NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, November 5th (All times Eastern)
Edmonton Oilers (8-2-2) at Phoenix Coyotes (6-4-2), 10 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The red-hot Edmonton Oilers aim to extend their season-high winning streak to seven games when they resume a six-game road trip tonight against the Phoenix Coyotes at Jobing.com Arena.
The Oilers made it six wins in a row with Thursday's 3-0 win at Los Angeles, as Ryan Smyth scored in his return to Staples Center. Smyth, a longtime Oiler, was traded back to Edmonton in the offseason and spent his first 12 seasons in the league with his current team.
Nikolai Khabibulin recorded his 45th career shutout with 19 saves, while Lennart Petrell and Corey Potter also scored for Edmonton, which has allowed just six goals during its six-game stretch. Khabibulin is now 6-0-2 and leads the NHL with a 0.98 goals-against average and .963 save percentage.
"We didn't give them much tonight, we blocked a lot of shots. It always helps when the defensemen and forwards eliminate the second and third chances," Khabibulin said.
The Northwest Division-leading Oilers last won six straight games from March 14-26 in 2002 and will also visit the Canadiens, Bruins, Red Wings and Blackhawks on the swing. They are 2-1-1 as the guest this season. Oilers defenseman Cam Barker (shoulder) is probable for tonight's game.
Edmonton last won seven straight during a nine-game run back in 2001.
Phoenix will resume a three-game homestand and is in the midst of playing nine of 11 games in the desert. The Coyotes opened the homestand with Thursday's 3-0 loss to Nashville and saw their season-high winning streak stop at three games.
Nashville goaltender Pekka Rinne celebrated his birthday and a new contract by making 35 saves. Coyotes netminder Jason LaBarbera stopped 29-of-31 shots that went his way.
"You know teams are going to come in hard when they're on the road," said LaBarbera. "I mean, I know we played last night, but that's no excuse and Pekka played a great game tonight."
LaBarbera hadn't started in the crease since Oct. 18 against Chicago. Coyotes center Martin Hanzal did not play against Nashville because of a lower-back injury suffered in Wednesday's game at Colorado and is considered day-to-day.
The Coyotes will close out the homestand Nov. 10 versus Montreal.
Phoenix took three of four meetings with Edmonton a year ago and has won seven of the past nine matchups between the two clubs. Edmonton is 9-8-1 in its last 18 trips to the desert.
11/05 10:42:19 ET