NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Wednesday, October 22nd
(All times eastern)
Edmonton Oilers (4-0-0) at Chicago Blackhawks (2-2-2), 9 p.m.
(Sports Network) - Despite a rash of injuries, the Oilers missed out on the
postseason by a mere three points last year. The club hopes a fast start this
season will help them get over the hump.
Undefeated Edmonton travels to Chicago tonight for a test at the United Center
against the Blackhawks.
The Oilers went 41-35-6 last year, but their 88 points were three short of
Nashville, which claimed the final postseason berth in the Western
Conference. Edmonton began last year with two wins, but went on to drop six of
its next seven to dig itself an early hole.
Edmonton, though, has begun this season with four straight wins, the first
time the club has done that since opening the 1985-86 season with five
The Oilers were last in action on Saturday, when they swept a home-and-home
series with Calgary courtesy of a 3-2 win in Edmonton.
One day after a 4-3 win in Calgary, the Oilers fell behind by two goals before
getting second-period tallies from Ethan Moreau, Fernando Pisani and Andrew
Cogliano. Mathieu Garon stopped 31-of-33 shots, including all 10 he faced in
the final period to hold the lead.
Garon is 6-2-0 with a 2.37 goals against average in eight career tests against
the Blackhawks, all but one of those starts.
Edmonton played on Saturday without both defenseman Sheldon Souray (knee) and
forward Sam Gagner (leg). Both could miss this game as well.
The Oilers have won both of their road tests this year and play the first of
three straight as the visitor tonight.
Chicago has earned points in each of its last four games (2-0-2) after
dropping its first two games of the season in regulation. The Blackhawks won
last time out, notching a 4-2 victory over Vancouver.
Patrick Sharp had two goals and an assist in new head coach Joel Quenneville's
home debut. Quenneville took over after Denis Savard was fired on Thursday.
The Blackhawks lost Quenneville's first game on the bench Saturday, a shootout
setback to the Blues.
Patrick Kane scored and had two assists in Sunday's win. Kane and Sharp are
tied for the team lead in points with eight each, with both players posting
four goals and four helpers. Sharp has four goals and three assists in his
last four games.
Cristobal Huet stopped 28-of-30 shots in the win, which was his first with the
Sunday's win came in the opener of a three-game homestand for Chicago, which
hosts Detroit on Saturday.
The Oilers won three of four against the Blackhawks last year and have taken
seven of the last 10 in the series. However, they have lost four of their last
six in Chicago.
10/22 10:50:25 ET