NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Monday, November 25th
(All times Eastern)
Chicago Blackhawks (16-4-4) at Edmonton Oilers (7-15-2), 9:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - While they remain last in the Western Conference, the
Edmonton Oilers are in the midst of by far their best stretch of the season.
The Oilers, though, face a stiff task on Monday night as they look to extend
their longest winning streak of the campaign in a matchup with the defending
Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks.
The 2013-14 season has been a rough one for Edmonton and first-year head coach
Dallas Eakins, with the Oilers having posted three separate five-game losing
streaks. However, they have followed up their most recent skid with a season-
high three-game winning streak.
Edmonton has outscored its opponents 15-3 over that span and is coming off
Thursday's 4-1 victory against the Florida Panthers.
Jordan Eberle and Devan Dubnyk continued their recent impressive stretches,
with Eberle scoring twice and Dubnyk posting 24 saves. David Perron and Sam
Gagner added goals and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins notched three assists.
"Our confidence is high. We want to keep that going but also understand that
we have higher aspirations than the game that we played today," said Eakins.
"We can play better than we played today."
Edmonton improved to 3-7-0 as the home club and wraps a three-game residency
Eberle has notched four goals and an assist over the three-game win streak,
while Dubnyk has yielded the three goals on 74 shots and also notched his
first shutout of the season. Dubnyk's hot streak has come on the heels of
Edmonton's recent signing of goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov.
Dubnyk's current stretch should keep him in net tonight and he is 2-4-0 with a
3.83 goals against average in eight games (7 starts) lifetime versus the
Blackhawks. That does include a 5-4 loss in Chicago on Nov. 10, with Dubnyk
yielding all five goals on 36 shots.
Perron and Eberle both had a goal and an assist in the loss, Edmonton's third
in its last four versus Chicago.
The Blackhawks have won seven of their last nine in Edmonton and got goals
from Marcus Kruger and Duncan Keith less than two minutes apart in the third
period to best the Oilers.
Kruger was part of an even quicker scoring binge on Saturday as he tallied
nine seconds after Andrew Shaw in the third period of Saturday's 2-1 win over
the Vancouver Canucks.
Corey Crawford aided Chicago's comeback by stopping all 14 shots he faced in
the final frame, part of a 36-save effort that helped lift the Blackhawks to
their seventh win in nine games. Chicago is 2-1 on a seven-game road trip.
"I didn't mind the way we played for 40 minutes down a goal. We got a lucky
one to get us going, and a great response on the following shift. It was nice
to see us find a way," said Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville.
Patrick Kane had an assist on Shaw's goal to extend the league's longest
active point streak to 10 games. He has five goals and nine assists over the
Forward Bryan Bickell sat out a second game in a row with a lower-body injury,
while Marian Hossa did not play after leaving the club to attend to a family
matter. Hossa had just returned on Thursday from a three-game absence caused
by a lower-body injury and it is unknown how long his personal matter will
keep him out.
Crawford is 3-5-0 with a 3.20 GAA in 10 previous meetings with the Oilers,
including six starts. He made 19 saves in the Nov. 10 victory.
11/25 10:55:33 ET