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PHOENIX COYOTES (23-18-5) at
EDMONTON OILERS (22-19-3)
Start Time: 7:08 p.m. MST (Ceremony begins at 6:00 p.m.)
Television: Molson Canadian Oilers Pay Per View (HD)
Radio: 630 CHED, Oilers Radio Network and online at edmontonoilers.com.Today's Game Notes | Oilers/Coyotes Head-to-Head | Stats Comparison LINEUP UPDATE: Ales Hemsky will make his return to the Oilers lineup and take his place on the top line alongside Shawn Horcoff and Dustin Penner... Liam Reddox moves to the second line to play on the left side with Sam Gagner and Erik Cole... Potulny draws out with Brule on the fourth line with Brodziak and MacIntyre... Dwayne Roloson gets the start in goal. by Nick Conrad | edmontonoilers.com
Midway through the 2008-09 season, the battle for a playoff spot is nearly as tight as it can be as only four points currently separate ninth place from fifth place in the Western Conference.
Tonight, after the Oilers organization retires Glenn Anderson’s #9 up to the Rexall rafters, the Edmonton Oilers (22-19-3) will have a chance to make up some ground on the Phoenix Coyotes (23-18-5) who hold the sixth spot with 51 points and are tied in points with Anaheim.
The Oilers dominated the Coyotes in recent years going 28-9-3-5 in 45 games since the Coyotes moved to Phoenix from Winnipeg for the 1996-97 season. Edmonton won all four games versus Phoenix last season outscoring the Coyotes 22-10.
In the first meeting this season, Edmonton jumped out to a 2-0 lead and eventually won 4-2 on the strength of two third period powerplay goals.
Phoenix is coming off a 4-3 victory over the Calgary Flames last night at the Pengrowth Saddledome. They are 4-1 in their last five games.
Tonight’s game is the first of a season-long tying six-game homestand. The Oilers will next take on Columbus on Tuesday night before getting a week off for the All-Star break. They’ll lace up the skates on Jan. 27 when they’ll face the Buffalo Sabres.
Just The Facts...
Pre-game comments from Ales Hemsky, Kyle Brodziak & Craig MacTavish Bob Stauffer and Rob Brown preview tonight's game The Other Side: Coyotes Pre-game video Craig MacTavish talks about tonight's retirement of Glenn Anderson's jersey the return of his old teammates
Tambellini on the goaltending situation
Tambellini on Ryan Stone
Dwayne Roloson talks about the trade
Saturday's Audio: Steve Tambellini talks to the media in Denver prior to the team departing for Edmonton Mathieu Garon briefly talks about being traded to Pittsburgh Dwayne Roloson discusses the new goaltending landscape in Edmonton Craig MacTavish asssesses the team's lineup after the trade Steve Tambellini addresses the media after the team lands in Edmonton
Oilers acquire Sabourin and Stone - Edmonton Oilers General Manager Steve Tambellini announced today the acquisition of forward Ryan Stone, goaltender Dany Sabourin and a fourth round draft choice in 2011 from the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for goaltender Mathieu Garon. ...more
The Other Side - news from phoenixcoyotes.com
Coyotes win again on the road - Peter Mueller and Mikkel Boedker both notched a goal and an assist as the Coyotes beat the Calgary Flames 4-3 at the Pengrowth Saddledome on Saturday night. | Photos | Post-Game Interviews | Gretzky | Game Highlights | ...more Meet forward Steve Goertzen - Coyotes TV Play-By-Play Announcer Dave Strader caught up with the newest member of the team, forward Steven Goertzen, after Wednesday's practice. | Steven Goertzen | 'Yotes Quotes at Vancouver | ...more
From the Fans
Click here to read today's gameday thread on the Oilers message board.
Odds and Ends
Nine Days of Glenn Anderson - Oilers great Glenn Anderson will have his jersey retired this Sunday, January 18. Every day until then, we are rolling out video and features on number nine. Day 8 looks back at Anderson's favourite personal achievement with the Oilers. ...more The LINK: Get to know Brodz and Gilby - In this edition of The Link, we get to know pals Kyle Brodziak and Tom Gilbert, continue our countdown of Glenn Anderson's favourite memories, and spend some time with Ford Small Star Joey Quinlan. ...more
From the Wire (AP)
Before Saturday, the Phoenix Coyotes hadn't won back-to-back road games all season.
On Sunday, they'll have a chance to complete a rare three-game sweep through western Canada, but to complete that feat they'll also have to end a five-game losing streak against the Edmonton Oilers.
Since coach Wayne Gretzky took over before the 2005-06 season, Phoenix had been 6-14-1 in Alberta and British Columbia entering their current trip, which began with a 6-3 loss at Minnesota that dropped the Coyotes (23-18-5) to 6-12-3 on the road this season.
But after a 4-1 win at Vancouver on Thursday, they ended Calgary's seven-game home winning streak with a 4-3 victory Saturday night. Rookie Mikkel Boedker, ending a six-game point drought, scored the game-winner and added an assist for Phoenix.
"It's a huge win, especially in this building where it's a tough one to come into," Boedker said. "It's good to be back in Canada and see the crowds in all the cities, it gets you a little extra fired up when there's so many people in the stands."
Despite the Flames' impressive recent play, beating Edmonton could prove the toughest task for the Coyotes. They lost all four meetings with the Oilers in regulation last season, also dropping a 4-2 decision at Rexall Place on Dec. 22. They've been outscored 26-12 during the five-game slide in the series.
Phoenix's Ilya Bryzgalov has won four of his last five starts overall, but he has a 4.19 goals-against average in five career starts against the Oilers and was pulled from his last appearance in Edmonton after giving up three goals on 11 shots in the first period of an 8-4 loss last March 18.
Gretzky's Coyotes are now 2-5-0 in the NHL's northernmost city, where a bronze statue of the NHL's all-time leading scorer stands outside the arena. Gretzky led the Oilers to four Stanley Cup titles in the 1980s.
Edmonton's current team returns home Sunday after a strong road trip, as the team went 2-1-0 and captured wins at Washington and Colorado. The Oilers (22-19-3) have won three of four overall following Friday's 3-2 win over the Avalanche.
Shawn Horcoff scored the game-winner with 6:35 to play, ending a nine-game drought without a goal, while Mathieu Garon made 37 saves for Edmonton. It proved to be Garon's final game with the club before he was traded to Pittsburgh Saturday in exchange for goalie Dany Sabourin, a minor leaguer and a draft pick.
With goalies Dwayne Roloson and Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers also on the roster, the Oilers had been looking to make a trade.
"Addressing our goaltending situation was a high priority for us," general manager Steve Tambellini said. "Moving forward, we believe we've accomplished that as well as acquiring some valuable assets for our organization."
That leaves Roloson as the likely starter for Sunday's game. The veteran had been 7-3-0 with a 2.48 GAA over a 10-start span from Dec. 22-Jan. 13, but after dealing with a heavy workload, he gave up five goals on just 24 shots against Minnesota on Thursday.
"My worry is trying to get us some wins, and giving our guys to win day in and day out and move up the standings here and get into a playoff spot," said Roloson, who has won four straight starts against the Coyotes.
The Oilers, who've missed the postseason the last two seasons, sit on the edge of the playoff picture in the Western Conference. Phoenix could end up being one of their primary competitors for a spot, as the Coyotes are currently in position to reach the postseason for the first time since 2001-02.