NHL Preview from The Sports Network |
Friday, February 27th
(All times eastern)
Edmonton Oilers (25-27-10-1) at Phoenix Coyotes (20-24-15-4), 9 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Edmonton Oilers try to get back on the winning track
tonight when they visit the struggling Phoenix Coyotes at Glendale Arena.
The Oilers were handed a 4-2 setback by the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim at the
Pond on Wednesday night. Joffrey Lupul scored twice in the third period to
Cory Cross and Igor Ulanov both scored for the Oilers, who had a three-game
unbeaten string snapped (2-0-1).
Tommy Salo stopped 28 shots, but fell to 2-1-1 in his last four contests.
The Oilers dropped to 1-6-2 in their last nine on the road and 12-2-1 in the
last 15 against Anaheim.
Edmonton has 61 points and is tied with Anaheim for 10th place in the Western
Conference. Both teams are nine behind Los Angeles and Calgary for the eighth
and final playoff spot in the conference.
The Oilers complete a three-game road trip in Dallas on Sunday.
Phoenix hit new depths on Wednesday night when it was handed an overtime loss
Wednesday by the lowly Pittsburgh Penguins. It was the Coyotes' first game
under new head coach Rick Bowness.
Ric Jackman's deflection goal 2:05 into overtime gave the Penguins their first
win in 19 games. The 4-3 win at Glendale Arena was Pittsburgh's first since
January 12 in Philadelphia.
Phoenix, just 2-9-2-2 in its last 15 games, fired Bob Francis on Tuesday and
installed Bowness as the interim head coach. The Coyotes are just 20-24-15-4
and in last place in the Pacific Division.
Jan Hrdina, Mike Sillinger and Cale Hulse scored goals for Phoenix, while
goaltender Brian Boucher stopped just 18-of-22 shots.
Boucher had no real chance on the game-winner, which was set up by a faceoff
win by Mike Eastwood inside the Phoenix zone. Eastwood sent the puck behind
the right circle for Dick Tarnstrom, who wristed one on net that was re-
directed in by Jackman for his fifth of the season.
Phoenix, which is 4-10-3-1 since moving into Glendale earlier this season,
completes a five-game homestand tonight.
The Oilers are 1-0-1 in the last two meetings with Phoenix and 5-3-1 in the
previous nine matchups. However, they are winless in their last three trips to
02/27 10:09:08 ET