NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Thursday, November 10th
(All times eastern)
Edmonton Oilers (9-3-2) at Boston Bruins (6-7-0), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Boston Bruins will try to continue an excellent start
to November when they host the surprising Edmonton Oilers for tonight's
interconference clash at TD Garden.
The Bruins did not look like defending Stanley Cup champions for most of
October and they ended the first month of the season with a 3-7-0 record.
Boston has since rattled off three straight victories and have pounded the
opposition by a combined 18-5 margin in those three November outings.
Boston started the run with a 5-3 victory over visiting Ottawa and then
destroyed the Maple Leafs by a 7-0 score in Toronto. The B's then headed back
to Beantown for a four-game homestand and routed the New York Islanders, 6-2,
to begin that residency. The win improved Boston's record at home this year to
Nathan Horton was the star for Boston on Monday, posting two goals and an
assist to give him eight points (4 goals, 4 assists) this season.
"Three wins is nice and I think we're playing a lot better hockey," said
Horton. "All the lines are contributing and that's what you need to win in
David Krejci had a goal and two assists, Milan Lucic had a goal and an assist
while Tyler Seguin and Benoit Pouliot each added a goal for the Bruins, who
have won three straight for the first time since a seven-game tear from Feb.
17-March 3 of last season.
Tuukka Rask earned his first win of the season by stopping 24 shots against
the Islanders. Two-time Vezina Trophy winner Tim Thomas is expected to be back
between the pipes tonight.
The Bruins played without Rich Peverley on Monday and lost fellow forward Dan
Paille to a broken nose in the win over the Islanders. Paille is doubtful for
tonight's game after undergoing surgery to repair the break, while Peverley is
questionable with an undisclosed injury.
The Oilers, meanwhile, will try to win for an eighth time in nine games
tonight, when they make the fourth stop on a six-game road trip. Edmonton is
2-1-0 on the swing so far and 2-2-0 as the visiting club on the season.
Edmonton had a six-game winning streak halted Saturday with a 4-2 loss in
Phoenix, but the Oilers rebounded with Tuesday's victory in Montreal. Nikolai
Khabibulin was once again a star in net for the Oilers, as he stopped 28 of
Montreal's 29 shots to give him six wins in his last six starts. Ryan Smyth
scored and added an assist to help lift the Oilers to the 3-1 win over the
Khabibulin is 7-0-2 this year with a .964 save percentage and a 0.98 goals-
against average. This comes after the 38-year-old Russian combined for a
17-41-6 record over his first two seasons in Edmonton.
"I felt pretty good. I think we are all playing well and that helps," said
Ryan Jones and Tom Gilbert also helped the cause with goals for the Oilers on
The Oilers will try to avoid a 10th straight loss in this series when they
face the Bruins tonight. Boston has claimed nine in a row since the Oilers
posted a 6-1 home win over the B's on Oct. 17, 2000.
Edmonton's last win in Beantown was on Nov. 7, 1996 and the Oilers are 0-5-1-1
in their last seven trips to Boston.
11/10 11:09:10 ET