Oilers try to avoid season sweep against Blues on TSN

The Sports Network
3/13/2014 11:29:29 AM
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(SportsNetwork.com) - The NHL-leading St. Louis Blues will try to bounce back from their first loss of the month when they host the Edmonton Oilers in Thursday's encounter at Scottrade Center.

Watch the Blues vs. Oilers live on TSN starting at 7:30pm et/4:30pm pt.

Edmonton, the last-place team in the Western Conference, has done well in its spoiler role lately, winning three of its last four games and posting an 8-3-2 mark over the past 13 outings.

The Oilers opened a four-game road trip on Tuesday with a comeback victory over the Minnesota Wild. Edmonton fell behind 3-0 in the first period, but rallied for a 4-3 shootout win at Xcel Energy Center.

Edmonton's Jeff Petry cut the deficit to 3-1 before the end of the first period. David Perron and Jordan Eberle then tallied over a four-minute span in the third to even things at 3-3.

Taylor Hall delivered the winner in the shootout, scoring in the fourth round to complete the rally for Edmonton. After Jason Pominville was stopped by Viktor Fasth, Hall skated in and shot the puck between the pads of Darcy Kuemper for the winner.

Fasth stopped 28 shots in the win.

"I'm proud of them. It would have been easy to pack it in but the guys kept scraping and clawing," said Oilers head coach Dallas Eakins. "They were playing an excellent defensive game but we stuck to it."

Despite Tuesday's win, the Oilers are just 11-19-5 as the road team this season.

The Blues had won five straight to begin March before dropping Tuesday's home overtime decision against Dallas. St. Louis hopes to get back on track tonight against an Edmonton team it has dominated in recent years.

With 95 points, the Blues are two points ahead of Anaheim for the top spot in the NHL standings and also hold a four-point edge over Colorado for first place in the Central Division.

The Blues are 2-0 against Edmonton in 2013-14 and they can complete a sweep of the season series on Thursday. St. Louis has won seven of eight and 13 of the last 16 meetings in this matchup, but the Oilers did halt a six-game road skid in the series when it posted a 3-0 win at Scottrade Center on March 26 of last season.

The Blues had a three-game home winning streak snapped, but are still 23-5-4 in the Gateway City this season.

Taylor Hall  (Photo: Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images)


(Photo: Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images)
Practice Notes
Blues D Alex Pietrangelo didn't skate this morning (maintenance) and will be in the lineup tonight.

This is F David Perron's first game back in St. Louis since he was traded to Edmonton.

F Vladimir Sobotka will return to the Blues' line up tonight after missing 6 weeks with a broken knee cap.

Oilers Lines:
Hall - Gagner - Perron
Yakupov - RNH - Eberle
Hendricks - Gordon - Joensue
Gazdic - Smyth - Jones

Klefbom - Ference
Fraser - Schultz
Marincin - Petry


Blues Lines:
Schwartz - Backes - Steen
Tarasenko - Sobotka - Oshie
Berglund - Roy - Ott
Paajarvi - Lapierre - Reaves

Bouwmeester - Pietrangelo
Jackman - Shattenkirk
Polar - Cole


Game Notes:
STL is 2-0-0 vs EDM this season, both games in EDM
Teams split two games in STL last season
STL (44-14-7):
36-1-5 when scoring first
3/8 on PP vs EDM this season
5-0-1 past 6 games, 17/19 on PK, 11GA
Miller 4-0-1 with STL, .928sv%, 1.78GAA
Miller averaged 35 shots against with BUF, 24 against with STL
Tarasenko (3A) 3 game PT streak
EDM (23-35-8):
11SHG allowed, most in NHL
3-1-0 past 4 games, 2/12 on PP, outshot in all 4 games
Scrivens 5-5-0 with EDM, 2.31GAA, .938sv%
Gagner (1G, 6A) 5 game PT streak

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