NHL Preview from The Sports Network |
Tuesday, November 18th
(All times eastern)
Chicago Blackhawks (6-7-4-2) at Edmonton Oilers (8-7-2-0), 9 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Edmonton Oilers target their third straight win this
evening when they welcome the Chicago Blackhawks to the Skyreach Centre.
After blanking the Minnesota Wild on Thursday, Ryan Smyth scored at 4:44 of
overtime on Saturday to lift the Oilers to a 2-1 win over the Calgary Flames.
Mike York had a goal and an assist for Edmonton, which moved above the .500
mark for the first time since October 18. Following a lengthy six-game road
trip, the Oilers returned to the comforts of their own home and improved to
8-7-2 overall this season.
Ty Conklin was strong in net for Edmonton, denying 33 shots to help them pull
out the victory. Conklin, starting in place of an injured Tommy Salo, was
honored on Monday as the NHL's Defensive Player of the Week. He posted a 3-1
record last week with a 2.21 goals-against average and .931 save
percentage, while notching his first career shutout against the Wild.
Salo, who is out with a hip injury, is listed as day-to-day, but Conklin will
likely get the start tonight. Edmonton will have Brad Isbister back in the
lineup, though, after missing five games with a chip fracture in his neck.
The Oilers also made some news off the ice yesterday as they signed veteran
center Adam Oates to a one-year deal. Oates, 41, spent last season with the
Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, helping them in their run to the Stanley Cup Finals.
He is 15th on the NHL's all-time scoring list, having racked up 1,063 assists
and 1,402 points since turning pro in 1985-86.
Just five players have compiled more assists than Oates: Wayne Gretzky, Ron
Francis, Ray Bourque, Mark Messier and Paul Coffey.
"Adam is a world-class passer, and is one of the best face off specialists in
the history of the game," said Oilers general manager Kevin Lowe. "This is a
rare opportunity for us to acquire one of the best offensive talents in the
history of the game, and we look forward to seeing him in an Oilers jersey."
Oates' signing comes after the Oilers lost center Marty Reasoner to ankle and
knee injuries. Reasoner, who was placed on injured reserve last week, may miss
up to a month.
Oates said he would need about a week to get into game-shape.
The injury-riddled Blackhawks, meanwhile, saw their winless streak reach five
games on Sunday, as they skated to a 2-2 tie with the New York Rangers at the
Brett McLean and Kyle Calder each scored for Chicago, which is 0-2-1-2 in its
last five. Michael Leighton stopped 32 shots in the contest for the
The Blackhawks had won three in a row before their current slide.
Chicago continues to play without stars Eric Daze and Alexei Zhamnov. The team
will also be without starting goaltender Jocelyn Thibault for 10-to-12 weeks
following hip surgery on Saturday to repair a torn labrum in his hip.
Chicago made a minor trade Monday, acquiring defenseman Stephane Robidas and a
second-round pick in next year's draft from Dallas for defenseman Jon Klemm.
The Blackhawks, who are 3-4-4 away from home this season, play their next six
games on the road, all against Western Conference teams.
Edmonton was 2-1-1 against the Blackhawks last season and is 5-1-1 in its last
seven on home ice against Chicago.
11/18 10:23:49 ET