Preview: Red Wings at Oilers
DETROIT RED WINGS (48-16-9) at
EDMONTON OILERS (35-28-9)
Start Time: 7:38 p.m. MDT
Television: TSN (HD)
Radio: 630 CHED, Oilers Radio Network and online at edmontonoilers.com.
Today's Game Notes | Oilers/Red Wings Head-to-Head | Stats Comparison
|DETROIT - FEBRUARY 07: Niklas Kronwall #55 of the Detroit Red Wings passes the puck while Kyle Brodziak #51 of the Edmonton Oilers tries to steal it during a NHL game on February 7, 2009 at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images)
Oilers Twitter Lineup Updates:
by Marc Ciampa & Jessica McPhee | edmontonoilers.com
|THE ESSENTIALS FOR TONIGHT
The Edmonton Oilers return home for a quick game at home against the Detroit Red Wings before heading back out on the road.
If the regular season ended today, the post-season would begin with the Oilers and Red Wings facing off against each other but right now the Oilers can't be concerned with first round playoff previews.
Having picked up four of a possible six points on their recent three-game road trip, the Oilers sit three points up on the ninth-place Minnesota Wild and Anaheim Ducks but they need to continue winning if they hope to solidify that playoff spot.
The Detroit Red Wings are already in - having clinched the playoffs some time ago - but are in a battle for top spot in the Western Conference.
Detroit lost to the Calgary Flames 5-3 last night but prior to that had won four straight games and were unbeaten in six (4-0-2).
This is the fourth meeting of the season between Edmonton and Detroit. The Oilers lost the previous three, being outscored 16-6 including 8-3 in Detroit back on February 7.
Just The Facts...
OILERS TO WATCH:
The Oilers newest additions, Patrick O’Sullivan and Ales Kotalik have made important contributions in the last week. Kotalik scored a huge goal in a shootout versus St. Louis to help secure two points for the Oilers on March 17th. The goal provided a boost in confidence and propelled Kotalik to a four point performance versus the Avalanche followed by another shootout goal versus Chicago. O’Sullivan scored the second shootout goal versus Chicago to cement the win for the Oilers, and has collected two points in his last six games. Sam Gagner
has played exceptionally well in the last week having collected six points, including his first NHL hat trick on March 19th. Gagner has 14-20-34 this season and a +1. Blueliner Sheldon Souray
has been a consistent scorer for the Oilers this season and has the team’s second highest points at 21-26-47. Souray has five points in as many games and has the second most goals among NHL defencemen. The Oilers workhorse goalie certainly deserves recognition for his stellar play as of late. Dwayne Roloson has played in 55 games this season and clocked 3,123 minutes. In his last two shootouts, he saved 100% of the shots taken. Roloson has a .915 save percentage and 2.75 goals against average this season and has 28 consecutive starts, an Oilers record.
RED WINGS TO WATCH:
Detroit’s seven season veteran and the team’s offensive leader, Pavel Datsyuk, has been exceptional this season. Datsyuk has 29-59-88 with nine points in his last five games. Datsyuk boasts one of the league’s highest plus/minus ranking of +32 and has also has been awarded the Lady Byng Trophy for the most gentlemanly player for three consecutive seasons. Henrik Zetterburg is another big offensive contributor for the Red Wings with eight points in his last five games including one four point game and a game winning goal. Zetterburg has 29-38-67 this season and a solid +16 ranking. Centreman Jiri Hudler has recorded a career high 53 points this season, surpassing a previous high water mark of 42 points. Hudler has three points in his last four games. Blueliner Nicklas Lidstrom is once again proving he’s one of the best defencemen in the NHL with 50 points this season. Lidstrom has five points in as many games and a very strong +28. Lidstrom is a six-time Norris trophy winner for the best defencemen in the NHL and a fourtime Stanley Cup winner who recently passed Larry Robinson into 8th for all time points by a defencemen.
Edmonton—Lubomir Visnovsky (shoulder) is out. Liam Reddox
(concussion) is doubtful. Detroit—Tomas Holmstrom (knee) is questionable. Andreas Lilja (concussion) is questionable.
Detroit has only lost two consecutive games in regulation time twice all season - January 17-20 and January 29-31... The Red Wings are 22-11-5 away from Joe Louis Arena this season... Detroit hasn't swept a season series with the Oilers since 1995-96... Former Oiler Ty Conklin is 2-0-0 with a 1.50 GAA against Edmonton this season, and made 21 saves in a 4-0 victory on Nov. 17. He's likely to get the call tonight for the Red Wings.
Oilers sign first round pick Eberle
- General Manager Steve Tambellini announced today the Edmonton Oilers have signed Jordan Eberle
to a three-year NHL entry level contract. Eberle recently completed his third season of junior hockey with the WHL's Regina Pats. ...more
The Other Side - news from redwings.com
- Red Wings set for another NHL mark - The Red Wings are two wins away from doing something no other NHL team has accomplished in 30 years. With 48 wins already, the earliest the Wings can reach the 50-win plateau for the fourth straight season is ... ...more
- Which teammate knows Drapes best? - Who knows Red Wings forward Kris Draper best -- Kirk Maltby or Chris Osgood? Hear what the man some teammates call "Braddock" would wish for if he were stranded on a deserted island. | Watch | ...more
From the Fans
Odds and Ends
- Tom Gilbert's Blog: Road Trip & Boy's Night with Joey - Yesterday we came home from our three game road trip and except for the loss to the Wild it went really well. My mom and older brother were in Denver and Chicago with us so it was good to spend some time with them... ...more
- The LINK: Coach MacIntyre & Reddox - In this episode of The Link, Liam Reddox and Steve MacIntyre tried their hand at coaching at the Coca-Cola Ultimate Street Hockey event. We also follow a bunch of young hockey players from Inuvik, NWT on a trip of a lifetime. ...more
- Playoff Race Update: 3 Points behind 6th -Updated March 23 at 12:32 p.m. MDT. The Oilers are now three points behind sixth-place Columbus after dropping Sunday's game to the Wild. They're also three points ahead of ninth place Minnesota and Anaheim. ...more
From the Wire (AP)
A rare road loss in their last game kept the Detroit Red Wings from moving back into the top spot in the Western Conference.
The Red Wings have another chance to get there Tuesday night when they conclude a three-game trip by trying to sweep the season series from the Edmonton Oilers.
Detroit (48-16-9) had its four-game winning streak snapped with a 5-3 loss on Monday at Calgary. The result also ended the Red Wings' road winning streak at five, and kept them one point behind San Jose for first place in the West.
The Red Wings and Sharks continue to go back and forth for the top spot in the West and home-ice advantage throughout the conference playoffs. After this contest, Detroit plays just two of its final eight games on the road where it is 22-11-5 this season.
Despite their latest setback, the Red Wings could still be in good shape to bounce back. Though the Oilers (35-28-9) are seventh in the West, they have been outscored 16-6 in three losses to Detroit this season.
Detroit, which hasn't swept a season series from Edmonton since 1995-96, won 8-3 at home on Feb. 7 in the last meeting between the teams who could possibly face off in the first round of the playoffs.
Marian Hossa had a goal and assist and Niklas Kronwall added three assists for the Red Wings in that contest. Kronwall had two assists and Hossa one while Johan Franzen and Pavel Datsyuk scored in the loss to Calgary.
Kronwall has one goal and four assists in two games against the Oilers this season. Datsyuk, meanwhile, looks to extend his point streak to nine games after recording a goal in his third straight contest Monday.
Datsyuk is one goal shy of matching his career high of 31 from last season, and has two and one assist versus Edmonton in 2008-09.
Chris Osgood was pulled after allowing three goals on 14 shots against the Flames.
"You just move on and play the next game," Osgood said.
Though he had started the last five games for Detroit, Osgood is likely to give way to Ty Conklin in this contest.
Conklin made 11 saves and allowed a goal in relief of Osgood to fall to 24-9-2 with a 2.44 goals-against average. A former Oiler, Conklin is 2-0-0 with a 1.50 GAA against Edmonton this season, and made 21 saves in a 4-0 victory on Nov. 17.
The Oilers had their three-game winning streak snapped in a 3-0 loss at Minnesota on Sunday to conclude a three-game road trip.
Edmonton outshot the Wild 15-2 in the first period and finished with 31 shots, but was stymied by All-Star Niklas Backstrom after combining for 13 goals in its previous two games.
"You hate to see the 30-plus shot shutouts. That means you're getting pucks to the net," Oilers coach Craig MacTavish said. "If you're committed enough there you should be able to get some offense."
Dwayne Roloson made 33 saves, but has allowed seven goals in his last two contests. He is 26-18-9 with a 2.75 GAA in 2008-09 - but 0-2-0 with an 8.01 GAA against Detroit.
Edmonton's Sam Gagner scored four goals in his previous two games prior to Sunday, but has been held scoreless against the Red Wings this season.