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GAME: St. Louis Blues (15-31-9) at Edmonton Oilers (30-20-7).
TIME: Sunday, 4 p.m. EST.
Former Hart and Norris Trophy winner and high-scoring defenseman Chris Pronger is expected to be in the lineup despite a foot injury when the Edmonton Oilers meet the St. Louis Blues in the start of a two-game series that will be interrupted by the Olympic break.
Pronger has a cracked bone in his foot, but said it will not prevent him from playing in the Turin Olympics for Canada.
"It hurts to walk but it feels pretty good to skate," Pronger said.
Pronger was injured while blocking a shot in a 6-5 shootout win Monday over the Anaheim Mighty Ducks. He was limping badly Friday but said he played through a similar injury in St. Louis during the 2003-04 season.
"I don't think it's become that big of an issue," said Pronger.
Pronger, who won the Hart as the league's MVP and Norris as best defenseman with St. Louis in 2000, spent nine seasons with the Blues before being traded in August to Edmonton for defenseman Eric Brewer and two prospects in August.
He had just one shot on goal in 24:29 of play in 7-2 win Nov. 24 in his return to St. Louis.
Edmonton is just 2-5-1 in its last eight home games after a 6-3 loss Friday to the Minnesota Wild.
"We made mistake after mistake with the puck," said Oilers coach Craig MacTavish, whose team suffered back-to-back losses for the first time in nearly a month. "They exposed a lot of the weakness on our team."
The Blues have recorded points in a season-high four straight games, including a 3-2 overtime loss Friday to the Calgary Flames.
Rookies Dennis Wideman and Mike Glumac scored for the Blues in regulation, but goaltender Patrick Lalime gave up Dion Phaneuf's second goal of the game 2:40 into overtime.
"We're not very pretty to watch, but we work really hard," said Blues captain Dallas Drake, whose team was outshot 37-22 by the Flames. "We keep it real simple and that's the only way we give ourselves a chance every night."
The Blues and Oilers will meet again March 1 in Edmonton.
STANDINGS: Blues - 39 points, 5th place, 42 PB, Central Division. Oilers - 67 points, 4th place, 6 PB, Northwest Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Blues - Dean McAmmond, 15 goals; Petr Cajanek, 28 assists; Scott Young, 36 points; Barret Jackman, 105 PIM. Oilers - Ryan Smyth, 25 goals; Shawn Horcoff, 41 assists and 57 points; Jaroslav Spacek, 78 PIM.
SPECIAL TEAMS: Blues - Power play: 15.7 percent (57 for 364), 23rd in NHL. Penalty killing: 81.2 percent (267 for 329), 18th. Oilers - Power play: 17.9 percent (65 for 363), 16th. Penalty killing: 83.3 percent (295 for 354), 13th.
GOALTENDERS: Blues - Curtis Sanford (9-12-4, 3 SO, 2.90 GAA); Lalime (3-11-5, 3.81). Oilers - Mike Morrison (10-4-0, 2.72); Ty Conklin (5-5-1, 1, 3.03).
SEASON SERIES: Oilers, 1-0.
LAST MEETING: Nov. 4; Oilers, 7-2. At St. Louis, Stoll had his first career two-goal game and added two assists and Smyth also scored twice for Edmonton. Bryce Salvador and Lee Stempniak scored for the Blues.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Blues - 6-16-6 on the road; Oilers - 13-11-3 at home.
|Apr 09 '06||EDM 1 at STL 2|
|Mar 01 '06||STL 4 at EDM 2|
|Feb 12 '06||STL 5 at EDM 4 - SO|
|Nov 04 '05||EDM 7 at STL 2|