Preview Page | Game Notes | Head-to-Head | Stats Comparison | Injury Report | Set Your Fantasy Lineup
AT THE MORNING SKATE:
Approximately 15 Oilers took to the ice for an optional morning skate Monday. Goalie Devan Dubnyk was the first player out and one of the last players off, meaning Jeff Deslauriers is expected to get the start tonight vs. Carolina.
As far as skaters go, Head Coach Pat Quinn confirmed that Mike Comrie and Zack Stortini will move back into the line-up tonight.
Marc Pouliot and Jean-Francois Jacques were both among the last players to leave the ice, but Quinn wouldn't confirm if they will be scratched. "The decision is still being mulled over," he said.
Surgery likely for Souray
One player who won't be in the line-up tonight is defenceman Sheldon Souray. Souray suffered a broken hand in a fight with Jarome Iginla Saturday night in Calgary, and Quinn said that the team will know more following a medical assessment Tuesday.
"He sees the physicians tomorrow with regards to how they're going to approach it. From my understanding, it's going to require some surgery."
Alex a go
With Souray out, the Oilers recalled Alex Plante from the AHL's Springfield Falcons Sunday evening. Plante will make his NHL debut tonight.
"I'm thrilled to get this opportunity, to come play at home in Edmonton," the 20 year old said after morning skate. "It's something that I've always dreamed about trying to get to this level, and hopefully I can learn as much as possible so eventually I can try to stay here."
Although Plante is a "raw rookie," Quinn emphasized that the young defenceman won't spend the game observing from the bench.
"We brought him to play," Quinn said. "We don't want to scare him right off the bat, but we certainly want to give him the opportunity to show what he's learned to this point and how he's improved."
Plante's focus is to play a simple game and soak up the experience.
"Being simple is obviously a huge thing, especially for the first game. Just shake the nerves out a little bit. Mostly everybody said to have fun. That's something everybody wants to do and I'm going to try to enjoy and take in as much as possible and try to learn as much as possible as well."
Favourite Things auction continues
The Oilers Favourite Things charity auction continues at tonight's game with gift baskets by Patrick O'Sullivan, Fernando Pisani, and Zack Stortini being profiled.
HURRICANES (19-28-7) at OILERS (16-31-6)
Last 10: Carolina 6-4-0; Edmonton 0-9-1.
Season Series: This is the lone meeting between the teams. They last faced each other on Nov. 1, 2008, when Ethan Moreau scored twice in Edmonton's 3-1 victory at the RBC Center.
Big Story: The Oilers are hoping that February goes much differently than January, as Edmonton went winless in the month. Pat Quinn's club has lost 13 consecutive games, one shy of the franchise record.
Hurricanes: It's no coincidence that Carolina is starting to win games now that it's close to boasting a healthy roster. The Hurricanes, ravaged by injuries all season long, made it three in a row on Saturday with an impressive 4-2 win against the Chicago Blackhawks at the RBC Center. Cam Ward made 39 saves.
"I feel very comfortable in net," Ward said. "But that's a result of the guys playing in front of me. You can see the guys play extremely hard. You can see we're playing with a lot more confidence. It just urges myself to come up with those key saves."
Oilers: Facing a team that had lost nine in a row itself on Saturday night, Edmonton was blown out of the building in a 6-1 loss to the Calgary Flames at the Pengrowth Saddledome. The Oilers haven't won since Dec. 11.
"You get down, you don't like what's going on. You start feeling sorry for yourselves. All of those emotions come to play and that's when it's hard to fight," Oilers coach Pat Quinn said. "It sounds trite, but it's absolutely true. If you get afraid of the end result then you don't do the things you need to do and when you don't do them, you don't have a chance."
Who's Hot: Ward has stopped 129 of the last 134 shots he's faced for the Hurricanes.
Injury Report: Carolina forwards Scott Walker, Tuomo Ruutu and Erik Cole are out with upper-body injuries. Joe Corvo (leg) is hoping to return before the Olympic break. … Oilers defenseman Sheldon Souray appeared to have injured his hand during a fight with Jarome Iginla on Saturday night. He did not practice on Sunday and likely will not play against the Hurricanes. Nikolai Khabibulin (back) and Ales Hemsky (shoulder) are out for the season. Steve Staios and Ladislav Smid are day-to-day with concussions, while Ryan Stone (knee) is out indefinitely.
Stat Pack: With Saturday's win against Chicago, the Hurricanes extended their streak of securing at least one team point against the Blackhawks to 10 games (8-0-2). Chicago has never won in Raleigh.
Puck Drop: "This is what we all expected. "It's disappointing that it comes so late, but at the same time it's there and we have a lot of pride. We want to win games, regardless of where we're at." -- Hurricanes center Matt Cullen