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NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, October 15th (All times Eastern)
Edmonton Oilers (1-4-1) at Pittsburgh Penguins (4-1-0), 7 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins look to post their best start at home in 19 years on Tuesday night as they play host the slumping Edmonton Oilers.
The Penguins opened the season with a perfect three-game homestand before splitting a two-game road trip in Florida. They haven't won their first four home games of a season since starting the 1994-95 season 7-0 at the Civic Arena.
Pittsburgh has won 18 of its past 20 at home dating back to last season and followed up a loss to the Florida Panthers with Saturday's 5-4 victory over Tampa Bay.
Crosby notched his eighth career hat trick, and first since Dec. 2, 2010, while also assisting on Matt Niskanen's game-winning goal with 18.6 seconds left in regulation.
Skating on the advantage after Richard Panik was whistled for tripping, Pittsburgh set up in the Tampa end and Evgeni Malkin held the puck at the right circle. Malkin sent a saucer pass through a seam to the left point where Niskanen one-timed it past Anders Lindback for the advantage.
"We had to battle through some sloppy play but we did a good job battling back all night," Niskanen said. "We got lucky with them taking a silly penalty late in the game and we scored."
Crosby has a point in all five games so far this season, logging five goals and four assists. He has yet to score in four career games versus the Oilers, but has four assists.
Marc-Andre Fleury, who stopped just 14-of-18 shots faced in the win over the Lightning, has won all four of his starts on the season and is 4-2-0 lifetime against Edmonton with a 2.67 goals against average.
The Penguins are 8-2-1 in their last 11 meetings with the Oilers and had a four-game series win streak snapped when the clubs last met on Oct. 9, 2011 in Edmonton. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored for the Oilers in his NHL debut and Edmonton won a 2-1 shootout.
The Oilers have lost five of six to begin the season (1-4-1) and all five of their losses have come despite scoring first. That was the case versus Washington on Monday, when Boyd Gordon scored midway through the opening period before the Capitals netted the next four goals, including three on three straight shots in the middle frame.
Will Acton scored his first career goal with 1:42 left in the game, while Jason LaBarbera yielded four goals on 20 shots in Edmonton's third straight loss. That includes a setback in the first two contests of a six-game road trip out east.
"I thought everything was going fine until we brought a puck back into our zone, and that basically started a few dominos to fall," Edmonton coach Dallas Eakins said. "It goes back to the adage of every moment in the game is important. For three minutes we went backward, and it cost us the game."
Gordon notched his team-leading fourth goal of the campaign for an Oilers club that made Nail Yakupov a healthy scratch for a second straight game. The first overall pick of the 2012 draft did not log a point over his first four games before the benching.
Devan Dubnyk is likely to make his fifth start of the season for the Oilers and is 1-2-0 with a 2.93 GAA in three lifetime meetings with the Penguins.
10/15 10:47:34 ET
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