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Preview: Oilers vs. Blackhawks

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 3:15 AM
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Preview: Oilers vs. Blackhawks
Chicago Blackhawks vs. Edmonton Oilers



Start Time: 7:08 p.m. MST (PPV starts at 6:45)

Television: Molson Canadian Oilers Pay Per View (HD)

Radio: 630 CHED, Oilers Radio Network and online at's Game Notes

LINEUP UPDATES: Robert Nilsson joins Shawn Horcoff and Ales Hemsky on the top line, while Dustin Penner slips down to fourth with Zack Stortini and Kyle Brodziak... Andrew Cogliano centers Pouliot-Moreau line and Ryan Potulny stays on the second line with Gagner and Cole... Roloson starts in net despite not participating in the morning skate. by Marc Ciampa & Jessica McPhee |

The Edmonton Oilers close out a six-game homestand tonight against the Chicago Blackhawks, while the 'Hawks continue their longest road trip of the season.

The Chicago Blackhawks are in fourth place in the Western Conference after a month of ups and downs with a record of 5-4-1 in their last ten games. In December the team was on a tear winning 10 of their 12 games but they had only won two of six in late January before prevailing 4-2 in their last outing over the San Jose Sharks.

Edmonton sits in a tie for sixth place with five teams as the tight squeeze that is the Western Conference playoff race continues. The Oilers are 6-3-0 in their last nine games following a 2-1 setback to the Nashville Predators on Sunday afternoon.

This is the third of four meetings this season between Edmonton and Chicago. The Blackhawks have won the prior two meetings by a combined score of 12-2 - including a 9-2 drubbing here at Rexall Place in mid-December. The Oilers will be looking for some payback from that game.

Just The Facts...

The Answers

Pre-Game Video...

Bob Stauffer & Rob Brown preview tonight's game Pre-game comments from Sam Gagner, Robert Nilsson, Steve Staios & Craig MacTavish Pre-game comments from the Chicago Blackhawks Pre-Game Audio... Steve Staios Robert Nilsson Sam Gagner Craig MacTavish Monday's Video:

Steve Tambellini on MacTavish and Penner

Tambellini on the trade market Craig MacTavish comments on Dustin Penner on Monday

Erik Cole speaks with the media Injury Updates:

MacTavish and Sam Gagner talk about his ankle injury and the possibility he might play tomorrow.

Monday's Audio: Sam Gagner Injury Update Off Day - Erik Cole Craig MacTavish on Penner and Gagner Steve Tambellini interview

News Update...

Bid on Cole, Nilsson and Smid's favourite things tonight - An autographed Alexander Ovechkin jersey, pre-loaded iPod Shuffle, and hundreds of dollars in restaurant and clothing gift cards are included in the three gift packages you can bid on in Tuesday night's Oilers Favourite Things auction. ...more

The Other Side - news from

Comcast Sportsnet Sports Awards - Patrick Kane will accept the “Blackhawk of the Year” award and Bobby Hull will receive a “Lifetime Achievement” honor at the 21st Annual Comcast SportsNet Sports Awards to benefit the March of Dimes on February 9. ...more Hawks upend Sharks in San Jose - Kris Versteeg returned to the lineup and notched a goal and an assist, while Jonathan Toews tallied twice as the Hawks handed the Sharks just their second regulation home loss, 4-2, Saturday. Photos | Versteeg | Toews | Quenneville | ...more

Odds and Ends

5 Questions with Steve MacIntyre - Steve MacIntyre is one of the toughest Oilers on the ice, but how does he react to tough questions off the ice? We drilled him with five frequently-asked fan questions on topics like pre-game meals and roommate habits. ...more MacTavish comments on Penner - Follow the link for comments by Oilers Head Coach Craig MacTavish on Dustin Penner following Sunday's game vs. Nashville, including Penner's reaction. ...more

From the Wire (AP)

The Chicago Blackhawks had not been playing their best hockey, but a win over the Western Conference's top team their last time out has restored their confidence.

The Blackhawks hope to carry some momentum from that victory into February when they continue their eight-game road trip Tuesday against the Edmonton Oilers.

Chicago (27-13-8) owns the fourth-best record in the West, but the last few weeks have been a struggle. After posting the league's second-best December record at 10-1-1, the Blackhawks went 7-6-1 in January. They had trouble generating offense, scoring 38 goals in the month after tallying 48 in December.

Chicago wrapped up January in exceptional fashion, though, defeating San Jose 4-2 on Saturday. The Blackhawks, who hadn't beaten the Sharks in the previous 13 meetings, handed San Jose just its second regulation home loss since last February.

"We can be happy about this win and celebrate it the next few days," Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews said after scoring twice. "We played a solid game from start to finish and now it's time to take our game to another level."

Chicago, coming off a 5-2 defeat at Los Angeles on Thursday night, played crisp, sharp hockey from the drop of the puck.

"It was a huge game for us," said coach Joel Quenneville, whose team is 2-1-0 on its longest trip of the season. "We played with a lot of enthusiasm, we were on the puck and had good speed. All aspects of our game was rock solid."

Chicago also excelled in all aspects of the game in its last meeting with Edmonton (25-21-3).

The Blackhawks defeated the Oilers 9-2 on Dec. 16 at Rexall Place. Seven Chicago players scored, and Troy Brouwer led the way with two goals and an assist.

The seven-goal margin of defeat tied an Edmonton franchise record for home games, which was broken in last Tuesday's 10-2 loss to Buffalo.

The Oilers, one of five teams with 53 points that are in the mix for the final four Western Conference playoff spots, have been in a bit of a funk lately. They've scored six goals in losing two of three games since the All-Star break after tallying 13 goals in winning their previous three contests.

Edmonton fell 2-1 to Nashville on Sunday, with Ales Hemsky scoring his team-leading 16th goal to provide the Oilers with their only offense. Hemsky has six goals in his last five games.

"We really have to work on being more consistent," defenseman Tom Gilbert said. "We don't want to fall back into the habit of winning one, losing one. Going back and forth when you are trying to catch teams for a playoff run. We have to get back on the same page again."

Dwayne Roloson made 27 saves Sunday, and has stopped 56 of 59 shots in his last two games. He allowed three goals on eight shots in the first 10:17 before being pulled in the loss to the Sabres.

Roloson is 0-1-0 with a 4.80 goals-against average in the two games against Chicago this season.

The Blackhawks' Nikolai Khabibulin made 33 saves Saturday for his second straight win on the road trip. He's 8-2-0 with a 2.52 GAA in 11 starts away from Chicago since Nov. 18.

Khabibulin stopped 31 shots in the victory at Edmonton in December, and made 23 saves in the Blackhawks' 3-0 win over the Oilers on Oct. 22 - his only shutout of the season. He's 5-1-1 with a 1.42 GAA in seven starts versus Edmonton since the start of the 2006-07 season.

2008-2009 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Mar 20 '09 EDM 5 at CHI 4 - SO P. O'Sullivan
Feb 03 '09 CHI 3 at EDM 1 D. Bolland
Dec 16 '08 CHI 9 at EDM 2 B. Campbell
Oct 22 '08 EDM 0 at CHI 3 P. Sharp
P. Kane47172845-13092
M. Havlat49162440+121642
J. Toews49162339+82945
K. Versteeg46142438+164342
P. Sharp49221537+33774
B. Campbell4972835+71041
D. Bolland49102030+151803
A. Ladd4982129+191800
D. Keith4562329+262421
C. Barker3641721-64141
D. Byfuglien4691019+36332
T. Brouwer4061016+93630
B. Seabrook4951015+154520
C. Fraser493912+34400
B. Eager458311+49100
A. Johnson26358+182401
J. Wisniewski20178+31000
C. Adams29246-11610
A. Burish33325+25801
M. Walker37044+84900
B. Sopel23112-4801
J. Skille6101-2500
J. Hendry8000-1400
N. Hjalmarsson2000+0000
P. Pelletier1000+0000
N. Khabibulin2615-4-5597852.34.925
C. Huet2513-9-3566752.32.917
A. Hemsky40162743+5822
S. Horcoff50112233+72751
S. Souray49122032-36273
L. Visnovsky5082331+63051
A. Cogliano50121527-41232
T. Gilbert5032326+01420
D. Penner48111223+33135
D. Grebeshkov4741923+62210
E. Cole50121022-44741
E. Moreau4912820-17402
R. Nilsson4071017-51441
S. Gagner4441317+03221
M. Pouliot486814+01702
K. Brodziak487512-41911
S. Staios48257-54900
F. Pisani16246-2400
L. Reddox26325-41000
J. Strudwick40145-33500
L. Smid35044-23700
G. Brule11213-31201
Z. Stortini30123-511600
R. Potulny7033+2000
R. Schremp4033+2200
S. MacIntyre16101-23100
J. Boulerice2000+0000
T. Sestito1000+0000
T. Peckham1000-21700
D. Roloson3316-12-3839572.75.913
M. Garon156-8-0434083.17.895
J. Deslauriers73-2-0222063.47.893