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Posted On Tuesday, 03.03.2015 / 3:40 PM

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

At the Rink: Kings at Oilers

EDMONTON -- The Los Angeles Kings are accustomed to living life on the edge.

A team built for success in the NHL Playoffs, the Kings play the Edmonton Oilers (18-35-10) at Rexall Place on Tuesday fighting just to get into the post season.

It’s a similar scenario they were in last season before winning the Stanley Cup.

“For sure, it’s a dangerous way to live and play,” Kings center Jarret Stoll said. “It’s stressful for sure. People keep saying it and we don’t want to hear it to be honest, anymore, that we’ll just flip the switch. That’s easy to say, but very tough to do.”

Posted On Saturday, 02.28.2015 / 4:05 PM

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

At the Rink: Blues at Oilers

EDMONTON -- The Edmonton Oilers are keeping defenseman Jeff Petry out of the lineup against the St. Louis Blues at Rexall Place on Saturday.

Edmonton is expected to trade Petry if unable to sign him to a contract extension prior to the NHL Trade Deadline at 3 p.m. ET on Monday.

Petry, 27, will become an unrestricted free agent July 1 if unsigned.

“He’s not playing tonight,” Oilers coach Todd Nelson said. “It’s a management decision. Jordan Oesterle will go in for him; he played well his first game and we want to see him again.”

Posted On Saturday, 02.21.2015 / 6:07 PM

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

At the Rink: Ducks at Oilers

EDMONTON -- Defenseman Jordan Oesterle will make his NHL debut with the Edmonton Oilers against the Anaheim Ducks at Rexall Place on Saturday.

Oesterle was recalled from the Oklahoma City Barons of the American Hockey League on Friday and will replace Keith Aulie in the Oilers lineup.

"I think anytime a player plays his first game, it's an exciting time," Edmonton coach Todd Nelson said. "We're facing a really good hockey team, and it'll be a great challenge for him. But he's a guy that can skate very well, he moves the puck well. I'm very excited to watch him play tonight."

The Oilers and Ducks each are playing the second of back-to-back games.

Posted On Friday, 02.20.2015 / 4:19 PM

By Derek Van Diest - Correspondent / - 2015 NHL Trade Deadline blog

Oilers hoping for contract extension with Petry

EDMONTON -- Edmonton Oilers general manager Craig MacTavish has been negotiating with defenseman Jeff Petry in an effort to sign him to a contract extension and prevent him from becoming an unrestricted free agent.

However, if the two sides are unable to agree to a contract before the NHL Trade Deadline at 3 p.m. ET on March 2, it is expected Petry will be traded.

"We really challenged him on a one-year contract [this past offseason]," MacTavish said Friday. "He's clearly met that challenge and he's on a level that he hasn't been at before. I give Jeff a lot of credit for that. As for what the course of action is going forward, I've had many conversations over the last four weeks with Wade Arnott, Jeff's representative, as you might imagine. They have all been constructive conversations but I'm just going to leave it at that and we'll see what happens going forward."

Posted On Friday, 02.20.2015 / 3:28 PM

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

At the Rink: Wild at Oilers

EDMONTON -- Devan Dubnyk will look to continue dominance over his former teammates Friday when the Minnesota Wild play the Edmonton Oilers.

Prior to being acquired in a trade by the Wild, Dubnyk defeated Edmonton three times while a member of the Arizona Coyotes this season.

Dubnyk is 4-0-0 with a 0.98 goals-against average and .966 save percentage in four games against the Oilers this season.

"They're playing well; Dubnyk has been playing well for them," Oilers coach Todd Nelson said. "But we're going to approach the game the same way. We want to keep things simple, we want to get shots on net, we have to get traffic in front. When a team is playing well with a good goaltender, you have to generate shots, put them on net and make the goalie work."

Posted On Wednesday, 02.18.2015 / 4:00 PM

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

At the Rink: Bruins at Oilers

EDMONTON -- Boston Bruins coach Claude Julien would not reveal his starting goaltender against the Edmonton Oilers following the morning skate Wednesday.

Goalie Malcolm Subban was recalled by the Bruins from Providence of the American Hockey League on Monday and could make his NHL debut.

Bruins starting goaltender Tuukka Rask has played in 23 of their past 24 games.

"That will remain the million dollar question for the rest of the day," Julien said. "It keeps you guys [media] interested."

Posted On Wednesday, 02.04.2015 / 2:58 PM

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

At the Rink: Penguins at Oilers

EDMONTON -- Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin will return to the lineup Wednesday against the Edmonton Oilers.

Malkin missed the past five games with a lower-body injury. He will play on a line with Patric Hornqvist and former Oilers forward Mark Arcobello.

"He [Malkin] looked good yesterday in practice, he went out there again this morning," Penguins coach Mike Johnston said. "He was cleared, took some contact yesterday in practice, so he looks fine."

Posted On Thursday, 01.29.2015 / 4:09 PM

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

At the Rink: Sabres at Oilers

EDMONTON -- The Buffalo Sabres will attempt to end a 12-game losing streak Thursday against the Edmonton Oilers, who know the feeling of an extended winless drought.

Edmonton lost 11 consecutive games earlier this season and 20 of 21 before coach Todd Nelson took over exclusively for Dallas Eakins.

Buffalo (14-31-3) has not won since defeating the New York Islanders 4-3 in a shootout on Dec. 27. They have not earned a point in that span.

"We're going through a bad stretch but the last three games I think the effort has been there," Sabres coach Ted Nolan said. "I think we're getting a little better as far as the battle level and the effort goes. As long as the effort and the battle level are there, the outcome will be the outcome based on how you execute things."

Posted On Tuesday, 01.27.2015 / 3:45 PM

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

At the Rink: Wild at Oilers

EDMONTON -- A leg injury sustained in practice Monday will keep Edmonton Oilers left wing Taylor Hall out of the lineup Tuesday against the Minnesota Wild.

Hall was hit in the leg with a shot, forcing him off the ice early. He was not made available to the media Tuesday.

"Yesterday as you all know, he got a shot in the leg and it didn't react like we wanted it to overnight and so he's going through further testing today," Oilers coach Todd Nelson said. "As of right now, yes, I guess [it is a bruise]."

Benoit Pouliot, who has scored seven goals and one assist in nine games since returning from a broken foot, will replace Hall on the Oilers' top line.

"It seemed like a natural fit, having to juggle the lines a little bit," Nelson said. "Hopefully, it works out."

Posted On Sunday, 01.11.2015 / 6:25 PM

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

At the Rink: Panthers at Oilers

EDMONTON — Despite the Florida Panthers' success so far this season, they do not feel they’re in a position to underestimate the Edmonton Oilers at Rexall Place on Sunday.

The Oilers (10-23-9) have played well since interim coach Todd Nelson took over exclusively for Dallas Eakins, who was fired on Dec. 15.

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We've got to find a way to win a game. He's played well in the minors, now he gets his opportunity. We tried [with Jonathan Bernier]. The way I look at it, you get opportunities and you make the most of it. That's what [James Reimer] did. Now another opportunity is here and Sparks ... you gotta grab it. Is he ready? We'll find out.

— Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock to the Toronto Star on recalling goalie Garret Sparks from the AHL to start Monday in his NHL debut
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