Preview: Blues at Oilers
ST. LOUIS BLUES (32-29-8) at
EDMONTON OILERS (32-27-9)
Start Time: 8:08 p.m. MDT
Television: Rogers Sportsnet West (HD)
Radio: 630 CHED, Oilers Radio Network and online at edmontonoilers.com.
Today's Game Notes | Oilers/Blues Head-to-Head | Stats Comparison
|ST. LOUIS, MO - FEBRUARY 5: Robert Nilsson #12 of the Edmonton Oilers scores a shootout goal against Chris Mason #50 of the St. Louis Blues at the Scottrade Center February 5, 2009 in St. Louis, Missouri. The Oilers beat Blues 2-1 in a shootout. (Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Oilers Twitter Lineup Updates:
by Marc Ciampa & Jessica McPhee | edmontonoilers.com
|THE ESSENTIALS FOR TONIGHT
The Edmonton Oilers conclude a three-game homestand tonight in one of the biggest games of the season when they take on the St. Louis Blues on St. Patrick's Day.
There's a lot on the line this evening with Edmonton now on the outside looking in when it comes to the race for the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Oilers are one point behind eighth-place Dallas but also one point ahead of 10th-place St. Louis. With a game in hand on the Blues, the Oilers can create some breathing room with a victory tonight and also get back into a playoff position.
Edmonton has only two regulation losses in their last 10 games but are having trouble getting two points of late (3-2-5). They have five losses in extra time during that span including dropping each of their last three in OT.
St. Louis has skyrocketed up the standings to get themselves in a position to challenge for a playoff spot. Since mid-January, the Blues have only six regulation time losses in 27 outings (16-6-5) but three of those losses have occurred in the last seven as the pressure begins to build.
This is the fourth and final meeting of the season between these two clubs. The Oilers won the previous three meetings.
Just The Facts...
OILERS TO WATCH:
Patrick O’Sullivan, one of two new players picked up by the Oilers on the trade deadline, cashed in with his first goal as on Oiler on Thursday night versus Atlanta and also took home the honour of second star. O’Sullivan has 15-24-39 this season, two of those points collected as an Oiler. The team’s offensive leader, Ales Hemsky
, who’s known for his playmaking ability has four points in his last four games. Hemsky has 21-35- 56 this season, 25 of which he collected on the powerplay. Shawn Horcoff
, a consistent offensive presence, has picked up three points in his last four games. Horcoff has 15-30-45 this season and one of the team’s highest plus/minus at +6. Oilers speedster, Andrew Cogliano
, has been producing with three points in his last six games. Cogliano has scored the game winning goal four times this season and has 16-18-34. Recently back from a three and a half month hiatus courtesy of a broken ankle, Fernando Pisani, has three points in his last six games. Having played in 24 games this season, Pisani has 3-6-9.
BLUES TO WATCH:
Offensive leader, Brad Boyes, has five points in as many games. Boyes has 29-30-59 and has collected 10 game winning goals this season, two in his last six games. Sophomore David Perron has scored four points in his last four games and has a solid plus/minus of +10. Tied for the most assists on the team, Perron has 11-30-41 this season. David Backes is on a roll having recently collected three consecutive two-point games. Backes is second on his team for shots on goal with 156 and has 23-20-43 this season. Having played in only 31 games this season due to an ankle injury, Andy McDonald has an impressive 11-21-32. In McDonald’s last three games he’s scored five points. Blueliner Carlo Colaiacovo has collected five points in his last five games. At 3-25-28, Colaiacovo has six multi-point games this season. Workhorse goaltender Chris Mason has played in 44 games this season and clocked 2,429 minutes of ice time. After a great month in February, Mason was named the NHL’s third star.
is doubtful. Lubomir Visnovsky (shoulder) is out. St. Louis—Eric Brewer (back) is out. Erik Johnson (torn ACL & MCL) is out. D.J. King (shoulder) is out. Paul Kariya (hip) is out.
Much like the Oilers run at the end of the 2007/08 season when the team won nine of their last 13 games, the Blues have won nine of their last 13 games... Edmonton has the sixth-best record in the Western Conference over their last 10 games with 11 points (3-2-5). St. Louis has 14 points in their last 10 to rank fourth... St. Louis is 59-288 (20.5%) on the power play, ranking 9th in the NHL. ... The Blues have killed 252 of 306 (82.4%) power plays, tying for 11th in the league. ... St. Louis has killed 112 of their last 131 penalties (85.5%). ... The Blues are 11-5-4 when leading after the 1st period and are 21-2-2 when leading after the 2nd period.
Coca-Cola Ultimate Street Hockey Recap
- On a chilly, snowy March afternoon the Edmonton Oilers Alumni defeated Gord Evers’ St. Albert Stealers - coached by Steve MacIntyre
& Liam Reddox
- in nail-biting fashion at the Coca-Cola Ultimate Street Hockey Game. | Photo Gallery
The Other Side - news from stlouisblues.com
- Blues win crucial game against Wild - David Backes, Keith Tkachuk, and David Perron each scored on the power play as the Blues moved closer to the final playoff spot with a 5-3 win over the Wild.
Highlights | Post Game Interviews | Andy Murray | Photos | ...more
- Blues sign 3 prospects to pro contracts - Blues President John Davidson announced Thursday the club has signed prospects Brett Sonne, Philip McRae and Anthony Peluso. All three players are forwards and are under the age of 20. ...more
From the Fans
Odds and Ends
- Western Conference Playoff Race: Oilers slide to 9th -
Updated March 16 at 11:38 p.m. MDT.
The race for the final playoff spots in the Western Conference is heating up. To follow along with Edmonton's chances to get into the post-season, follow the link for standings and schedules. ...more
- 5 Questions with Ales Kotalik - Career influences and hockey highlights are among the five topics one of the newest Oilers -- Ales Kotalik -- addressed in our most-recent Off The Ice profile. Follow the link for his answers and more player features. ...more
- Patrick O'Sullivan answers your questions! - One of the newest Edmonton Oilers Patrick O'Sullivan sat down recently with Steve Taylor to answer questions submitted by you, the fans, throughout the week. Follow the link or click the play button above to watch the show. ...more
From the Wire (AP)
The Edmonton Oilers have salvaged a point in each contest of a three-game losing streak, but after dropping out of playoff position in the Western Conference, that's of little comfort.
On Tuesday, the Oilers host the St. Louis Blues, who have pulled within a point of Edmonton in the standings.
Since a 4-1 win over Toronto on March 7, the Oilers (32-27-9) have dropped three straight in overtime, including a 3-2 home loss to Colorado on Saturday.
Defenseman Sheldon Souray tied the game for Edmonton with 5:20 remaining in regulation, but Dwayne Roloson gave up the game-winner to Colorado's John-Michael Liles 42 seconds into the extra session.
"It was just a missed opportunity early," Oilers coach Craig MacTavish said. "We had a great opportunity to win the game early, but after that it was just poor playmaking. We didn't make enough plays from breakouts on through. And the faceoffs, it's hard to sustain anything when you can't win those.
"It's a point, but it wasn't a great effort."
MacTavish's team fell into ninth place in the West following Nashville's win Monday. Edmonton is one point behind eighth-place Dallas and two back of the seventh-place Predators.
If the Oilers are to get back on track, they'll have to start playing better short-handed. Edmonton has given up 10 power-play goals over the last seven games while killing off only 13 penalties. Both of Colorado's regulation goals Saturday came on the man advantage.
"You have this ominous feeling when you do take a penalty," MacTavish said. "You try to avoid that mentality but it's reinforced by goals against. ... It's deflating.
"The strategy's there, it's just the execution. ... We need to execute better in those situations."
MacTavish and the Oilers now try to slow the Blues, who appear to be hitting their stride. Two weeks ago, St. Louis (32-29-8) was in 12th place in the West, but the Blues have won four of their last six to remain in contention for their first postseason berth since 2004.
St. Louis defeated Minnesota 5-3 at home Sunday. The Blues were 3-for-7 on the power play, and scored three times in the second period. Brad Boyes had a goal and an assist and goaltender Chris Mason needed to stop only 19 shots to improve to 10-4-1 in his last 15 starts
"This is the way we're going to have to play," said Blues center Andy McDonald, who had two assists. "We can't afford to lose hockey games, especially two in a row. We let it go after last night and turned around and got prepared for today."
St. Louis plays its next three games in Western Canada, also visiting Vancouver and Calgary this week. The Blues are 1-5-2 against those teams this season, including 0-2-1 against Edmonton.
The Oilers have won their last six meetings with St. Louis overall. Roloson has a 1.30 goals-against average in the three victories this season, including a 21-save effort in a 2-1 victory Jan. 11 at Rexall Place.