Series (Game 3 of 4)

Edmonton leads 3-1

Game 1: Sunday, November 13th
Game 2: Saturday, November 19th
Game 3: Monday, January 2nd
Game 4: Thursday, February 2nd

Oilers 4

(16-19-3, 35 pts)

Blackhawks 3

(24-11-4, 52 pts)

8:30 PM ET, January 2, 2012

United Center, Chicago, Illinois

1 2 3 T
EDM 0 3 14
CHI 1 1 13

R. Smyth (Oilers - LW): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

T. Hall (Oilers - LW): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

J. Toews (Blackhawks - C): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

Oilers-Blackhawks Preview


The Chicago Blackhawks have been on a roll lately, but those recent wins might not be enough to erase the memory of their last game against the Edmonton Oilers.

The Blackhawks will try to avenge their most lopsided defeat in four seasons when the struggling Oilers visit the United Center on Monday night.

Chicago (24-10-4) has gone 10-2-1 in its last 13 to take over the Western Conference lead and is coming off a 3-2 win over Detroit -- which is three points behind the Blackhawks -- on Friday. Brent Seabrook netted the go-ahead goal early in the third period and Corey Crawford helped that hold up, finishing with 26 saves.

"It's nice to come out with an effort the way we did tonight and get a big two points," Seabrook said.

A matchup with the Oilers (15-19-3) might not normally inspire the same intensity, but a 9-2 defeat in Edmonton on Nov. 19 could help stoke some for Chicago.

Taylor Hall recorded his second career hat trick as the Blackhawks suffered their worst loss since falling by the same score in Los Angeles on Jan. 1, 2008. Rookie Ryan Nugent-Hopkins registered five assists and Jordan Eberle and Tom Gilbert had four points apiece.

The Oilers haven't been nearly as prolific lately, getting outscored 27-17 while dropping seven of eight. Sam Gagner scored during a 4-1 loss to the New York Islanders on Saturday that dropped Edmonton to 0-3-0 on its season-high seven-game road trip.

"We have stretches where we play really well, and I feel like we become a totally different team for stretches of time," defenseman Andy Sutton said. "I think all teams go through that. It's just ours seem to be lasting a little longer."

Edmonton has dropped seven straight on the road and is 3-11-1 in its last 15 overall. The Oilers haven't lost eight in a row away from home since a team-worst 11-game skid Dec. 23, 2009-Feb. 10, 2010.

A matchup with Chicago wouldn't seem to give them a great chance to end that skid, as Edmonton is 4-10-0 in the series over the last four seasons. The Oilers had won two in a row at the United Center before falling by a 6-3 score there Nov. 13.

Jonathan Toews and Steve Montador each scored a pair of goals, and Marian Hossa was one of four Blackhawks with two assists.

Hossa has eight goals and nine assists over his last 12 games, and four goals and six assists in his last nine versus Edmonton.

Patrick Sharp has also shined against the Oilers with 10 goals and 11 assists over the last 17 matchups. Toews has 10 goals and seven assists in his past 10 games versus Edmonton, while Patrick Kane four goals and 11 assists in his last nine.

Crawford, who turned 27 on Saturday, is expected to make his fifth consecutive start after going 3-1-0 with a 1.52 goals-against average in the last four games. He gave up two goals on seven shots in relief of Ray Emery on Nov. 19.

After Devan Dubnyk started Saturday and gave up four goals on his first nine shots, the Oilers could turn to Nikolai Khabibulin, who is 3-3-0 with a 3.55 GAA in his last six games against his former team. Dubnyk is 0-2-0 with a 4.06 GAA in two career starts versus Chicago.