NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, March 1st (All times Eastern)
Edmonton Oilers (8-7-4) at St. Louis Blues (10-7-2), 8 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Edmonton Oilers try to win in St. Louis for the first time in over three years on Friday night as they continue their longest road trip of the season with a matchup against the Blues.
The Oilers are set to play the third of a nine-game trek and will look to halt a five-game slide in St. Louis, where the club hasn't won since Dec. 12, 2009.
That 5-3 victory was Edmonton's fifth in a row on the road at the time, a winning streak that also included a shootout win at Dallas six days earlier. The Oilers hadn't won there either since that game before posting a 5-1 victory over the hosting Stars on Thursday.
Alex Hemsky scored twice and added a pair of assists, while Sam Gagner scored his sixth goal of the season and team-leading 19th point in 19 games. Jeff Petry, Justin Schultz and Ben Eager also had goals, while Jordan Eberle and Lennart Petrell notched two assists each.
Devan Dubnyk stopped 33-of-34 shots, losing his shutout bid with 5:55 remaining as the Oilers moved to 4-3-2 on the road this season. They had opened their road trip on Monday with an overtime loss to the Chicago Blackhawks.
"We definitely had the bounces on our side and we used our opportunities early," Oilers coach Ralph Krueger said. "Devan Dubnyk played an outstanding game and the special teams, especially the penalty killing, did what they needed to do."
Edmonton and Dallas certainly engaged in a physical battle that culminated with the Stars' Jamie Benn delivering a cross-check to the back of Ryan Jones after the Oilers' forward had picked up a two-minute goaltender interference call with four minutes to play.
Luckily for the Oilers, the Blues are also playing on back-to-back nights after getting shut out 3-0 by the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday. Jaroslav Halak was touched for all three goals on 23 shots faced, giving up the first tally just 12 seconds into the game.
"We needed a better performance," Blues captain David Backes admitted. "It's as plain as that, and we didn't have it."
St. Louis lost for the third time in four games overall and has scored just three goals in that span while getting shut out twice. It has also lost five of its past six at home, where the club sits at just 4-5-1 on the season.
One bright spot was the Blues holding the Blackhawks scoreless on their one power-play attempt, making St. Louis a perfect 10-for-10 on the penalty kill over its last four games.
Already without rookie Vladimir Tarasenko (concussion) and Andy McDonald (left knee), Alexander Steen did not play versus Chicago due to an upper-body issue. He was hurt in the same practice on Tuesday as McDonald, who was placed on injured reserve the following day.
The Blues have outscored the Oilers 16-7 over their five-game series home winning streak, posting two shutouts in that span. Halak has both of those whitewashes, but Brian Elliott could get his first start since Feb. 11 in this game due to the back-to-back.
Elliott is 4-3-0 with a 3.05 goals against average and .882 save percentage in seven career games versus the Oilers, while Halak is a much better 5-1-1 in seven meetings with a 2.12 GAA and .909 save percentage.
Dubnyk, meanwhile, has never beaten the Blues, losing all six career starts with a 4.83 GAA.
St. Louis has won three straight and nine of its past 11 versus Edmonton overall.
03/01 10:46:05 ET