GAME: Edmonton Oilers (27-27-11-2) at Chicago Blackhawks (18-35-9-5).
TIME: Sunday, 3 p.m. EST.
The Edmonton Oilers look to sweep the season series from the Chicago
Blackhawks when they visit the United Center.
The Oilers have won all three games against Chicago, which is winless in its
last five games (0-3-2).
Wanting to make a late-season push for the playoffs, the Oilers acquired
forward Petr Nedved and goaltender Jussi Markkanen from the New York Rangers on
"With the addition of Jussi, it gives us added depth in goal," Oilers
general manager Kevin Lowe said. "Petr is a proven scorer who can play center,
provide us with some added offense and help us in our drive for the playoffs."
Both players contributed in a 1-1 tie against St. Louis on Thursday night.
Nedved assisted on Raffi Torres' goal midway through the third period, and
Markkanen made 27 saves, including eight in overtime.
Ryan Smyth entered the game with six points over his previous three games,
but missed a penalty shot in the second period and went scoreless for the
Oilers, who played their third straight overtime game (1-1-1).
"I thought we played very well for most of the 60 minutes," Markkanen
said. "Towards the end we got a little tired and their skilled guys got more
room and they were able to get some chances."
Edmonton is still tied with Anaheim for 10th place in the West, with 15
games to play. The Oilers are six points behind Los Angeles for the
conference's eighth and final playoff spot.
The Blackhawks have managed just 12 wins at home this season and are last in
the West with 50 points. A 5-2 home loss to Anaheim on Friday extended
Chicago's streak to eight games without a regulation win at the United Center.
The Blackhawks, however, had overtime victories against Boston and St. Louis
at home during the slump.
Eric Daze, playing his first game since undergoing back surgery on Dec. 3,
had a goal and an assist Friday. Deron Quint also scored for the Blackhawks.
Daze's goal was his first this season. He missed 63 games with a herniated
disc in his lower back.
"Offensively, I thought we had enough that we could have won," Daze said.
"but defensively we struggled in the game."
STANDINGS (through March 5): Oilers - 67 points, 4th place, 18 PB, Northwest
Division. Blackhawks - 50 points, 5th place, 39 PB, Central Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Oilers - Ryan Smyth, 20 goals and 48 points; Radek Dvorak, 30
assists; Georges Laraque, 93 PIM. Blackhawks - Kyle Calder, 21 goals; Bryan
Berard, 25 assists; Mark Bell, 41 points; Scott Nichol, 114 PIM.
SPECIAL TEAMS (through March 5): Oilers - Power play: 11.9 percent (33 for
227), 2nd in NHL. Penalty killing: 80.7 percent (58 for 300), 29th. Blackhawks
- Power play: 13.6 percent (41 for 302), 4th. Penalty killing: 84.9 percent (47
for 312), 7th.
GOALTENDERS: Oilers - Markkanen (8-12-2, 2 SO, 2.48 GAA); Tommy Salo
(16-18-6, 3, 2.57). Blackhawks - Adam Munro (0-1-1, 0, 2.88); Michael Leighton
(5-16-6, 2, 3.00).
SEASON SERIES: Oilers, 3-0.
LAST MEETING: Jan. 29; Oilers, 5-2. At Edmonton, Shawn Horcoff scored twice
and the Edmonton Oilers extended Chicago's club-record road losing steak to 19
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Oilers - 10-15-7-2 on the road; Blackhawks - 12-12-5-4 at