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ST. LOUIS BLUES (32-29-8) at
EDMONTON OILERS (32-27-9)
Start Time: 8:08 p.m. MDT
Television: Rogers Sportsnet West (HD)
Radio: 630 CHED, Oilers Radio Network and online at edmontonoilers.com.Today's Game Notes | Oilers/Blues Head-to-Head | Stats Comparison Oilers Twitter Lineup Updates:
by Marc Ciampa & Jessica McPhee | edmontonoilers.com
The Edmonton Oilers conclude a three-game homestand tonight in one of the biggest games of the season when they take on the St. Louis Blues on St. Patrick's Day.
There's a lot on the line this evening with Edmonton now on the outside looking in when it comes to the race for the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Oilers are one point behind eighth-place Dallas but also one point ahead of 10th-place St. Louis. With a game in hand on the Blues, the Oilers can create some breathing room with a victory tonight and also get back into a playoff position.
Edmonton has only two regulation losses in their last 10 games but are having trouble getting two points of late (3-2-5). They have five losses in extra time during that span including dropping each of their last three in OT.
St. Louis has skyrocketed up the standings to get themselves in a position to challenge for a playoff spot. Since mid-January, the Blues have only six regulation time losses in 27 outings (16-6-5) but three of those losses have occurred in the last seven as the pressure begins to build.
This is the fourth and final meeting of the season between these two clubs. The Oilers won the previous three meetings.
Just The Facts...
Pre-Game Video... Bob Stauffer & Louie DeBrusk preview tonight's game Pre-game comments from Ladislav Smid, Tom Gilbert & Head Coach Craig MacTavish The Other Side: Pre-game comments from Tkachuk, Winchester, Woywitka & head coach Andy Murray Pre-Game Audio... Ladislav Smid Tom Gilbert Craig MacTavish. Monday's Video:
Coca-Cola Ultimate Street Hockey Recap - On a chilly, snowy March afternoon the Edmonton Oilers Alumni defeated Gord Evers’ St. Albert Stealers - coached by Steve MacIntyre & Liam Reddox - in nail-biting fashion at the Coca-Cola Ultimate Street Hockey Game. | Photo Gallery | ...more
The Other Side - news from stlouisblues.com
Blues win crucial game against Wild - David Backes, Keith Tkachuk, and David Perron each scored on the power play as the Blues moved closer to the final playoff spot with a 5-3 win over the Wild.
Highlights | Post Game Interviews | Andy Murray | Photos | ...more Blues sign 3 prospects to pro contracts - Blues President John Davidson announced Thursday the club has signed prospects Brett Sonne, Philip McRae and Anthony Peluso. All three players are forwards and are under the age of 20. ...more
From the Fans
Click here to read today's gameday thread on the Oilers message board.
Odds and Ends
Western Conference Playoff Race: Oilers slide to 9th -
5 Questions with Ales Kotalik - Career influences and hockey highlights are among the five topics one of the newest Oilers -- Ales Kotalik -- addressed in our most-recent Off The Ice profile. Follow the link for his answers and more player features. ...more Patrick O'Sullivan answers your questions! - One of the newest Edmonton Oilers Patrick O'Sullivan sat down recently with Steve Taylor to answer questions submitted by you, the fans, throughout the week. Follow the link or click the play button above to watch the show. ...more
From the Wire (AP)
The Edmonton Oilers have salvaged a point in each contest of a three-game losing streak, but after dropping out of playoff position in the Western Conference, that's of little comfort.
On Tuesday, the Oilers host the St. Louis Blues, who have pulled within a point of Edmonton in the standings.
Since a 4-1 win over Toronto on March 7, the Oilers (32-27-9) have dropped three straight in overtime, including a 3-2 home loss to Colorado on Saturday.
"It was just a missed opportunity early," Oilers coach Craig MacTavish said. "We had a great opportunity to win the game early, but after that it was just poor playmaking. We didn't make enough plays from breakouts on through. And the faceoffs, it's hard to sustain anything when you can't win those.
"It's a point, but it wasn't a great effort."
MacTavish's team fell into ninth place in the West following Nashville's win Monday. Edmonton is one point behind eighth-place Dallas and two back of the seventh-place Predators.
If the Oilers are to get back on track, they'll have to start playing better short-handed. Edmonton has given up 10 power-play goals over the last seven games while killing off only 13 penalties. Both of Colorado's regulation goals Saturday came on the man advantage.
"You have this ominous feeling when you do take a penalty," MacTavish said. "You try to avoid that mentality but it's reinforced by goals against. ... It's deflating.
"The strategy's there, it's just the execution. ... We need to execute better in those situations."
MacTavish and the Oilers now try to slow the Blues, who appear to be hitting their stride. Two weeks ago, St. Louis (32-29-8) was in 12th place in the West, but the Blues have won four of their last six to remain in contention for their first postseason berth since 2004.
St. Louis defeated Minnesota 5-3 at home Sunday. The Blues were 3-for-7 on the power play, and scored three times in the second period. Brad Boyes had a goal and an assist and goaltender Chris Mason needed to stop only 19 shots to improve to 10-4-1 in his last 15 starts
"This is the way we're going to have to play," said Blues center Andy McDonald, who had two assists. "We can't afford to lose hockey games, especially two in a row. We let it go after last night and turned around and got prepared for today."
St. Louis plays its next three games in Western Canada, also visiting Vancouver and Calgary this week. The Blues are 1-5-2 against those teams this season, including 0-2-1 against Edmonton.
The Oilers have won their last six meetings with St. Louis overall. Roloson has a 1.30 goals-against average in the three victories this season, including a 21-save effort in a 2-1 victory Jan. 11 at Rexall Place.