OILERS (18-36-10) AT BLACKHAWKS (38-21-5)
TV: SNOL, CSN-CH+
Season series: Right wing Marian Hossa had a goal and three assists, and center Jonathan Toews scored two goals to the give the Chicago Blackhawks a 7-1 victory in the first game against the Edmonton Oilers on Nov. 22. Oilers forward Derek Roy had a goal and two assists, and Taylor Hall had two points in a 5-2 win on Jan. 9.
Oilers team scope: Edmonton has lost two games in a row and hasn’t won consecutive games since late January. The Oilers are 6-11-0 during that 17-game span and haven’t scored more than two goals in the past four games (1-3-0). They begin a five-game road trip Friday. Injured center Anton Lander (shoulder) and defenseman Nikita Nikitin (shoulder) will make the trip and could return at some point. Lander practiced in a yellow non-contact jersey at the Oilers’ most recent workout, but went through all drills and line rushes. He’s considered closer to returning than Nikitin. Forward Nail Yakupov’s production has increased while playing with Roy. Yakupov was held without a point in the past two games, but has nine points (four goals) in his past 13.
Blackhawks team scope: Chicago has won three of its past four games and will have all three players added through trades prior to the NHL Trade Deadline available. Gritty forward Andrew Desjardins, acquired from the San Jose Sharks, will debut at right wing on the third line. Center Antoine Vermette and defenseman Kimmo Timonen played their first game for Chicago in a 5-2 victory against the Carolina Hurricanes at United Center on Monday. The additions have made it harder for some to crack the lineup. "Right now, we’ve got some competition that we haven’t seen through most of the year," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said after practice Thursday. "I think that’s healthier as you go along here." Goalie Corey Crawford will start. Injured defenseman Johnny Oduya (upper body) is skating on his own, but won’t play and is "very doubtful" to return this weekend.