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Oilers host Flyers on TSN, Flames in action vs Hurricanes

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The Sports Network
2/3/2010 4:08:12 PM
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After they avoided matching the longest winless streak in club history, the Oilers can now turn their attention to continuing their success over the Flyers.

Edmonton seeks to extend a six-game unbeaten streak over Philadelphia as the two teams battle tonight at Rexall Place.  Watch the game live on the NHL on TSN's Wednesday Night Hockey tonight at 9:30pm et/6:30pm pt.

The Oilers carried a 0-11-2 skid into Monday night's game versus the Hurricanes hoping to avoid matching a 14-game winless drought from October 11- November 7, 1993 that is the longest in team history. Edmonton, though, picked up its first win since December 30 by beating Carolina, 4-2.

Jeff Deslauriers made 15 of his 33 saves in the third period and both Marc Pouliot and Jean-Francois Jacques each had a goal and an assist. Sam Gagner and Gilbert Brule also tallied for Edmonton, which hasn't won back-to-back games since a season-high five-game winning streak from December 3-11.

"It hasn't been real good for us in the last month," Deslauriers said. "We have to look forward and start fresh."

The Oilers also halted a string of eight consecutive home games with a loss and won for just the second time in their last 17 at Rexall Place.

Edmonton hasn't lost at home to Philadelphia since March 19, 2001, though the clubs have met just twice there since. The Oilers are 1-0 with a tie in that span and 5-0 with a tie in their last six overall against the Flyers.

Philadelphia, though, began a three-game road trip on Monday with a 3-0 victory over Calgary, as Ray Emery made 18 saves to post his third shutout of the season and first since January 21. The netminder has allowed two goals or fewer in five of his last six starts.

Mike Richards scored twice, the first his 100th career NHL goal, while Claude Giroux also tallied for the Flyers, who went 4-2-0 on a six-game homestand before visiting Calgary. Richards had just one goal in his previous 10 games and notched his first multi-goal game since December 23.

"I thought that was probably our best sixty minute effort in a little while," remarked Flyers coach Peter Laviolette.

The victory gave the Flyers sole possession of sixth place in the Eastern Conference with 59 points and a 12-12-1 mark on the road this year.

In other action tonight, the Flames conclude a three-game homestand with a much different look then when it began.

Ales Kotalik and Christopher Higgins will become the fifth and sixth different skaters to make their Calgary debut in the last two games, as the club hosts the Carolina Hurricanes at Pengrowth Saddledome.

The Flames began this stand having gone 0-6-3 in nine games before a 6-1 win over the lowly Oilers on Saturday. That didn't stop Calgary from pulling off a big trade the following day, shipping former All-Star defenseman Dion Phaneuf, forward Fredrik Sjostrom and defensive prospect Keith Aulie to Toronto for four players.

Coming back to Calgary were forwards Niklas Hagman, Matt Stajan and Jamal Mayers, as well as defenseman Ian White, and all four players made their debut on Monday night versus the Flyers.

Hoping to spark an offense that is netting just 2.50 goals per game, the Flames instead managed just 18 shots in a 3-0 loss to Philadelphia. Miikka Kiprusoff made 24 saves, as Calgary lost for the seventh time in its last eight home games.

"We had a lot of guys here tonight who just didn't play well," Flames head coach Brent Sutter said. "The emotion level was not where it needed to be. We can't have players, new and old, take too long getting used to each other because we have no time for that. We need to win hockey games."

Calgary, which is two points behind Detroit and Nashville for the final two playoff spots in the Western Conference, shook things up again following Monday night's game, as an on-again, off-again trade with the New York Rangers was made official.

Olli Jokinen, acquired from Florida at last year's trade deadline, was dealt to the Big Apple along with forward Brandon Prust for Kotalik and Higgins.

Kotalik has just eight goals and 22 points in 45 games this season and had been a healthy scratch in eight of New York's last nine games after signing a three-year deal with the club prior to this season. Higgins, meanwhile, had six goals and eight assists in 55 games with New York.

Calgary will try to get is offense on track versus a Carolina club that had a season-high four-game winning streak halted with Monday's 4-2 loss to Edmonton. Cam Ward, who had allowed just five goals over the Hurricanes' win streak, was beaten four times on 27 shots.

Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers (Photo: Andy Marlin/NHLI via Getty Images)

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(Photo: Andy Marlin/NHLI via Getty Images)
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