NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, March 15th (All times eastern)
Edmonton Oilers (34-32-5) at Phoenix Coyotes (36-30-5), 10 p.m.
(Sports Network) - Phoenix gave its playoff hopes a big shot in the arm last time out. The Coyotes will try to keep that momentum going tonight, as they host the Edmonton Oilers at Jobing.com Arena.
After a big shootout win over Anaheim on Tuesday, the Coyotes on Thursday posted a 2-0 victory against Vancouver, the club that currently holds the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
The victory moved Phoenix to within three points of the Canucks for that eighth spot. Nashville is a point ahead of the Coyotes.
Ilya Bryzgalov stopped all 24 shots he faced for his fifth career shutout and third this season. Over his last 10 games, Bryzgalov has posted six wins, a 1.81 goals-against average and two shutouts. Niko Kapanen and Dan Winnik scored for Phoenix.
The Coyotes are trying to reach the postseason for the first time since 2001-02 and for the first time under head coach Wayne Gretzky. The club is 2-2-0 so far on a five-game homestand that concludes tonight.
Phoenix, which is 16-17-3 as the host this year, has another big game on the horizon Monday, as it plays in Vancouver.
Edmonton kept its playoff hopes alive with a recent three-game win streak, but lost in Colorado, 5-1, on Thursday. Sam Gagner scored the lone goal for the Oilers, who had won seven of their last eight overall.
Mathieu Garon allowed three goals on 14 shots before being pulled in favor of Dwayne Roloson, who let the final two goals in on 18 shots. After becoming the first player in NHL history to net a game-winning overtime goal in three straight games, rookie Andrew Cogliano was held without a point.
Edmonton played without defenseman Joni Pitkanen, who sat out with flu-like symptoms. He his questionable for tonight.
The Oilers are seven points back of Vancouver with 11 games to play. Edmonton will skate in the middle portion of a three-game road trip tonight and is 14-17-4 as the visiting club this year. The Oilers wrap the trek in San Jose on Sunday.
Edmonton has won three of four and six of its last nine meetings with Phoenix. The Oilers have also won two straight and three of their last four as the visiting club in the series.
03/15 10:22:31 ET