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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Sunday, March 7th (All times eastern)

Edmonton Oilers (27-27-11-2) at Chicago Blackhawks (18-35-9-5), 3 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Edmonton Oilers continue their pursuit for a playoff berth today, as they pay a visit to the Chicago Blackhawks at the United Center.

The Oilers have 67 points and are six behind Los Angeles for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Edmonton skated to a 1-1 tie with the St. Louis Blues on Thursday night at the Savvis Center. The Blues are four points ahead of the Oilers in the playoff race.

Jussi Markkanen, in his return to the Oilers, finished with 27 saves. Raffi Torres scored the lone goal for Edmonton, which has registered at least a point in four straight games (2-0-1-1).

Markkanen, who spent his first two NHL seasons with Edmonton before going to the New York Rangers in a trade last summer, was re-acquired by the Oilers from the Rangers on Wednesday. Petr Nedved, who had an assist, was also part of the deal that sent collegiate prospect Dwight Helminen and minor league goaltender Stephen Valiquette to the Rangers.

Edmonton, which is 2-6-3-1 in its last 12 games as the visitor, completes its three-game road trip in Calgary on Tuesday night.

The Blackhawks were handed a 5-2 setback by the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim at the United Center on Friday. Steve Rucchin finished with two goals and an assist to lead the Mighty Ducks.

Deron Quint and Eric Daze both posted a goal and an assist for the Blackhawks, who are winless in their last five (0-3-2). Michael Leighton stopped 31 shots in the loss.

The Blackhawks have just 50 points this season and currently sit in the basement of the Western Conference. They will miss the playoffs for the sixth time in the last seven seasons.

Chicago, 1-5-1 in its last seven home games, wraps up its three-game stand tonight.

The Oilers are unbeaten in the last four meetings with Chicago (3-0-1). They are also 2-0-1 in their previous three trips to the Windy City.

03/07 10:35:34 ET


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