Oilers looking to snap three-game skid vs. Blues

PA Stats Inc
Mar 17, 2009
The Hockey News

Oilers looking to snap three-game skid vs. Blues

PA Stats Inc
Mar 17, 2009

St. Louis (32-29-8) at Edmonton (32-27-9), 9:00 pm EDT

EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) -- The Edmonton Oilers have salvaged a
point in each contest of a three-game losing streak, but after
dropping out of playoff position in the Western Conference,
that's of little comfort.

On Tuesday, the Oilers host the St. Louis Blues, who have pulled
within a point of Edmonton in the standings.

Since a 4-1 win over Toronto on March 7, the Oilers have dropped
three straight in overtime, including a 3-2 home loss to
Colorado on Saturday.

Defenseman Sheldon Souray tied the game for Edmonton with 5:20
remaining in regulation, but Dwayne Roloson gave up the
game-winner to Colorado's John-Michael Liles 42 seconds into the
extra session.

"It was just a missed opportunity early," Oilers coach Craig
MacTavish said. "We had a great opportunity to win the game
early, but after that it was just poor playmaking. We didn't
make enough plays from breakouts on through. And the faceoffs,
it's hard to sustain anything when you can't win those.

"It's a point, but it wasn't a great effort."

MacTavish's team fell into ninth place in the West following
Nashville's win Monday. Edmonton is one point behind
eighth-place Dallas and two back of the seventh-place Predators.

If the Oilers are to get back on track, they'll have to start
playing better short-handed. Edmonton has given up 10 power-play
goals over the last seven games while killing off only 13
penalties. Both of Colorado's regulation goals Saturday came on
the man advantage.

"You have this ominous feeling when you do take a penalty,"
MacTavish said. "You try to avoid that mentality but it's
reinforced by goals against. ... It's deflating.

"The strategy's there, it's just the execution. ... We need to
execute better in those situations."

MacTavish and the Oilers now try to slow the Blues, who appear
to be hitting their stride. Two weeks ago, St. Louis was in 12th
place in the West, but the Blues have won four of their last six
to remain in contention for their first postseason berth since

St. Louis defeated Minnesota 5-3 at home Sunday. The Blues were
3-for-7 on the power play, and scored three times in the second
period. Brad Boyes had a goal and an assist and goaltender Chris
Mason needed to stop only 19 shots to improve to 10-4-1 in his
last 15 starts

"This is the way we're going to have to play," said Blues center
Andy McDonald, who had two assists. "We can't afford to lose
hockey games, especially two in a row. We let it go after last
night and turned around and got prepared for today."

St. Louis plays its next three games in Western Canada, also
visiting Vancouver and Calgary this week. The Blues are 1-5-2
against those teams this season, including 0-2-1 against

The Oilers have won their last six meetings with St. Louis
overall. Roloson has a 1.30 goals-against average in the three
victories this season, including a 21-save effort in a 2-1
victory January 11 at Rexall Place.

Share X

Oilers looking to snap three-game skid vs. Blues