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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Tuesday, December 16th (All times eastern)

Chicago Blackhawks (15-6-7) at Edmonton Oilers (14-12-2), 9:30 p.m.

(Sports Network) - Cristobal Huet is starting to look like a goaltender who earned a four-year contract in the offseason. Huet could get a chance to backstop the Chicago Blackhawks to their first five-game winning streak in nearly seven years, as the club visits the Edmonton Oilers tonight at Rexall Place.

Chicago is on its second four-game winning streak of the season thanks to Sunday's 3-1 win over Columbus. The club hasn't gone unbeaten in five straight games since going 5-0 with a pair of ties from December 17, 2002-January 2, 2003.

The Blackhawks haven't won five in a row since a six-game run from December 26, 2001-January 6, 2002.

Huet has been a big part of Chicago's recent success. He stopped 31-of-32 shots in beating the Blue Jackets last weekend and has allowed just two goals in winning his last three starts, including his first shutout in a Blackhawk uniform. He has improved his record this year to 7-5-3 with a 2.48 goals against average.

Even with Nikolai Khabibulin back from a groin injury, Huet could earn the start again tonight. Huet is 1-1-0 with a 2.03 GAA in two games versus the Oilers, while Khabibulin is 12-11-2 with a 2.63 GAA in 29 games against them. Khabibulin's lone shutout this year came versus the Oilers.

Martin Havlat and Patrick Sharp both scored in Sunday's win. Duncan Keith had two assists while Brent Seabrook added an empty-net goal in helping Chicago improve to 5-0-1 in December. Chicago has outscored its opponents by a 16-5 margin during the win streak

The Blackhawks are 10-1-4 at home this year, but hit the road tonight for the first of three straight as the visitor. They are just 5-5-3 away from Chicago this season, having lost four of their last five on the road.

Edmonton wraps a three-game homestand tonight and has played the fewest home games in the NHL so far this year. In their 10th game at Rexall Place on Saturday, the Oilers blanked the Vancouver Canucks, 3-0.

Dwayne Roloson stopped 23 shots for his 23rd career shutout. Dustin Penner, Ales Hemsky and Robert Nilsson scored in Roloson's first shutout of the season for the Oilers, who have won four of five. Sheldon Souray notched his 14th assist of the year in the victory.

Roloson has also won his last three starts, allowing four goals in that span. He has allowed two goals or fewer in four straight and in five of his last six outings. Roloson is 10-6-0 with two ties and a 2.31 GAA lifetime against Chicago.

The Oilers are 4-4-2 at home this year and play in Vancouver on Wednesday before returning home for two straight.

Edmonton has won three of its last five versus the Blackhawks, who have lost five straight in Edmonton. The 'Hawks haven't won in Edmonton since November 19, 2005.

12/16 10:46:47 ET


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