NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, November 5th
(All times Eastern)
Edmonton Oilers (8-2-2) at Phoenix Coyotes (6-4-2), 10 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The red-hot Edmonton Oilers aim to extend their season-high
winning streak to seven games when they resume a six-game road trip tonight
against the Phoenix Coyotes at Jobing.com Arena.
The Oilers made it six wins in a row with Thursday's 3-0 win at Los Angeles,
as Ryan Smyth scored in his return to Staples Center. Smyth, a longtime Oiler,
was traded back to Edmonton in the offseason and spent his first 12 seasons in
the league with his current team.
Nikolai Khabibulin recorded his 45th career shutout with 19 saves, while
Lennart Petrell and Corey Potter also scored for Edmonton, which has allowed
just six goals during its six-game stretch. Khabibulin is now 6-0-2 and leads
the NHL with a 0.98 goals-against average and .963 save percentage.
"We didn't give them much tonight, we blocked a lot of shots. It always helps
when the defensemen and forwards eliminate the second and third chances,"
The Northwest Division-leading Oilers last won six straight games from March
14-26 in 2002 and will also visit the Canadiens, Bruins, Red Wings and
Blackhawks on the swing. They are 2-1-1 as the guest this season. Oilers
defenseman Cam Barker (shoulder) is probable for tonight's game.
Edmonton last won seven straight during a nine-game run back in 2001.
Phoenix will resume a three-game homestand and is in the midst of playing nine
of 11 games in the desert. The Coyotes opened the homestand with Thursday's
3-0 loss to Nashville and saw their season-high winning streak stop at three
Nashville goaltender Pekka Rinne celebrated his birthday and a new contract by
making 35 saves. Coyotes netminder Jason LaBarbera stopped 29-of-31 shots that
went his way.
"You know teams are going to come in hard when they're on the road," said
LaBarbera. "I mean, I know we played last night, but that's no excuse and
Pekka played a great game tonight."
LaBarbera hadn't started in the crease since Oct. 18 against Chicago. Coyotes
center Martin Hanzal did not play against Nashville because of a lower-back
injury suffered in Wednesday's game at Colorado and is considered day-to-day.
The Coyotes will close out the homestand Nov. 10 versus Montreal.
Phoenix took three of four meetings with Edmonton a year ago and has won seven
of the past nine matchups between the two clubs. Edmonton is 9-8-1 in its last
18 trips to the desert.
11/05 10:42:19 ET