Oilers battle Red Wings on Pay Per View
DETROIT RED WINGS (12-2-3) at
EDMONTON OILERS (9-8-2)
Start Time: 7:08 p.m. MST
Television: Molson Canadian Oilers Pay Per View | Order Now
Radio: 630 CHED, Oilers Radio Network and online at edmontonoilers.com.
Today's Game Notes
by Nick Conrad | edmontonoilers.com
|THE ESSENTIALS FOR TONIGHT
There was a feeling in Oilertown; a feeling that this Edmonton team was on a precarious precipice.
Players were mired in scoring slumps, tensions were heightened as players sat out games and the team lost Fernando Pisani to a broken ankle.
While those feelings may not be completely dispelled, a new aura of positivism has crept back into the fold. A seven goal offensive explosion will tend to do that.
On Tuesday, after being shut out by Detroit on Monday, the Oilers came together and destroyed the Blue Jackets. Shawn Horcoff
had three points; Ales Hemsky
has three assists; Dustin Penner
scored his fourth goal in his first game back from a mandatory (and much publicized) two-game break; Dwayne Roloson made 37 saves. And then there was Sheldon Souray
“He’s worth the price of admission,” Craig MacTavish said.
“Showcase” Sheldon Souray
had a goal and two assists to bring his scoring total to 6-8-14—tied for second among defencemen in goals and tied for fifth among defencemen in points.
The Oilers will need to ride the offensive wave into Rexall Place if they’re to get revenge against the Wings tonight.
The Red Wings come into Edmonton with a league-low two regulation losses and are second in the Western Conference with 27 points.
Edmonton will have a five-day break after tonight’s tilt, their longest of the season excluding the All-Star break.
Just The Facts...
LINEUP UPDATE: Ladislav Smid
draws back into the lineup tonight but will be in an unfamiliar position - left wing. He will play alongside Kyle Brodziak and Marc Pouliot... Dwayne Roloson gets the start in goal once again.
OILERS TO WATCH:
Ethan Moreau leads the Oilers in points at home this season (2-3-5)…Dustin Penner
is out to prove his worth. Two of his four goals on the season have come at Rexall…Ales Hemsky
’s hot hand will need to be hot tonight. He’s coming off a three-assist performance.
RED WINGS TO WATCH:
Johan Franzen scored a goal and an assist on Monday vs. the Oilers…Tomas Holmstrom was his usual pestering self on Monday. He’s got seven goals this year…Marian Hossa is always a threat. He’s got 10 goals and 23 points this season though he was pointless on six shots last game vs. Edmonton.
Edmonton – Ladislav Smid
(concussion) is out. Steve MacIntyre
(orbital bone) is out. Fernando Pisani (broken ankle) is out; Detroit – Chris Chelios (tibia) is out. Dan Cleary (eye infection) is questionable.
Edmonton has not lost the season series versus Detroit over the last three seasons (2005-06 to 2007-08)…The Oilers are 7-5-1 (.577) in the last 13 regular season games vs. the Red Wings since 2005-06, including 4-1-1 (21-18) in six games at Rexall Place…Tuesday’s game vs. Columbus was the first time the Oilers have scored seven or more goals in a road game since they won 7-6 at Vancouver on Dec. 21, 2005.
Horcoff's Hereos launches today
- The Oilers assistant captain has purchased a block of tickets that has been donated to local charities in Oil Country. For 20 of the Oilers remaining 36 home games this season - beginning with Thursday night’s game against the Detroit Red Wings - the “HORCOFF’S HEROES” program will see 15 children experience an NHL game in person as a guest of Horcoff and the Oilers. ...more
The Other Side
- Three Questions: Wings-Oilers - Michael Caples breaks down the match-up ...more
From the Fans
Odds and Ends
- Ask an Oiler: Ethan Moreau - The next guest on Ask an Oiler will be Oilers captain Ethan Moreau. Follow the link to ask Moreau a question today! | Blog: How to 'Ask an Oiler' | ...more
- 5 Questions with Sam Gagner - What do Bob Barker and Donatello have in common? If you're Sam Gagner, they both rank at the top of his must-see TV list. Click the link for Sam's answers to three other hard-hitting questions. ...more
- Skills Competition Tickets now on sale! - The Edmonton Oilers Skill competition, powered by McDonald’s, skates into Rexall Place January 4th 2009 at 1 pm. Tickets are now on sale. The event sold out last year so get yours today! | Tickets | Skills Competition Video Channel ...more
From the Wire (AP)
The Edmonton Oilers face the tough task of slowing down the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday at home, something they couldn't do earlier in the week in Detroit.
The Red Wings (12-2-3) are riding a three-game winning streak as they open a three-game road trip, and have gone 5-0-1 in their last six. If not for a blown three-goal lead in the third period Nov. 11 against Pittsburgh, Detroit could have made it six in a row with Monday's 4-0 victory over the Oilers (9-8-2).
With backup goalie - and former Oiler - Ty Conklin stopping 21 shots, the Red Wings earned their first shutout of the season. Conklin and Chris Osgood have allowed eight goals in the last five victories.
Detroit has leaned on Conklin (5-1-0, 2.47 goals-against average) lately, giving him consecutive starts. He has responded by winning both and giving up two goals.
"It's nice for everybody. We've been scoring a lot of goals and winning a lot of games, but we want to be better in our end and cut down the number of goals," Conklin said. "This is most probably as solid of a 60-minute effort, especially defensively, as we've had all year."
Should Conklin get a third straight start, he will look for his second win in three tries over Edmonton, where he spent the first three seasons of his career. In his only other meeting with the Oilers on Jan. 31, 2007, he tied a career high by giving up five goals in a 5-2 loss for the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Osgood has gone 16-8-3 with four ties and a 2.26 GAA versus the Oilers. His GAA is 2.60 in Edmonton, where Osgood has a 6-5-2 mark with one tie.
Red Wings right wing Johan Franzen scored for the fifth straight game Monday and fourth since returning from a sprained left knee on Nov. 11. Defenseman Niklas Kronwall extended his point streak to four games with a goal and an assist, while Henrik Zetterberg added two assists.
It was the first time Franzen scored in his last eight games against the Oilers, but Zetterberg has 12 goals and seven assists in the last 18 meetings, including a five-game goal streak in the 2006 playoffs.
Marian Hossa, who leads the Red Wings with 23 points, saw a streak of four consecutive two-point games end Monday.
Edmonton rebounded from that Detroit loss with a 7-2 win Tuesday at Columbus. Seven players contributed to the season-high seven goals, and the victory snapped a three-game losing streak for the Oilers, who have gone 3-4-1 over their last eight.
"We haven't won one like that this year," Edmonton coach Craig MacTavish said. "We capitalized on our all chances after we didn't capitalize on any (versus Detroit)."
Edmonton, near the bottom of the NHL in penalty killing at 75.9 percent, faces one of the league's best power-play units in the Red Wings (32.4). The Oilers have allowed six power-play goals in their last four games and Detroit has scored at least one in four consecutive contests, going 7-for-19 over that span.
The Red Wings have gone 8-for-30 on the power play in the last six meetings with the Oilers, scoring at least once with the man advantage in each game.
Detroit and Edmonton have split their last four matchups with both of the Oilers' wins coming 4-3 in a shootout.