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Oilers attempt to end nine-game skid vs. Coyotes

by Derek Van Diest

COYOTES (9-12-3) at OILERS (6-14-4)


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."

Edmonton won two games in November and has lost 13 of its previous 15.

The Oilers are on the verge of losing 10 consecutive games for the first time since March 8-31, 2011, when they lost 11 straight.

The Oilers franchise record for longest winless streak is 14, from Oct. 11-Nov 7, 1993.

"We should be scared, because every team is higher than us in the standings and that means they are playing better hockey than us," Oilers left wing David Perron said. "Every night should be the exact same thing, we should be excited about playing personally, but we should be scared of making the big mistake and making sure we play the right way for the full 60 minutes."

Edmonton was able to earn a point in consecutive overtime losses to the Nashville Predators on Thursday and St. Louis Blues on Friday. The Oilers (6-14-4) are currently last in the Western Conference standings.

"You have to find a way to stay positive; we can take good things out of our past two games," Oilers center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins said. "I thought we played a pretty solid game against Nashville, and you have to find a way to stay positive. Once the frustration and the negativity comes in, that's when things get really bad. You really have to find a way to stay in the right mindset."

Arizona is on a three-game losing streak, with one win in its previous six games.

The Coyotes (9-12-3) lost 3-0 against the Calgary Flames on Saturday.

"We have to be smarter, we're making some decisions that are leading to chances against," Coyotes coach Dave Tippett said. "It's not about effort, it's about execution and smarts. When you get into a situation where you're not winning as much as you like, players tend to try to overdo things. When you overdo, you take yourself out of a strong team game and you play an individual game, and individuals make mistakes. That's leading to too many opportunities against."

Goaltender Viktor Fasth will start for the Oilers; Mike Smith starts in goal for the Coyotes.

Here are the projected lineups:


Lauri KorpikoskiAntoine VermetteMikkel Boedker

Tobias RiederMartin HanzalShane Doan

Brandon McMillanSam GagnerMartin Erat

Rob Klinkhammer - Joe VitaleB.J. Crombeen

Oliver Ekman-LarssonZbynek Michalek

Keith YandleMichael Stone

Chris SummersConnor Murphy

Mike Smith

Devan Dubnyk

Scratched: Kyle Chipchura, Brendan Shinnimin, David Schlemko

Injured: David Moss (hand), Brandon Gormley (lower body)


Taylor HallRyan Nugent-HopkinsJordan Eberle

Nail YakupovMark ArcobelloTeddy Purcell

David PerronLeon DraisaitlTyler Pitlick

Luke GazdicBoyd GordonSteven Pinizzotto

Oscar KlefbomJeff Petry

Nikita NikitinJustin Schultz

Andrew FerenceMark Fayne

Viktor Fasth

Ben Scrivens

Scratched: Keith Aulie

Injured: Benoit Pouliot (foot), Matt Hendricks (leg)

Status report: Pitlick is making his season debut, recalled from the Oklahoma City Barons of the American Hockey League on Sunday. Pitlick was selected by the Oilers in the second round (No. 31) in the 2010 NHL Draft. Hendricks will miss his second consecutive game after blocking a shot against the Predators.

Who's hot: Boedker has four goals and an assist in two games against Edmonton this season. … Hall has a goal and two assists in his past three games.

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