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EDMONTON OILERS (25-22-3) at
ST. LOUIS BLUES (21-24-5)
Start Time: 6:38 p.m. MST
Television: Rogers Sportsnet West
Radio: 630 CHED, Oilers Radio Network and online at edmontonoilers.com.Today's Game Notes | Edmonton/Blues Stats Comparison | Head-to-Head Statistics LINEUP UPDATES: Dustin Penner moves back up to the top line with Ales Hemsky and Shawn Horcoff... Liam Reddox returns to the line-up and is expected to play on the third line with Ethan Moreau and Andrew Cogliano... Zack Stortini, Kyle Brodziak, and Ryan Potulny make up the fourth line... Dwayne Roloson gets the start. by Marc Ciampa | edmontonoilers.com
After a difficult six-game homestand that saw the team win only three times, the Edmonton Oilers head out on the road looking to turn things around just as the playoff race in the Western Conference really starts to heat up.
Right now, the Oilers are on the outside looking in, sitting in 9th place in the West. They are tied with the Phoenix Coyotes and Columbus Blue Jackets for that position at 53 points. They are one point behind Vancouver for 8th spot, two back of Dallas and Minnesota for sixth and four behind Anaheim for fifth.
The Oilers had a strong January that saw them win five of six games at one point but they have since lost three of four.
St. Louis sits six points behind Edmonton with 47 points and in last place in the Western Conference. However, they have played their best hockey of the season lately with points in seven of their last eight games including each of their last three outings.
The Oilers won the previous two meetings this season between these two clubs by scores of 4-2 and 2-1 respectively. This is the third of four meetings.
Just The Facts...
Bob Stauffer and Louie DeBrusk pre view tonight's game Pre-game comments from Sam Gagner, Jason Strudwick, Sheldon Souray and Craig MacTavish The Other Side: Pre-game comments from Brad Winchester, David Backes and Blues head coach Andy Murray Pre-Game Audio... Sheldon Souray Jason Strudwick Sam Gagner Craig MacTavish Wednesday's Audio... Feb. 4: Mid-air with Craig MacTavish
The Other Side - news from stlouisblues.com
Learning from the best - Eric Brewer says he's always been sort of a history buff. So it wasn't unusual to see him studying the names of St. Louis captains that are engraved on a plaque inside the Blues dressing room at Scottrade Center. ...more Plager reflects on battles in Philadelphia - Former Blues defenseman Bob Plager had many historic, memorable battles with the Philadelphia Flyers. In the latest podcast, Plager talks to Chris Kerber about some of the most memorable games. BluesCast | ...more
Odds and Ends
Roloson answers your questions - You sent us hundreds of questions for Roli the Goalie, and after sifting through your submissions, Steve Taylor recently sat down with Dwayne and asked him to come clean on a few topics, including music, his mask, and team chemistry. ...more How well do you know Sheldon Souray? - Edmonton Oilers defenceman Sheldon Souray is a slapshot legend on the ice, but what kind of impact does he make off the ice? We tested teammates Steve Staios, Jason Strudwick, and Shawn Horcoff in Souray 101. ...more The LINK: Bowling with the Oilers - In this episode of The Link, we go bowling with Tom Gilbert, Andrew Cogliano, Sam Gagner, Kyle Brodziak, Dustin Penner and Rob Schremp. We also take a look at Erik Cole's favourite things - and it's impressive! ...more
From the Wire (AP)
The Edmonton Oilers are looking to avoid a third straight loss. A matchup with the St. Louis Blues could be just what they need.
The Oilers try to post their sixth consecutive victory against the Blues on Thursday at the Scottrade Center.
Edmonton (25-22-3) is among several teams battling for one of the final four playoff spots in the Western Conference. The Oilers, however, haven't been doing much to improve their postseason chances since returning from the All-Star break.
After scoring 21 times while going 5-1-0 just before the break, Edmonton has managed seven goals in losing three of four. They totaled two goals in dropping the last two contests, and were outshot 41-21 in Tuesday's 3-1 loss to Chicago.
"It's hard to exhibit intensity in the defensive zone and we spent the majority of our time there," said Oilers coach Craig MacTavish, whose team concluded a 3-3 homestand. "Our smaller guys didn't exhibit a lot of skill or make a lot of plays and that is a bad combination."
MacTavish's club might be further limited after losing Lubomir Visnovsky to a dislocated shoulder in the third period. The defenseman, fourth on the Oilers with 31 points, is day-to-day.
Edmonton did get back second-year forward Sam Gagner, who missed the previous three games with an ankle injury. Gagner has been held to one assist in his last six games, but has two goals and five assists in five career contests versus the Blues. He had a goal and an assist in a 2-1 home win over St. Louis on Jan. 11.
That victory was the Oilers' second of the season over the Blues, and fifth straight in the series. Four of those wins have come by one goal.
Edmonton has also won its last three visits to St. Louis (21-24-5), and the Oilers will be opening a three-game road trip Thursday.
Edmonton is 13-11-0 away from Rexall Place, and the Blues haven't had much of an advantage at the Scottrade Center, where they're 12-10-3 entering the start of a three-game homestand.
St. Louis is last in the West with 47 points, but has gone 5-1-2 in its last eight. On Tuesday, Brad Boyes had two goals and an assist and Jay McClement scored twice in a 4-2 win at Columbus.
"We've been playing well. We've been playing solid," said Boyes, the Blues' leader with 22 goals and 44 points. "For us right now, unless everyone goes, we struggle. If everyone picks up what they've got to do, that's when we're successful."
Boyes has been doing his part with two goals and five assists during a three-game point streak. He has seven goals and five assists in 10 games versus the Oilers, though he was kept off the scoresheet in the teams' latest matchup.
Chris Mason is 2-0 with a 2.51 goals-against average versus the Oilers, although he hasn't faced them since Dec. 12, 2006 while with Nashville. He continued his recent run of outstanding play Tuesday with 33 saves and is 4-1-1 with a 1.29 GAA in his last six games.
Edmonton's Dwayne Roloson had 38 saves Tuesday, but lost his second straight start and third in four games since the break. He's played well against the Blues, however, allowing three total goals in two meetings this season to improve to 5-1-1 with a 1.43 GAA in his last seven matchups.