OTTAWA SENATORS (12-17-5) at
EDMONTON OILERS (17-14-3)
Start Time: 8:08 p.m. MST
Television: Rogers Sportsnet West (HD)
Radio: 630 CHED, Oilers Radio Network and online at edmontonoilers.com.
Today's Game Notes | Oilers/Senators Head-to-Head | Stats Comparison
LINEUP UPDATES: Mathieu Garon gets the start in net for the Oilers, his first appearance since Edmonton's 9-2 loss to Chicago two weeks ago... After absorbing a hit from Nashville's Jordin Tootoo on Sunday, Ales Hemsky will not play tonight and likely won't play tomorrow night in Calgary.
by Nick Conrad | edmontonoilers.com
|THE ESSENTIALS FOR TONIGHT
While the Oilers were busy busting a nine game Nashville Predator losing streak, their opponent for tonight was extending their road losing streak to 12 games.
The Edmonton Oilers (17-14-3) ran their win streak to three games Sunday night and will go for a season-long tying fourth straight win tonight against the reeling Ottawa Senators (12-17-5).
Ottawa suffered their twelfth straight road loss with their latest defeat coming at the hands of the Vancouver Canucks and in shutout fashion to boot. The Senators are an NHL-worst 3-11-2 on the road and have one win their last six games and a current three-game losing streak.
Edmonton is facing Ottawa at Rexall for the first time since Jan. 14, 2006 when they lost 5-3 despite a Marc-Andre Bergeron hattrick.
The Oilers last played Ottawa Feb. 20, 2007 at Scotiabank Place.
The Oilers now have seven points in their last four games. Edmonton is tied with Colorado and Nashville with 37 points but sit in eighth spot with a game in hand.
The Oilers face the Flames tomorrow for a New Years Eve Battle of Alberta at the Saddledome in Calgary.
Just The Facts...
OILERS TO WATCH:
Erik Cole is on a roll. The power forward was powerful the last two games and potted a goal and two helpers Sunday night versus the Predators...Sam Gagner
is coming off possibly his best game of the season on Sunday and was in tune with Cole all night. He scored his third goal of the season...Dustin Penner
played hard, picked up an assist and almost scored on a dipsy-doodle versus the Preds last game.
SENATORS TO WATCH:
Daniel Alfredsson hasn’t been quite as electric as in the past, scoring 9-21-30 in 33 games but is still a point-per-game player and dangerous on any night...Dany Heatley leads the Sens in points and goals scoring 16-17-33 in 34 games and has six points in six games vs. Edmonton...Jason Spezza has taken some heat this year but is second on the team with 14 goals and third with 26 points.
(orbital bone) is out; Fernando Pisani (ankle) is out. Senators—Anton Volchenhov (upperbody) is out; Filip Kuba (groin) is questionable; Cody Bass (upper body) is out.
Tonight’s game is the first of two games between the Oilers and Senators this season…the teams will meet again in Ottawa on March 5th…Edmonton leads the all-time series versus Ottawa as the Oilers are 12-6-4-1 (W-L-T-OL) in 23 games since the Senators joined the NHL in 1992-93…Edmonton is 7-3-2-0 at Rexall Place and 5-3-2-1 at Ottawa…Ottawa has won the last two meetings with the Oilers dating back to 2005-06…the Oilers bring a three-game winning streak into tonight’s game…Edmonton is 3-0-0 from December 22nd to 28th following wins over Phoenix (W. 4-2, Dec. 22), Vancouver (W. 3-2, Dec. 26) and Nashville (W. 5-2, Dec. 28)…a win tonight over the Senators would equal the Oilers longest winning streak of the season…the Oilers opened the season with a four game winning streak from October 12th to 18th…Edmonton’s 5-2 victory over Nashville on Sunday ended a nine-game losing streak against the Predators…the Oilers had not defeated Nashville since a 3-2 OT victory on March 5, 2006....The longest-serving captain in Oiler history makes his way back to Edmonton tonight. Jason Smith, who led the Oilers for five seasons over six years, will lace up against his former team for the second time since being dealt in 2006-07 to the Flyers.
Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers assigned to Springfield
- The Edmonton Oilers have assigned goaltender Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers to the Springfield Falcons of the American Hockey League on a two-week conditioning stint. ...more
The Other Side
- Canada sinks Germans for 3-0 start - A first-period goal by Zach Boychuk (11) got Team Canada started on the way to a 5-1 victory over Germany on Monday night at Scotiabank Place, giving the host country a perfect 3-0-0 record at the 2009 IIHF World Junior Championship. ...more
- Sens must pull together now - Jason Spezza and the Senators face another stern road test Tuesday night in Edmonton against the Oilers. Head coach Craig Hartsburg says it'll take a collective team effort to produce a win. ...more
Odds and Ends
- 5 Questions with Dwayne Roloson - A certain cat, mouse, and golf nut named Bob are among Dwayne Roloson's favourite things. Click the link to check out his answers to five frequently (or not-so frequently) asked fan questions. ...more
- Oilers fans invade Conan - In this edition of The Link, Edmonton Oilers fans paid a visit to Conan O'Brien and derailed the show a little bit. ...more
- How well do you know Dustin Penner? - In this edition of The Link, we quizzed Shawn Horcoff, Robert Nilsson and Kyle Brodziak on teammate Dustin Penner. ...more
From the Wire (AP)
The road has been unkind to the Ottawa Senators for nearly two months. It doesn't appear to get much better Tuesday when their eight-game trip continues at Edmonton, where the Oilers will try to match a season high with their fourth consecutive victory.
The Senators (12-17-5) have gone 0-10-2 outside Ottawa since a 2-1 victory at Florida on Oct. 30. Their three victories and eight points from all road games are the fewest in the NHL, and Ottawa is currently mired in its worst road losing streak since dropping an NHL-record 38 straight in its inaugural 1992-93 season.
Ottawa has yet to record a point through three games on the road trip following Sunday's 3-0 loss at Vancouver. The Senators, who will be on the road until mid-January while the world junior championship is played at Scotiabank Place, were outshot 17-5 in the first period as they were shut out for the third time this season - all on the road.
"We've got to be ready. We came out and made some mistakes and before we knew it we were down," Senators center Mike Fisher said. "It's frustrating. There's no question. But we have to stick with it as a group and find a way to get wins."
The Senators - last in the NHL with 80 goals - have been porous defensively, giving up 28 in their last six games. About the only positive they carry into this game is their penalty kill, which has not allowed a goal in 11 opportunities over the last two games.
As the Senators try to solve their road woes, the Oilers (17-14-3) enter this game trying to equal their longest winning streak of the season, which was established with their 4-0 start. Coach Craig MacTavish was pleased with the effort in Edmonton's last game, a 5-2 victory over Nashville on Sunday that also ended a nine-game losing streak to the Predators.
"There were a lot of things about tonight that were the things we anticipated seeing at the beginning of the year," MacTavish said. "There was lots of skill, lots of puck movement. We only got the one goal on the power play, but we were very effective on it. It was one of our better efforts of the year.
"That's the type of game that we thought we would see more of. It's taken a considerable amount of time but we are starting to move in a positive direction in terms of the way we are playing."
The Oilers have scored at least one power-play goal in six straight games, going 8-for-37 with the man advantage. Defenseman Sheldon Souray scored a power-play goal for the third straight game, and seven of his team-high 11 tallies have come with Edmonton up a man.
Goaltender Dwayne Roloson also has played well during the winning streak, turning aside 81 of 87 shots in the three victories. But his last game against the Senators was a forgetful one, giving up six goals in a 6-1 loss while playing for the Minnesota Wild on Jan. 16, 2006.
The teams have not played since Ottawa won 4-3 in a shootout on Feb. 20, 2007.