NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, February 11th (All times eastern)
Atlanta Thrashers (30-19-9) at Edmonton Oilers (27-24-4), 8:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - Two teams will square off for the first time in exactly three years tonight when the Edmonton Oilers host the Atlanta Thrashers at Rexall Place.
The Thrashers and Oilers last met on February 11, 2004 in Edmonton. On that day, the Oilers recorded a 5-1 win and are 2-0-1 (one tie) in their last three meetings with the Thrashers.
Edmonton is 4-2-1 (one tie) all-time against Atlanta and that includes a 2-1-1 (one tie) home mark.
The Oilers were last in action on Friday when they edged the Blackhawks 2-1. Shawn Horcoff had a goal and an assist and Raffi Torres also scored. Dwayne Roloson allowed just one goal on 33 shots for the Oilers, who have won two of their last three games.
Tonight's meeting wraps a three-game homestand for Edmonton, which is 1-1 so far on the stand. After that, the club begins a seven-game road trip Tuesday in Boston.
The Oilers, who are eight points out of a playoff spot, are 17-11-2 at home this year.
Atlanta fell to 1-1 on its season-long six-game road trip after losing to the Canucks on Saturday, 3-2. Jon Sim and Ilya Kovalchuk provided the markers for the Thrashers, who have dropped four of their last five games and had a three- game road winning streak halted. Kari Lehtonen made 30 saves in a losing effort.
The setback dropped the club to 16-10-4 on the road this season.
The Thrashers still lead the Southeast Division by six points over the Hurricanes, who Atlanta will close out the trek against. The Thrashers will also travel to Calgary and Ottawa.
Atlanta will welcome two new faces to the lineup as well as the club is expected to have both center Eric Belanger and forward Denis Hamel for tonight's game.
Belanger was acquired by Atlanta on Saturday from Nashville for defenseman Vitaly Vishnevski. Interestingly enough, the Predators had just acquired Belanger one day earlier from Carolina in a trade.
Hamel, meanwhile, was picked up off waivers from Ottawa on Saturday. He has four goals and three assists in 43 games this year, while Belanger has eight goals and 12 assists in 56 contests.
02/11 10:51:58 ET