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Posted On Thursday, 11.13.2014 / 3:44 PM

By Derek Van Diest -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Senators at Oilers

EDMONTON -- Edmonton Oilers left wing Taylor Hall skated with the team Thursday morning for the first time since sustaining a knee injury, but will not be in the lineup against the Ottawa Senators.

Hall was injured crashing into the net in a 3-2 loss against the Vancouver Canucks on Nov. 1 and missed the Oilers' recent five-game road trip.

"My biggest thing since I got hurt is when I'm ready to play, I'll play," Hall said. "If that's two games from now, fine; if that's four games from now, then fine. When I'm ready to play and I'm confident in my knee, then I'll play."

The Oilers have lost three of five games without Hall in the lineup. Left wing Benoit Pouliot has been moved up to fill the void on the Oilers' top line alongside Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Jordan Eberle. Pouliot has two goals and an assist in his past two games.

"Pouliot has worked extremely hard right from the start of the season," Oilers coach Dallas Eakins said. "There are a million different ways you can contribute on a team. We signed Ben because he can close on the puck and he has an excellent stick. We thought we needed more of that and he's brought that.

"Now playing with those guys he's filled in greatly for a pair of shoes that are very big in Taylor Hall."

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Posted On Saturday, 11.01.2014 / 4:08 PM

By Derek Van Diest -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Canucks at Oilers

EDMONTON -- Defending the Vancouver Canucks' twin scoring sensations, Daniel Sedin and Henrik Sedin, has proven difficult for the Edmonton Oilers this season.

The Sedins and linemate Radim Vrbata have combined for 13 points in two games against the Oilers, who will play Saturday for the third time this season.

"They're good players. They are so good at keeping possession of the puck," Oilers left wing Taylor Hall said. "They don't give it up for anything. And to be honest, they play hard, they battle hard. So against players like that you want to keep the puck as much as you can and make sure we're playing in their end. When they have the puck it's almost like you have to go to the other Sedin if one Sedin has the puck and make sure you play hard on him. I'm looking forward to that matchup [Saturday]. If we can outplay them it's going to give our team a good chance."

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Posted On Wednesday, 10.29.2014 / 3:48 PM

By Derek Van Diest -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Predators at Oilers

EDMONTON -- Nashville Predators center Matt Cullen will make his season debut Wednesday against the Edmonton Oilers at Rexall Place.

Cullen missed the first eight games of the season with an upper-body injury. He will play left wing on a line with center Derek Roy and right wing Craig Smith.

"It's nice to be back in the lineup; it's never fun being hurt, especially coming out of the gate," Cullen said. "It's always fun to be a part of everything right from the drop of the puck at the beginning of the season. But it is what it is, and I'm happy to be healthy again and hopefully I can help with that scoring depth."

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Posted On Monday, 10.27.2014 / 4:11 PM

By Derek Van Diest -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Canadiens at Oilers

EDMONTON -- The Edmonton Oilers are up for another challenge from the Eastern Conference, hosting the Montreal Canadiens at Rexall Place on Monday.

Edmonton (3-4-1) defeated three Eastern Conference teams for their first three-game winning streak since Jan. 26-29, the Tampa Bay Lightning and Washington Capitals 3-2, and the Carolina Hurricanes 6-3.

The Canadiens (7-1-0) are the top team in the Eastern Conference and off to their best start since the 1961-62 season.

"We're trying to play better than we have in the last couple of years and build ourselves into a better team, and I think every game is a bit of a measuring stick for us considering where we are coming from," Oilers captain Andrew Ference said. "We haven't overlooked the teams that are close to the bottom, and without a doubt, we're getting up for the teams that are close to the top. It's a great test for us, they are difficult games, but every game in this league is."

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Posted On Friday, 10.24.2014 / 3:36 PM

By Derek Van Diest -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Hurricanes at Oilers

EDMONTON -- The Edmonton Oilers expect to play a desperate team in the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday at Rexall Place.

The Hurricanes still are looking for their first win of the season (0-4-2). They are the only team in the NHL without a win.

"The most dangerous dog is a wounded dog," Oilers coach Dallas Eakins said. "These guys have been wounded. We understand that. We respect their hunger. That is definitely a group we cannot take lightly right now."

The Oilers were in a similar position to the Hurricanes earlier in the week, searching for their first win of the season.

The Oilers were winless through their first five games of the season, but go in against Carolina on a two-game win streak. Edmonton has not won three consecutive games since Jan. 26-29 last season.

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Posted On Wednesday, 10.22.2014 / 3:50 PM

By Derek Van Diest -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Capitals at Oilers

EDMONTON -- Two nights after shutting down a premier goal scorer in Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos, the Edmonton Oilers will play against another in Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin on Wednesday at Rexall Place (9:30 p.m. ET, SN1, SN360).

Like Stamkos, Ovechkin goes into the game with five goals in five games as the Capitals have not lost a game in regulation this season (3-0-2).

"Ovechkin is definitely a guy you have to key on," Oilers right wing Jordan Eberle said. "You can't give him much space and room to shoot the puck, because obviously he has that great shot.

"He and Stamkos play very similar in that you can't give them too much room. They get that chance and a lot of times they bury it. You have to limit their space, be hard on them and definitely try to keep them out of the game."

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Posted On Monday, 10.20.2014 / 9:37 PM

By Derek Van Diest -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Lightning at Oilers

EDMONTON -- Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Jonathan Drouin, recalled Sunday from the Syracuse Crunch of the American Hockey League, was not expected to play Monday against the Edmonton Oilers, but has been inserted in the lineup for his NHL debut because Alex Killorn sustained an upper-body injury during the morning skate.

Drouin, the third pick in the 2013 NHL Draft, was on a conditioning assignment with the Crunch after breaking his thumb in training camp.

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Posted On Friday, 10.17.2014 / 3:54 PM

By Derek Van Diest -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Canucks at Oilers

EDMONTON -- Edmonton Oilers center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins will return to the lineup Friday against the Vancouver Canucks as the Oilers search for their first win of the season.

Nugent-Hopkins sustained an upper-body injury Saturday in Vancouver against the Canucks on a hit from defenseman Dan Hamhuis. The hit led to Nugent-Hopkins' first NHL fight, against Hamhuis.

"It was a physical game which led up to that hit," Nugent-Hopkins said. "The hit kind of jarred me there. I was just a little bit banged up in the upper-body region.

"I thought the fight was all right. Neither of us are exactly fighters, but I don't think it was a lopsided thing one way or the other and that's always a positive thing when you get into your first fight. But I've been in the League for a few years and you see a lot of fights and you kind of understand what you need to do. I just tried to protect myself as much as possible and I tried to get in as many in as I could."

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Posted On Thursday, 10.09.2014 / 3:44 PM

By Derek Van Diest -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Flames at Oilers

EDMONTON -- Opening night can be stressful enough for the Edmonton Oilers. But having the entire 1984 Stanley Cup championship team in attendance will add another element of anxiety Thursday against the Calgary Flames (9:30 p.m. ET, SN360).

The Oilers' 1984 team will be honored prior to the game, commemorating the 30th anniversary of Edmonton's first Stanley Cup championship.

"Just having them in the stands at morning skate adds a little bit of pressure," Oilers right wing Jordan Eberle said. "But it's fun. It's nice to soak in some of the knowledge they have. A lot of these guys are in the Hockey Hall of Fame, so just to see their faces here in our dressing room is a little bit of a shock. I think it's great for Edmonton to have them back. For us as hockey players a lot of these guys were our idols, so to get to meet them is exciting. You want to soak in as much as you can from them."

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Posted On Saturday, 04.12.2014 / 3:24 PM

By Derek Van Diest -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Oilers face Canucks in Smyth's final game

EDMONTON — It was business as usual for Edmonton Oilers forward Ryan Smyth on Saturday morning as he prepared for his final NHL game.

Smyth announced Friday he would be retiring at the end of the Oilers' season, which ends Saturday night against the Vancouver Canucks.

"I'm just going to try and keep the emotions in check and try to take it all in," Smyth said. "Everything was normal [Saturday morning] as far as taking part in the drills and stuff, but you look up at the rafters and you see all the banners of the Cups and the banners of the guys who have retired, so it's pretty special.

"It's a great building to play in and I'm really looking forward to [Saturday night]."

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Quote of the Day

I remember the first time at Wrigley Field all of us had the long johns, the turtlenecks and the extra equipment because we were afraid of being cold. Halfway through the first period everybody's ripping everything off and we just ended up wearing what we would normally wear for a game at the United Center.

— Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp on the 2009 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic