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Posted On Saturday, 11.22.2014 / 4:00 PM

By Derek Van Diest - Correspondent / - 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."

Posted On Friday, 11.21.2014 / 3:50 PM

By Derek Van Diest - Correspondent / - 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.

Posted On Wednesday, 11.19.2014 / 2:30 PM

By Derek Van Diest - Correspondent / - 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."

Posted On Sunday, 11.16.2014 / 12:59 PM

By Derek Van Diest - Correspondent / - 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.”

Posted On Thursday, 11.13.2014 / 3:44 PM

By Derek Van Diest - Correspondent / - 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."

Posted On Saturday, 11.01.2014 / 4:08 PM

By Derek Van Diest - Correspondent / - 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."

Posted On Wednesday, 10.29.2014 / 3:48 PM

By Derek Van Diest - Correspondent / - 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."

Posted On Monday, 10.27.2014 / 4:11 PM

By Derek Van Diest - Correspondent / - 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."

Posted On Friday, 10.24.2014 / 3:36 PM

By Derek Van Diest - Correspondent / - 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.

Posted On Wednesday, 10.22.2014 / 3:50 PM

By Derek Van Diest - Correspondent / - 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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It's cool when you think about how many great American players have played the game and the two players that were at that 18-game point streak and what they've done in their careers. It's pretty cool right now, but it was kind of overshadowed by the loss.

— Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane after breaking the record for longest point streak by an American-born player with a goal and an assist in a 3-2 overtime loss against the Kings
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