NHL Preview from The Sports Network |
Thursday, March 4th
(All times eastern)
Edmonton Oilers (27-27-10-2) at St. Louis Blues (29-26-8-2), 8 p.m.
(Sports Network) - A pair of teams vying for the final playoff spot in the
Western Conference meet tonight, as the Edmonton Oilers skate into the Savvis
Center to battle the St. Louis Blues.
The Blues have 68 points and are four behind Los Angeles for the eighth and
final postseason berth in the Western Conference. Edmonton is just two points
behind St. Louis.
The Oilers are coming off an overtime win over the Phoenix Coyotes on Tuesday.
Ryan Smyth notched his second goal of the game midway through the extra
session to lift Edmonton to the 5-4 win at Rexall Place.
Georges Laraque, Steve Staios and Jason Smith also scored for Edmonton, which
has earned a point in six of its last seven games (4-1-1-1). Tommy Salo
allowed four goals on 33 shots in the victory.
After Daymond Langkow tied the game late in regulation for Phoenix, the
Oilers tallied at 2:26 of the extra session. Smyth took a face off at the left
circle and the puck got caught up in sticks and skates. Smyth, though, was
able to follow the puck and he took control before beating Brian Boucher at
the left post for the game-winner.
On Wednesday, the Oilers tried to add some punch to their offense by picking
up forward Petr Nedved from the New York Rangers. Edmonton received Nedved and
goalie Jussi Markkanen in exchange for collegiate prospect Dwight Helminen and
minor league goaltender Stephen Valiquette.
The Oilers, who have just two wins in their last 11 games as the visitor
(2-6-2-1), begin a three-game road trip tonight.
Meanwhile, the Blues have been in a tailspin recently, going winless in six
straight contests. St. Louis' third straight loss came Tuesday night after
they dropped a 4-2 decision to the Calgary Flames. Jarome Iginla netted two
goals and assisted on another to lift the Flames at the Savvis Center.
Scott Mellanby and Pavol Demitra scored for St. Louis as the Blues failed to
get new head coach Mike Kitchen his first win after four tries (0-3-1). Chris
Osgood allowed three goals on 19 shots for the Blues, who are 0-4-1-1 in their
The Blues complete a two-game homestand tonight before facing the New York
Islanders at Nassau Coliseum on Saturday.
St. Louis is 5-2-2 in the last nine meetings against the Oilers, and is
unbeaten in the previous nine matchups at the Savvis Center (0-7-2).
03/04 10:47:02 ET