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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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Posted On Thursday, 04.10.2014 / 2:34 PM

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

Oilers get one final crack at figuring out Kings

EDMONTON -- Though the argument can be made the Edmonton Oilers have struggled against a lot of NHL teams this season, the Los Angeles Kings have been a particularly problematic opponent.

The Oilers have lost all three games to the Kings this season; they play each other a final time Thursday.

"I find L.A. to be, for our group, the most difficult of the bunch," Oilers coach Dallas Eakins said.
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Posted On Tuesday, 04.08.2014 / 4:13 PM

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

Oilers envious of Avalanche's quick turnaround

EDMONTON -- The Edmonton Oilers are going into their game against the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday with a bit of envy.

The Avalanche are where the Oilers hoped they would be this season.

A year ago Colorado was at the bottom of the NHL standings and selected first at the 2013 NHL Draft.

This season the Avalanche are going to the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and the Oilers, with three No. 1 picks on their roster, are heading back to the draft lottery.

"They built the same way we did as far as through the draft," Oilers right wing Jordan Eberle said. "They have a lot of young guys and they've been able to put it together as far as the wins go. When I look at that I'm for sure jealous. They're going to be in the playoffs and we're not. That being said, it's just another game [Tuesday] where we want to beat them and show we can play with them. They somehow found a way to do it and we have to do that."

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Posted On Sunday, 04.06.2014 / 2:58 PM

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

Oilers' Fasth gets second chance vs. former team

EDMONTON -- Edmonton Oilers goaltender Viktor Fasth is looking forward to another opportunity to play against his former team.

Fasth was in goal in a 3-2 loss to the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday and will get the start Sunday when the Oilers play the Ducks for the final time this season.

"It doesn't matter really what team you play, you want to win every game and that's why you play hockey," Fasth said. "That's what it's all about. Of course it's a special game, I've played with these guys [Ducks] for over a year. But it's still two points and it's a new game."

The Oilers acquired Fasth from the Ducks a day prior to the March 5 NHL Trade Deadline in exchange for a fifth-round pick in the 2014 NHL Draft and a third-round pick in the 2015 draft.

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Quote of the Day

You get the right whistles at the right times, you can leave him out there. He's a beast when it comes to being on the ice. I thought [Saturday] he was a big man. That first period, he did that lateral cut and it was like three bowling pins bounced off him. There's not too many guys that can do that.

— Capitals coach Barry Trotz on Alex Ovechkin, who enters February tied for the NHL lead in goals