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EDMONTON OILERS (28-23-4) at
PHOENIX COYOTES (25-27-5)
Start Time: 7:38 p.m. MST
Television: Rogers Sportsnet West
Radio: 630 CHED, Oilers Radio Network and online at edmontonoilers.com.Today's Game Notes | Oilers/Coyotes Head-to-Head | Stats Comparison LINEUP UPDATE: The Oilers will be going with the exact same lineup as they had on Saturday afternoon in Los Angeles. That means Steve MacIntyre is out once again as well as Fernando Pisani. The defence pairings remain the same: Smid/Gilbert, Staios/Souray and Peckham/Strudwick. by Nick Conrad | edmontonoilers.com
What a difference a month makes.
When the Edmonton Oilers faced the Phoenix Coyotes on Jan. 18 at Rexall Place, Phoenix was five points ahead of Edmonton and held the sixth playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Heading into tonight’s match, Edmonton (28-23-4) now holds the five-point advantage over Phoenix (25-27-5). Such as it is in the wild West.
The Oilers couldn’t ask for a better opponent to go for their third straight win against (even though Feb. 16 has not been a successful gameday for the Oilers as Edmonton has gone 1-8-1-0 all-time on this day). Edmonton leads the season series 2-0 and Phoenix hasn’t won at home against the Oilers since Oct. 26, 2006.
The Oilers have dominated the Coyotes in recent years going 29-9-3-5 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.
Phoenix is coming off a 7-5 loss to the Calgary Flames on Saturday, the Coyotes’ eighth loss in 10 games.
Edmonton will play again tomorrow night at San Jose before finishing up their road trip on Thursday in Dallas.
The Oilers return home on Saturday to host the Calgary Flames.
Just The Facts...
Bob Stauffer and Louie DeBrusk preview tonight's game Pre-game comments from Sam Gagner, Dustin Penner, Ladislav Smid & Craig MacTavish The Other Side: Coyotes Game Preview The Other Side: Shane Doan & Wayne Gretzky pre-game Pre-Game Audio... Craig MacTavish Ales Hemsky Dustin Penner Sam Gagner Ladislav Smid Oilers/Coyotes Game Preview with Bob Stauffer and Louie DeBrusk
The Other Side: Wayne Gretzky The Other Side: Shane Doan Sunday's Video...
Sunday's Audio... Craig MacTavish
MacTavish looks ahead to Coyotes - The Edmonton Oilers had an optional practice on Sunday afternoon in Phoenix and head coach Craig MacTavish addressed the media afterwards. Follow the link for video or click here for audio. ...more
The Other Side - news from phoenixcoyotes.com
Coyotes get third shot at Oilers - The Coyotes continue their four-game homestand with a rare Monday night game at Jobing.com Arena against the Edmonton Oilers. Tickets are available. | Perrault Sent To AHL | ...more Coyotes fall short vs. Flames - Daniel Winnik and Viktor Tikhonov scored two goals each, but the Coyotes lost to the Calgary Flames, 7-5, at Jobing.com Arena on Saturday night. | Gretzky | Photos | Game Highlights | Post-Game Interviews | ...more Coyotes visit Valley Hospitals - Coyotes players and mascot Howler recently visited three children’s hospitals in the Valley to meet young fans and pass out treats for Valentine’s Day. | Photo Gallery | Video | ...more
From the Fans
Click here to read today's gameday thread on the Oilers message board.
Odds and Ends
5 Questions with Tom Gilbert - We recently sat down with Tom Gilbert and asked him five fan-favourite questions on topics from non-hockey jobs to Saturday morning TV shows. Click to check out his answers and more Off the Ice features. ...more The LINK: Shaved heads & Pisani's hockey school - On this episode of The Link, we look at the Valentine's Day Hair Massacure where Ethan Moreau and Ales Hemsky shaved their heads. We also take a closer look at Fernando Pisani's hockey school. Follow the link for the show. ...more
From the Wire (AP)
With the way they were playing three weeks ago, the Phoenix Coyotes looked like they would end their seven-year playoff drought. They've been spiraling down the Western Conference standings ever since, though, and breaking out of their funk against the Edmonton Oilers won't be an easy task.
The slumping Coyotes look to avoid falling further out of the playoff picture and snap a six-game losing streak to the Oilers when they meet Monday night.
Phoenix (25-27-5) was fifth in the West with 53 points at the All-Star break but has gone just 1-8-0 since to drop to 13th, six points back of eighth-place Anaheim. The Coyotes have not been to the playoffs since 2001-02 - tied with Chicago and Los Angeles for the second-longest postseason drought in the West.
One of the biggest reasons for Phoenix's recent struggles has been its play at home.
The Coyotes have been outscored 27-13 in losing all five home games since the break after going 10-2-1 in their previous 13 at Jobing.com Arena.
"We're putting ourselves in a tough position, there is no question about that," coach Wayne Gretzky said after Saturday's 7-5 home loss to Calgary. "We just can't afford to keep losing at home."
Phoenix, which is in the midst of its longest home losing streak since a six-game skid Oct. 6-Nov. 3, 2007, has also lost three straight at home to the Oilers (28-23-4) since a 5-2 victory on Oct. 26, 2006.
The Coyotes have had no luck against Edmonton, regardless of where the games have played lately. The Oilers, who are one point out of eighth in the West, have won all six meetings since the start of last season, outscoring Phoenix 32-15.
In their first two games this season - both in Edmonton - the Oilers won 4-2 on Dec. 22 and 6-3 on Jan. 18 behind 13-year veteran Ethan Moreau's first career hat trick.
Edmonton opened a four-game road trip Saturday with a 3-2 shootout victory over Los Angeles, despite getting outshot 41-21.
Dustin Penner had a goal and an assist, while goaltender Dwayne Roloson made 39 saves. Roloson has played well since being pulled after allowing five first-period goals in an 8-3 loss at Detroit on Feb. 7, going 2-0-1 in three starts while stopping 112-of-118 shots in those contests.
"Dwayne was outstanding," coach Craig MacTavish said. "He played exceptionally well. It was a great performance."
Roloson has been in net for both games against the Coyotes this season and has posted a 2.60 goals-against average in winning five consecutive starts over them since the start of last season.
Ales Hemsky, who leads the Oilers with 17 goals and 31 assists, has three goals and eight assists in the six games versus Phoenix since 2007-08.
Phoenix goalie Ilya Bryzgalov allowed all seven goals Saturday, and has yielded at least four scores in four of his last five starts.
Bryzgalov, who has made 16 consecutive starts for the Coyotes, has a 3.74 GAA since the break after going 5-2-0 with a 2.83 GAA in his previous seven. He is 1-4-0 with a 4.38 GAA in six career starts versus the Oilers.