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Oilers at Blackhawks preview

Edmonton aims to start 6-0-0; Chicago seeks first win of season

by Scott King / Independent Correspondent

OILERS (5-0-0) at BLACKHAWKS (0-2-1)

8:30 p.m. ET; NHLN, SN1, NBCSCH, NHL.TV


The Game

The Edmonton Oilers will try to win their sixth straight game to start the season when they play the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center on Monday.

A 6-0-0 start would be the second-best in Oilers history. They opened the 1983-84 season 7-0-0 en route to winning the first of five Stanley Cup championships in seven seasons. Edmonton can also become the first NHL team with a comeback victory in each of its first six games of a season. 

The Blackhawks hope to avoid an 0-3-1 start, which would be their worst since going 0-7-0 to begin the 1997-98 season.


Players to watch

Oilers center Connor McDavid has at least one point in each of his first five games and leads the NHL with 12 (four goals, eight assists). He was named the League's First Star for the week ending Oct. 13.

Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane has four points (one goal, three assists) in his first three games.


They said it

"Obviously, they'll be a desperate team. I think for us, just playing as a unit of five … I thought last game we were really good at that. We were coming out of our end cleaner, we were limiting the chances. For them, they're a highly skilled team. This is a fun building to play in and a tough building to play in." -- Oilers forward James Neal

"[We're] playing a good team, they're [5-0-0], we haven't won a game yet. So we feel like we have a lot of desperation, desire to come out and get a win in front of our home fans. Obviously, we played two here at home of a seven-game homestand and it'd be nice to get a win tonight, kind of get rolling a little bit and get excited about the rest of the homestand here." -- Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane 


Oilers projected lineup

Leon Draisaitl -- Connor McDavid -- Zack Kassian

Tomas Jurco -- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins -- James Neal

Jujhar Khaira -- Riley Sheahan -- Josh Archibald

Alex Chiasson -- Gaetan Haas -- Markus Granlund

Darnell Nurse -- Ethan Bear

Oscar Klefbom -- Joel Persson

Kris Russell -- Matt Benning

Mike Smith

Mikko Koskinen

Scratched: Brandon Manning, Joakim Nygard

Injured: Adam Larsson (fractured right fibula)


Blackhawks projected lineup

Alex DeBrincat -- Jonathan Toews -- Drake Caggiula

Andrew Shaw -- Dylan Strome -- Patrick Kane

Brandon Saad -- David Kampf -- Dominik Kubalik

Zack Smith -- Ryan Carpenter -- Alexander Nylander

Duncan Keith -- Connor Murphy

Olli Maatta -- Brent Seabrook

Calvin de Haan -- Erik Gustafsson

Corey Crawford

Robin Lehner

Scratched: Brendan Perlini, Slater Koekkoek

Injured: None


Status report

Nylander will play his third game this season in place of Perlini. He was a healthy scratch in Chicago's 3-2 overtime loss to the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday.


Stat pack

Draisaitl has 11 points (four goals, seven assists) and at least one point in each of his first five games. … The Blackhawks are 13-5-2 against the Oilers in their past 20 games.

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