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Posted On Tuesday, 12.23.2014 / 1:52 PM

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

At the Rink: Coyotes at Oilers

EDMONTON -- The Edmonton Oilers are looking to avoid a regular-season sweep against the Arizona Coyotes at Rexall Place on Tuesday.

The Coyotes (11-18-4) have won all four games against the Oilers (7-20-7) going into the finale of the season series. Arizona has earned at least a point against Edmonton in their past 17 games (14-0-3).

"I think they just kind of wait for us to make mistakes and we've kind of killed ourselves in a lot of the games," Oilers right wing Jordan Eberle said. "Tonight will hopefully be a different story. I like to think we're playing a bit of a smarter game right now. We've addressed the way we need to play with our new coach, with a little bit of energy. I'm excited tonight. The last game before Christmas, where you get a few days off, you really want to try and get a win and feel good about yourself."

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Posted On Sunday, 12.21.2014 / 5:14 PM

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

At the Rink: Stars at Oilers

EDMONTON — Edmonton Oilers interim coach Todd Nelson will make his home debut Sunday against the Dallas Stars after losing his first two games behind the bench.

Nelson took over for Dallas Eakins, who was fired Monday by Edmonton, 113 games into a four-year contract. Nelson was promoted from the Oilers' American Hockey League affiliate in Oklahoma City for the remainder of the season. General manager Craig MacTavish has temporarily assumed a coaching role to help with the transition.

Nelson lost his first two games as coach at the Arizona Coyotes and San Jose Sharks, which extended the Oilers' losing streak to six games. The Oilers have lost 17 of their past 18 games.

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Posted On Sunday, 12.14.2014 / 8:43 PM

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

At the Rink: Rangers at Oilers

EDMONTON -- The Edmonton Oilers are looking for a better start in their game against the New York Rangers at Rexall Place on Sunday.

The Oilers have one win in their past 15 games. They are on a three-game losing streak, including a 4-2 loss to the Anaheim Ducks on Friday after they fell behind 3-0.

"We're looking for a good start here and we've put a little research into our starts trying to see what it is," Oilers coach Dallas Eakins said. "I've spoken about execution. It's the execution of the start. Over the last 15 games where we've struggled mightily, we've had 49 percent of the shots on net in the first period, and you would assume that we would get our share of the goals. But we're getting 18 percent of the goals, and that goes to execution.

"It goes to being ready to put that puck in the net or being ready for that chance, so those numbers don't match up. We need execution on the start; we're getting the action we need 5-on-5."

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Posted On Friday, 12.12.2014 / 4:34 PM

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

At the Rink: Ducks at Oilers

EDMONTON -- The Edmonton Oilers continue to have difficulty scoring.

Edmonton's inability to score more than two goals per game is a contributing factor in its struggles during the past month. The Oilers host the Anaheim Ducks at Rexall Place on Friday.

The Oilers (7-17-5) have lost two in a row and 13 of their past 14 games. They were unable to score more than two goals in 10 of those defeats, including a 2-1 loss at Anaheim on Wednesday.

"We definitely have a lot of skilled forwards in here that can put the puck in the net and we just have to find a way to be consistent in that," Oilers center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins said. "We've been shooting the puck a lot this season. I think we get a lot of first shots, but I think we have to find those second and third shots and we'll have more success."

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Posted On Sunday, 12.07.2014 / 8:08 PM

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

At the Rink: Sharks at Oilers

EDMONTON -- The Edmonton Oilers and San Jose Sharks decided not to skate Sunday morning prior to their first game against each another this season.

The Sharks took the morning off after defeating the Calgary Flames 3-2 at the Scotiabank Saddledome on Saturday.

Despite having three days between games, the Oilers decided to follow suit.

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Posted On Monday, 12.01.2014 / 4:00 PM

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

At the Rink: Coyotes at Oilers

EDMONTON -- The Edmonton Oilers will try to snap a nine-game losing streak Monday against a team they have not defeated in regulation in over three years.

The Oilers host the Arizona Coyotes at Rexall Place, looking for their first win since Nov. 9.

They have not won in regulation against Arizona since a 4-3 victory on Jan. 25, 2011.

"We know our situation, and in that aspect, we're frustrated," Oilers right wing Jordan Eberle said. "I've been in this situation before and if you start getting down on yourself and if you start getting negative and feel sorry for yourself, it'll just get worse.

"The only thing you can do is come in with the mindset that we have a game tonight and we're going to win. We had a good day of practice yesterday, we went over some things that we need to prepare on and we have to build on that."

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Posted On Saturday, 11.22.2014 / 4:00 PM

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

At the Rink: Blackhawks at Oilers

EDMONTON -- The Chicago Blackhawks know better than to underestimate the Edmonton Oilers.

Despite being on a two-game win streak, having won four of their past five, and winning the previous four encounters against Edmonton, the Blackhawks still remember the beatings of the yesteryear.

So going into their game Saturday against the Oilers, the Blackhawks are treading cautiously, even with Edmonton on a five-game losing streak.

"We know there is never a moment we can take for granted against these guys," Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews said. "We can't go by where teams are in the standings, regardless whether it's Edmonton or any other team that we might be ahead of, we're going to be for a tough one. I don't think we've forgotten what happened here several years ago, multiple times. We'll remind ourselves of that to make sure we're prepared to check well and not give them too much offense, unearned in our own zone."

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Posted On Friday, 11.21.2014 / 3:50 PM

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

At the Rink: Devils at Oilers

EDMONTON -- New Jersey Devils goaltender Cory Schneider will make his 20th consecutive start Friday, against the Edmonton Oilers, setting a New Jersey record for starts from the beginning of the season.

Goalie Martin Brodeur started the first 19 games of the 2001-2002 season. Brodeur holds the Devils record for consecutive starts with 44, set at the end of the 1995-96 season.

"I knew I was going to play a lot and they haven't disappointed," Schneider said. "This is what I've worked for and I've wanted. It's exciting. It's fun to play games. I'm not really thinking about it, but if I had sat out a game or two would it make that much of a difference? It's a record, but for me it's not that important right now."

Schneider took over the starting role from the departed Brodeur and has been in goal for all but 63:42 for the Devils this season.

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Posted On Wednesday, 11.19.2014 / 2:30 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 right wing Steven Pinizzotto is looking forward to his season debut, particularly because it comes against his former team.

Pinizzotto will be in the lineup for the Oilers against the Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday at Rexall Place, called up from the Oklahoma City Barons of the American Hockey League on Monday. Pinizzotto played 12 games for the Canucks during the 2012-2013 season.

"It's my old team, I know a couple of guys over there, but it's a game day, I just have to be prepared to play and I'm excited," Pinizzotto said. "I need to get the puck in deep and finish my checks, and I think the high-end guys and the crowd builds on that. When you get those guys involved then you start winning game. I just like to bring some intensity, finish my checks and hopefully do some offensive stuff too. I'll just be simple, play an easy game and try to get pucks deep."

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Posted On Sunday, 11.16.2014 / 12:59 PM

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

At the Rink: Coyotes at Oilers

EDMONTONEdmonton Oilers left wing Taylor Hall will return to the lineup Sunday against the Arizona Coyotes

Hall missed six games with an MCL sprain in his right knee, sustained crashing into the goal post Nov. 1 in a 3-2 loss against the Vancouver Canucks

“It’s been a long time since I played, it feels like,” Hall said. “It’s tough watching, but I thought the guys have played well. I’m just hoping to get back and contribute any way I can.”

At the time of his injury, Hall was leading the Oilers in scoring with six goals and four assists in 11 games. The Oilers' record was 2-3-1 without their star winger. 

“I only missed about a week of skating, so I feel like my conditioning never really diminished by any means,” Hall said. “But I’m sure once I get out there and get a couple of shifts under my belt, maybe it’ll be a different story just because you haven’t had that pressure and that game situation. I’m confident that my injury has healed well. I’m going to go out there and try to play my game.”

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Quote of the Day

It was a big dream. [Messi] is probably the best athlete out there, so it's a big honor, for [Kuznetzov] as well. It's maybe a once in a lifetime opportunity to meet the best player in soccer right now. I'm a big Barcelona fan and Messi fan, so it's huge. You can take [Michael] Jordan, [Mark] Messier, [Wayne] Gretzky, those kinds of [people]. It's an honor to meet. It's nice to be in that position.

— Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin told told Monumental Network after meeting soccer star Lionel Messi prior to Argentina's practice at Fed Ex Field in Landover, Md. on Friday