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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Tuesday, March 18th (All times eastern)

Phoenix Coyotes (36-32-5) at Edmonton Oilers (36-32-5), 9:30 p.m.

(Sports Network) - If the Oilers manage to make the postseason, they may be disappointed in the fact there are no shootouts. Edmonton will try to keep its playoff hopes alive tonight in a big test against the Phoenix Coyotes at Rexall Place.

Edmonton is tied with Phoenix for 10th in the Western Conference, seven points behind Vancouver, Colorado and Calgary for the final three playoff spots in the Western Conference. The Oilers and Coyotes both have nine games left this season.

The Oilers won yet another shootout on Sunday, knocking off one of the top teams in the West. Fernando Pisani scored in the fourth round of the shootout as Edmonton ended San Jose's franchise-record 11-game winning streak with a 2-1 win.

Alex Hemsky scored in regulation and Dwayne Roloson made 48 saves in the Oilers' fifth win in their last six tests. Roloson also started Saturday's 5-2 victory over Phoenix in what was his first start since February 1.

Edmonton's win extended its NHL record for most shootout wins in a season, as the Oilers improved to 15-3 in the shootout this season. The previous record was held by the 2005-06 Stars, who went 12-1 in that season.

Edmonton has won eight of its last nine at home and begins a four-game residency tonight. The Oilers, who also host Vancouver, Colorado and Minnesota on this stand, are 20-15-1 at Rexall Place this season.

The Oilers will try to sweep their four-game series with Phoenix this season. Edmonton has outscored the Coyotes 14-6 this year and has won seven of its last nine against Phoenix. The club has also won three of four and six of its last eight as the host against the Coyotes.

The Coyotes have lost their last two games to stay behind in the pack. That includes a 3-1 setback in Vancouver on Monday.

Daniel Carcillo scored the lone goal while Ilya Bryzgalov made 25 saves for the Coyotes. Steve Reinprecht had an assist in the setback.

The Coyotes now face a tough road to the postseason if they are to make up ground. Six of Phoenix's last nine games are against Pacific Division-rivals San Jose, Dallas and Anaheim, three of the top five clubs in the West.

Phoenix plays the second of back-to-back games on the road tonight and are 20-14-2 as the visiting club this year. The Coyotes open a three-game homestand on Thursday against Los Angeles.

03/18 10:48:31 ET


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