are second in the league with 23 points and own a 7-3 record at home.
Tonight’s matchup marks the end of Edmonton’s epic seven-game road trip. They’ll have two days of rest before taking on Toronto at home in Rexall Place.
The last time Edmonton and New York faced off, the Oilers won 5-4 in a shootout at Rexall Place on Jan. 5.
Just The Facts...
Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers will be the starter in goal once again tonight.
OILERS TO WATCH: Ales Hemsky
is dangling more than 80’s earrings and lately, he’s rippling the mesh. He’s got five goals in four games and feelin’ it. Sam Gagner
nearly had his first goal of the year. Tonight’s the night to break the bank or at least net a couple of assists...The fourth line is benefitting from a good mix of speed and rough stuff. Kyle Brodziak might be the beneficiary.
RANGERS TO WATCH:
Nikolai Zherdev leads the Rangers with 14 points and boasts a torrid +10 rating...Markus Naslund is off to a great start to the season, scoring 5-7-12. He’s no stranger to the Oilers from the endless Northwest Division battles and has scored 29 goals and 35 assists for 64 points in 69 games players versus Edmonton.
Edmonton – Steve MacIntyre
is doubtful. Ladislav Smid
is doubtful; NY Rangers – The Rangers are healthy.
The Oilers haven’t won at Madison Square Garden since a 5-4 victory on Nov. 10, 2003. Former Oiler and Ranger, Glenn Anderson, will be inducted into the Hall of Fame along with Igor Larionov tonight.
Sunday's Post-Game Video:
Sunday's Post-Game Audio:
The Other Side
- Rangers aiming to extend hex over Oilers - The last time Edmonton came to The Garden, it was Mark Messier Night -- an evening that ended with a big Blueshirts win. When the Oilers return to MSG tonight, they'll be looking for a rare victory, which they have only earned at MSG twice since 1993. ...more
- Hear that roar of the MSG Crowd Cam - When it comes to speaking on camera, Rangers fans aren't afraid to say what's on their minds. We took the MSG Crowd Cam right into the arena earlier this week to find out how and why the Garden Faithful go about proclaiming "I am a Ranger". ...more
Odds and Ends
- Anderson goes into the Hall tonight - Glenn Anderson said his hatred of losing overcame his love of winning. The formula certainly worked as Anderson won 6 Stanley Cups and will be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame tonight. ...more
- 5 Questions with Tom Gilbert - Throw an around-the-world race, dinner plans, or a baseball at Tom Gilbert and he'd have a pretty good idea of how to react. Click the link to check out his answers to five frequently-asked questions. ...more
From the Wire (AP)
Though it hasn't been easy, the Edmonton Oilers have a chance to finish their longest road stretch of the season with a winning record.
The Oilers try for a second consecutive victory when they conclude their seven-game trip against the New York Rangers on Monday night.
After dropping a pair of 5-4 decisions at Columbus and Pittsburgh, Edmonton (7-6-1) won 2-1 at New Jersey on Sunday to improve to 3-3 on a trip that started with a 3-1 loss at Nashville on Oct. 31.
The Oilers, who have scored 19 goals while allowing 19 on their current trip, won't have an easy task against New York (11-5-1), the Eastern Conference's top team with 23 points and a 7-3-0 record at Madison Square Garden.
Ales Hemsky had a goal with an assist, defenseman Sheldon Souray scored his fifth and Lubomir Visnovsky added two assists for the Oilers.
Hemsky, the team's leading scorer with 15 points, has scored all five of his goals over the last four games and has recorded at least one point in six consecutive contests. Souray has a goal in three of his last four contests and five points during that span.
Hemsky has a goal and four assists in three career games versus the Rangers.
It's uncertain who will be in net for the Oilers in this contest as they continue their three-goalie rotation featuring Mathieu Garon and Dwayne Roloson. Rookie Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers could get another look after making 37 saves against the Devils for his second victory in as many starts. On Thursday at Pittsburgh, Drouin-Deslauriers replaced Garon, who gave up five goals on 20 shots.
"I try to not focus on (increased playing time)," Drouin-Deslauriers said. "I try to focus on what I can control. I prepare myself like I'm playing every night even if I'm not."
Garon has lost four in a row to fall to 3-4-0 with a 3.68 goals-against average, but is 2-0-0 with a 1.45 GAA against New York. He was in net for Edmonton's 3-2 shootout victory over the Rangers on Jan. 5 in the teams' most recent meeting.
Roloson allowed five goals at Columbus on Wednesday and is 2-2-1 with a 2.78 GAA on the season and 1-3-0 with two ties and a 2.25 GAA versus New York.
The Rangers may be the points leader in the East, but they have lost three of four after falling 3-1 at Washington on Saturday.
After going eight games without a goal, Aaron Voros scored his team-leading sixth for New York, which has been held to a four goals in its three losses this month. The Rangers won 5-2 over Tampa Bay on Thursday for its lone win in November.
Henrik Lundqvist made 25 saves Saturday and has not allowed more than two goals in his last eight starts. He is 9-4-1 with a 2.00 GAA on the season and 1-0-1 with a 2.90 GAA against Edmonton.
"We can't keep throwing these great performances by Hank away," Voros told the Rangers' official Web site. "We've got to capitalize. If he's going to keep the puck out of the net for us, we've got to get him some goal support and do our end of the bargain by getting shots on net."
Though Edmonton won the most recent meeting, New York has been victorious in five of the last six games between the teams at MSG.