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At the Rink blog

Oilers, Senators waiting for chips to fall

Tuesday, 03.04.2014 / 4:04 PM

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

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2013-2014 At the Rink Blog
Oilers, Senators waiting for chips to fall

EDMONTON -- With the NHL Trade Deadline approaching and the rumor mill swirling, there was uneasiness in both the Edmonton Oilers and Ottawa Senators dressing room Tuesday morning.

The Oilers executed a couple of trades following their morning skate, acquiring goaltender Viktor Fasth from the Anaheim Ducks, and then sending Ilya Bryzgalov to the Minnesota Wild.

The Oilers announced University of Alberta Golden Bears goalie Kurtis Mucha will dress as the backup. The Sherwood Park, Alberta native is doing his second tour of duty with an NHL team, after he filled in for the Boston Bruins during their practice in Edmonton earlier this season.

Earlier in the day, the Oilers also waived defenseman Corey Potter.

With the team out of the playoff race, other chips are expected to fall prior to the deadline Wednesday.

"You just have to go about your business," Oilers center Sam Gagner said. "I think for me, I feel like I can make improvements and that's what I'm focusing on right now.

"I think [Tuesday] is a tough test for us, you just focus on the game, preparing for them and the rest kind of takes care of itself."

Gagner and right wing Ales Hemsky are two of the Oilers expected to garner the most interest from other teams around the League. Hemsky would not address the media following the morning skate, despite it possibly being his last game with the Oilers.

"It's amazing how much [nonsense] is floated out there with the rumors," Oilers coach Dallas Eakins said. "I think people actually sit at home and make up one and see where it goes. It's too bad, because the players read it and I think it does affect them.

"But it's the world we live in. It's certainly not right, but it is what it is. I talked to our team [Tuesday] and it's the first day that I felt -- and I could be wrong -- but I felt that we were distracted [Tuesday], and I addressed it. But I think it's hard to not be at least a little distracted by all the white noise."

The Senators had distractions of their own.

Defenseman Chris Phillips is a candidate to be on the move, having spent his entire 16-year career in Ottawa.

Left wing Cory Conacher was waived earlier in the morning, but is expected to be in the lineup against the Oilers regardless. The Senators also put defenseman Joe Corvo on waivers.

"It's tough to prepare for a game when you're thinking about that," Phillips said. "What will be, will be. It's my job to go out and play the best I can every night. If it happens to be [my last game] hopefully it'll be an extra-special one and a great one.

"But I'm going to try and not get caught up in that too much. The biggest part of it is the unknown for everybody. Once the deadline has gone by, then you'll know for sure what's happening."

Here are the lineups for the Senators and Oilers.

SENATORS

Milan MichalekJason SpezzaCory Conacher

Clarke MacArthurKyle TurrisErik Condra

Mike HoffmanMika ZibanejadBobby Ryan

Colin GreeningZack SmithChris Neil

Marc MethotErik Karlsson

Chris PhillipsCody Ceci

Patrick WierciochEric Gryba

Craig Anderson

Robin Lehner

Scratched: Jared Cowen, Matt Kassian

Injured: Mark Stone (arm)

OILERS

Taylor HallRyan Nugent-HopkinsNail Yakupov

Ales HemskySam GagnerJordan Eberle

Matt HendricksBoyd GordonDavid Perron

Luke GazdicRyan SmythRyan Jones

Mark FraserAndrew Ference

Nick SchultzJustin Schultz

Martin MarincinJeff Petry

Ben Scrivens

Kurtis Mucha

Scratched: None

Injured: Anton Belov (abdominal)

Quote of the Day

It's really exciting. I'm pretty sure that when I play my first game I'm going to be emotional. To be back on the ice playing a game, being in game situations, with all the routines and rituals I do before games and during the game, I feel like I'm going to be emotional. I'm going to be really happy.

— Montreal Canadiens forward Tim Bozon on playing for the first time since his life-threaning illness