NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Thursday, November 10th (All times eastern)
Edmonton Oilers (9-3-2) at Boston Bruins (6-7-0), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Boston Bruins will try to continue an excellent start to November when they host the surprising Edmonton Oilers for tonight's interconference clash at TD Garden.
The Bruins did not look like defending Stanley Cup champions for most of October and they ended the first month of the season with a 3-7-0 record. Boston has since rattled off three straight victories and have pounded the opposition by a combined 18-5 margin in those three November outings.
Boston started the run with a 5-3 victory over visiting Ottawa and then destroyed the Maple Leafs by a 7-0 score in Toronto. The B's then headed back to Beantown for a four-game homestand and routed the New York Islanders, 6-2, to begin that residency. The win improved Boston's record at home this year to 4-5-0.
Nathan Horton was the star for Boston on Monday, posting two goals and an assist to give him eight points (4 goals, 4 assists) this season.
"Three wins is nice and I think we're playing a lot better hockey," said Horton. "All the lines are contributing and that's what you need to win in this league."
David Krejci had a goal and two assists, Milan Lucic had a goal and an assist while Tyler Seguin and Benoit Pouliot each added a goal for the Bruins, who have won three straight for the first time since a seven-game tear from Feb. 17-March 3 of last season.
Tuukka Rask earned his first win of the season by stopping 24 shots against the Islanders. Two-time Vezina Trophy winner Tim Thomas is expected to be back between the pipes tonight.
The Bruins played without Rich Peverley on Monday and lost fellow forward Dan Paille to a broken nose in the win over the Islanders. Paille is doubtful for tonight's game after undergoing surgery to repair the break, while Peverley is questionable with an undisclosed injury.
The Oilers, meanwhile, will try to win for an eighth time in nine games tonight, when they make the fourth stop on a six-game road trip. Edmonton is 2-1-0 on the swing so far and 2-2-0 as the visiting club on the season.
Edmonton had a six-game winning streak halted Saturday with a 4-2 loss in Phoenix, but the Oilers rebounded with Tuesday's victory in Montreal. Nikolai Khabibulin was once again a star in net for the Oilers, as he stopped 28 of Montreal's 29 shots to give him six wins in his last six starts. Ryan Smyth scored and added an assist to help lift the Oilers to the 3-1 win over the Canadiens.
Khabibulin is 7-0-2 this year with a .964 save percentage and a 0.98 goals- against average. This comes after the 38-year-old Russian combined for a 17-41-6 record over his first two seasons in Edmonton.
"I felt pretty good. I think we are all playing well and that helps," said Khabibulin.
Ryan Jones and Tom Gilbert also helped the cause with goals for the Oilers on Tuesday.
The Oilers will try to avoid a 10th straight loss in this series when they face the Bruins tonight. Boston has claimed nine in a row since the Oilers posted a 6-1 home win over the B's on Oct. 17, 2000.
Edmonton's last win in Beantown was on Nov. 7, 1996 and the Oilers are 0-5-1-1 in their last seven trips to Boston.
11/10 11:09:10 ET