Reeling Oilers hope for turnaround against Blues
BLUES (23-22-8) at OILERS (16-29-6)
: St. Louis 6-3-1, Edmonton 0-8-2.
: This is the third of four meetings between the teams. The Oilers took a 5-3 decision on Dec. 11 in St. Louis. Trailing 3-0 in the second, Edmonton scored with 11 seconds left in the period to get themselves on the board and returned from intermission to light the lamp another four times for the win. Blues right wing David Backes
and Oilers center Gilbert Brule each had a pair of goals. In their second meeting on Dec. 21, the Blues rebounded and rolled over Edmonton in a 7-2 victory. Andy McDonald
collected a pair of goals.
: When you're at the bottom of the League in standings, one would think things couldn't get any worse ... or could they? The Oilers are in the middle of an 11-game skid, where they have secured just two points in overtime losses. With just two games left in the month, they face the possibility of going winless in the month of January.
: St. Louis ended its four-game win streak in Western Canada with a 3-2 lost to the Canucks on Wednesday. T.J. Oshie
tied the game midway through the third period, but Vancouver took the lead once again when the puck ricocheted off Ty Conklin
's right pad and into the net. Conklin was nonetheless solid in the game with 31 saves, but the loss leaves the Blues in 13th place and five points shy of a playoff position. Keith Tkachuk scored a power-play goal in the first period.
: Edmonton's most recent defeat was a 4-2 loss to the Blackhawks on Tuesday night. The Oilers were outshot 37-24 by the Hawks, who scored just 44 seconds into the game on their first shot. Chicago would go on to score another three goals before Fernando Pisani would slip the puck past Cristobal Huet at the end of the second period. On the bright side, the Oilers were the only ones to score in the third, with Ryan Potulny tallying on a Blackhawks' turnover.
"We're just not a very good team right now," said captain Ethan Moreau. "They are a very good team, and they just outplayed us."
: David Perron
has had a point in each of his last five games, while Potulny has a goal in each of his last two games for the Oilers.
: The Oilers are desperate for good news and the return of Mike Comrie (mononucleosis) to the lineup might just be what they need. Brule (flu-like symptoms) also practiced this week and both forwards are likely to play Thursday. Goalie Nikolai Khabibulin (back surgery), forwards Ales Hemsky (left shoulder surgery) and Ryan Stone (knee) and defensemen Steve Staios (concussion) and Ladislav Smid (concussion) are all on the injured reserve. ... Blues defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo
is out with a lower-body injury, but could make his return this Saturday, while left wing D.J. King
(right hand surgery) is with the Peoria Rivermen (AHL) for conditioning.
: Edmonton right wing Dustin Penner has five points against the Blues this season, while St. Louis center Alex Steen
has four points against the Oilers.
: “We played like deer in the headlights. We knew it was a good team we were playing and it was like we were going to just stand there and hope nothing bad would happen.” -- Oilers coach Pat Quinn