Preview: Oilers at Senators
EDMONTON OILERS (31-26-6) at
OTTAWA SENATORS (23-29-10)
Start Time: 5:38 p.m. MST
Television: Rogers Sportsnet West
Radio: 630 CHED, Oilers Radio Network and online at edmontonoilers.com.
Today's Game Notes | Oilers/Senators Head-to-Head | Stats Comparison
LINEUP UPDATE: Ales Kotalik will make his Oilers debut on the top line on the left side playing with Shawn Horcoff and Ales Hemsky... Patrick O'Sullivan will play alongside Marc Pouliot and Sam Gagner... Dustin Penner is on the third line with Andrew Cogliano and Fernando Pisani... J.F. Jacques remains in the lineup and on the fourth line with Kyle Brodziak and Zack Stortini... Robert Nilsson sits this one out again with Steve MacIntyre and Liam Reddox the other healthy scratches.
|Marc Pouliot battles for the puck in front of the Senators net. (photo: Matthew Manor/EOHC)
by Marc Ciampa | edmontonoilers.com
|THE ESSENTIALS FOR TONIGHT
The Edmonton Oilers take their newly-revamped lineup into Ottawa tonight as the stretch run officially begins one day after the trade deadline.
The Oilers right now sit in a tie for seventh place in the Western Conference along with Nashville and Anaheim.
This is the second game of a four-game road trip for Edmonton which opened with a 6-5 overtime loss to the Predators on Tuesday night. The Oilers lineup will see a couple of new faces with recently acquired Patrick O'Sullivan and Ales Kotalik suiting up. O'Sullivan will wear number 19 and Kotalik will wear 21.
After winning three straight games in mid-February, the Oilers have only won twice over their past seven (2-3-2). They'll look to get that turned around in a hurry starting tonight.
The Ottawa Senators are in a very unfamiliar position, 16 points out of the playoffs right now. With only 56 points, they're currently 12th in the Eastern Conference. The Sens also only have two wins in their last seven (2-3-2) on the heels of a five-game winning streak.
This is the second of two meetings this season between these two clubs. Ottawa won 3-2 at Rexall Place back on December 30.
Just The Facts...
OILERS TO WATCH:
All eyes will be on the new acquisitions, Ales Kotalik and Patrick O'Sullivan. Kotalik is likely to start on the left side of the team's top line alongside Ales Hemsky
and Shawn Horcoff
. Kotalik, who can play either wing, has 13 goals this season in 56 games. He has eclipsed the 20-goal mark three times in his career including last season when he had 23. He also plays the point on the power play and has eight power play goals this season - Sheldon Souray
has nine for Edmonton. No current Oiler has more career points against the Senators than Kotalik. In 37 career games, he has 10 goals and 21 points... Patrick O'Sullivan has 14 goals in 62 games this season, his second full year in the NHL. Last season O'Sullivan had 22 goals in 82 games with the Kings. He will play on a line with Sam Gagner
and Marc Pouliot.
SENATORS TO WATCH:
Former Oiler Mike Comrie was dealt to the Senators recently. In 14 career games against the Oilers, Comrie has three goals and six points. Comrie has a goal and three points in five games during his second go-around with the Sens... The Ottawa offence revolves around Dany Heatley, Daniel Alfredsson and Jason Spezza. Heatley has 30 goals and 58 points, Alfredsson has 18 goals and 56 points and Spezza has 22 goals and 50 points. No other Senator has more than 29 points or 11 goals.
Edmonton—Ethan Moreau (eye) is out. Lubomir Visnovsky (torn labrum) is out. Ottawa—Pascal Leclaire (leg), Cody Bass (shoulder), Chris Neil (right calf) and Alexandre Picard (right knee) are out.
Tonight is the 1000th game for former Oilers captain Jason Smith. He will be honoured in a pre-game ceremony... Ottawa has lost three straight games at home while the Oilers have lost three straight on the road... Edmonton is 19-0-1 when leading after two periods... The Oilers penalty kill is ranked 28th in the NHL at 77.0%. Ottawa's is 15th at 81.4%... Edmonton's power play is 21st in the NHL at 16.5% but 12th on the road at 19.1%... Edmonton now averages 32.1 shots against per game... Edmonton is 17-14 in one-goal games. Ottawa is 9-18.
Wednesday's Video - After the trades:
Wednesday's Audio - After the trades:
Wednesday's Video - Before the trades:
Wednesday's Audio - Before the trades:
Oilers wheel and deal for O'Sullivan, Kotalik
- For his first trade deadline as a GM, the Oilers' Steve Tambellini helped put together one of the most complicated deals in trade deadline history that landed them top-end forwards Patrick O'Sullivan and Ales Kotalik. ...more
The Other Side - news from ottawasenators.com
- Rinkside with Comrie and Campoli - Gord Wilson sits down with newly acquired Senators Mike Comrie and Chris Campoli for SensTV Online. ...more
- Bryan Murray press conference - Senators GM Bryan Murray talks to the media Wednesday afternoon about the team's activities on NHL trade deadline day. Watch now on SensTV Online. ...more
From the Fans
Odds and Ends
From the Wire (AP)
The Edmonton Oilers are still in the thick of the playoff race in the Western Conference, but they haven't been making things easy on themselves lately.
The Oilers look to break out of their funk and bounce back from another tough loss as they continue their four-game road trip against the stumbling Ottawa Senators on Thursday night.
On Feb. 16, Edmonton (31-26-6) was tied for sixth in the West, and was just one point behind fifth-place Dallas. Since then, the Oilers have gone 2-3-2.
Edmonton now is tied for seventh with Nashville and Anaheim, and has dropped six points behind fifth-place Vancouver.
One of the biggest reasons for the Oilers' struggles has been their power-play unit, which has gone without a goal in 24 opportunities over their last six games. This is Edmonton's longest stretch without a man-advantage tally since going 0-for-27 over nine straight games from Feb. 25-March 15, 2007.
The Oilers opened their swing Tuesday with a 6-5 overtime loss to Nashville in a game that featured four lead changes and five ties.
"It's a tough point to lose, but at this point we can't really look back," said Edmonton center Sam Gagner, who had a goal and two assists. "We have to look forward to our next games and hopefully pull out a few wins."
The Oilers, though, have not defeated Ottawa (23-29-10) since March 14, 2004. They've lost the last three meetings, including a 3-2 defeat on Dec. 30.
Edmonton's Dwayne Roloson finished with 37 saves Tuesday but appeared to be injured after being hit in the head with a puck on a shot just before Jason Arnott's game-winner. Roloson has gone 9-7-3 with a 2.82 goals-against average in making 19 straight starts for the Oilers, but rookie Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers could get the start.
Drouin-Deslauriers hasn't won since Nov. 10, when he beat the New York Rangers in a shootout. He's 0-2-0 with a 5.46 GAA in four games after that.
The Senators could also be without their starting goalie, as Alex Auld fell ill in Tuesday's 6-3 loss to Calgary and left before the start of the third period. He stopped just 11 of 15 shots.
Rookie Brian Elliott, who allowed one goal on seven shots in the third, is 0-1-1 with a 5.18 GAA in five games since a win over Philadelphia on Feb. 12.
Prior to Wednesday's trade deadline, Ottawa acquired what may be their new starting goaltender in 2009-10, getting Pascal Leclaire and a second-round pick in the 2009 draft from Columbus for center Antoine Vermette.
Leclaire went 4-6-1 with a 3.83 GAA for the Blue Jackets before being sidelined by an ankle injury that required surgery on Jan. 23. He is not expected to play this season.
The Senators on Wednesday also signed veteran defenseman Filip Kuba, who has two goals and 27 assists in 54 games, to a new, three-year contract. Kuba, Mike Fisher and Nick Foligno scored Tuesday for Ottawa, which lost its third in a row.
The Senators are 0-2-1 since opening a season-high eight-game homestand with a 4-2 victory over Carolina on Feb. 24.
Edmonton also made a couple of moves before the deadline.
Erik Cole, who scored with 6:08 remaining in regulation Tuesday to tie it at 5, was traded to Carolina for Patrick O'Sullivan and a second-round pick. The Oilers also acquired Ales Kotalik from Buffalo for a second-round pick in the draft.