NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Tuesday, March 26th
(All times Eastern)
Edmonton Oilers (11-13-7) at St. Louis Blues (17-12-2), 8 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The playoff-hopeful St. Louis Blues will try to take
advantage of their recent success against the Edmonton Oilers when the clubs
meet Tuesday at Scottrade Center.
The Blues, who finished second in the NHL with 109 points in 2011-12, have
struggled with consistency this season but still find themselves sitting
seventh in the Western Conference, two points ahead of San Jose and Nashville.
St. Louis figures to have a solid chance at improving its postseason chances
Tuesday against the Oilers, who have lost eight of nine and 11 of the last 13
games in this series. Edmonton also has dropped six straight in St. Louis
since last winning at the Scottrade Center on Dec. 11, 2009.
The Blues posted a 4-2 win over a visiting Oilers team on March 1 in the first
of three scheduled meetings this season. St. Louis added a 3-0 triumph this
past Saturday in Edmonton, as Jaroslav Halak posted his third shutout of the
season to lead the Blues to their fifth straight win in this series.
However, St. Louis failed to follow its recent win over the Oilers with
another victory, as it fell to the Calgary Flames on Sunday. Jarome Iginla
scored the game-winning goal with 7:02 remaining to lift the Flames to the 3-2
win. The setback marked the end of a 1-2-0 road trip for the Blues.
T.J. Oshie and Vladimir Sobotka tallied for the Blues, who had won four of
five heading into Sunday's contest. St. Louis outshot the Flames by a whopping
38-17 margin in the loss and went 0-for-4 on the power play.
"Too many opportunities that we worked to earn and didn't take advantage with
the people on the power play," Blues head coach Ken Hitchcock said. "If we
continue to play good 5-on-5 hockey we'll be alright."
Halak allowed all three goals on 17 shots.
St. Louis will host Los Angeles on Thursday to complete a brief two-game
homestand. The Blues have won their last four on home ice, bringing their
record in the Gateway City to 8-5-1.
The Oilers enter Tuesday riding a three-game losing streak (0-2-1) and the
last two setbacks have come in regulation, including Monday's 3-2 loss in
The Predators led 3-1 heading into the third, but Shawn Horcoff cut the
deficit to one for the Oilers just over seven minutes into the final period.
However, Pekka Rinne stopped 11-of-12 Edmonton shots in the third stanza to
lead Nashville to victory.
Taylor Hall also lit the lamp for the Oilers, while Devan Dubnyk stopped 23-
of-26 shots in a losing effort.
"It's not enough to play in Nashville to play 20 minutes," Edmonton head coach
Ralph Kruger said.
Edmonton forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins returned to the lineup after missing two
games with flu-like symptoms. The No. 1 overall pick of the 2011 draft notched
an assist in 16 minutes, 44 seconds of ice time.
Oilers defenseman Eric Belanger left Monday's game with a strained groin and
did not return. He is questionable for Tuesday's contest.
Edmonton is 6-8-3 as the visiting team this season. After Tuesday's contest,
the Oilers will return home for a three-game stay at Rexall Place, beginning
with Thursday's matchup against Columbus.
03/26 11:06:09 ET