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Oilers battling through injuries, illness, face Senators

by Mike G. Morreale /

OILERS (8-8-1) at SENATORS (7-5-2)

Last 10 -- Edmonton 4-6-0; Ottawa 4-4-2

Season series --
The Senators swept a two-game regular-season series against the Oilers in 2008-09 for the third time in their history and the first since 2002-03. Three of Ottawa's nine all-time victories against Edmonton came in their first four games as the Senators have posted a 6-11-4-0 record since December 1995. The Sens are also 6-1-1 against the Oilers their last eight games.

Big Story --
Edmonton's Ales Hemsky, Shawn Horcoff, Sheldon Souray, Ladislav Smid, J.F. Jacques and Ryan Stone are just a few of the key players sidelined by injury or illness right now. To make matters worse, the team is on the road for 10 of its next 15 games.

"It's about who's here, not who's not here," Edmonton coach Pat Quinn said. "We know there's some guys not here, doesn't matter. We have a job to do and we're not doing it as well as we need to do it. If we get into that negative mindset, then you just beat yourself, don't even show up, then. Mail the points in. Well, we're not about to do that yet."

Team Scope:

Oilers --
Edmonton, which is 2-5-0 on the road, snapped a five-game losing streak away from home on Sunday with a 5-3 victory over the surging Colorado Avalanche. The club, with seven players out of the lineup with injury or illness, called up forwards Ryan Potulny and Liam Reddox from the club's American Hockey League affiliate in Springfield on Saturday and the duo responded with a combined goal and two assists.

Senators -- Senators center Jesse Winchester played his first game of the season against the Devils on Saturday after missing the first 13 with a knee injury. He spent the previous two weeks with the American Hockey League's Binghamton Senators on a conditioning stint. Winchester played a little over five minutes on the club's fourth line alongside Jarkko Ruutu and Chris Kelly.

Who's Hot --
Oilers wing Mike Comrie, who's already missed six games with the flu this year, is beginning to round into form -- he's posted 2 goals in 2 games since returning to the lineup.

Injury Report --
The Oilers have been ravaged by injuries as forwards Marc Pouliot (sports hernia surgery), Ryan Stone (knee), Shawn Horcoff (shoulder), Ales Hemsky (shoulder) and J.F. Jacques (shoulder) remain out and defensemen Sheldon Souray (concussion) and Ladislav Smid (flu) are on the mend. For the Senators, defenseman Anton Volchenkov, who has already missed four games with a right elbow injury, remains sidelined.

Stat Pack --
Ottawa defenseman Chris Campoli recorded the 100th point of his career on Saturday in a 3-2 loss to the Devils.

Puck Drop --
The Senators are coming off a heartbreaking 3-2 loss to the Devils in a game where they held a two-goal lead late into the second period. The team has received some inconsistent goaltending of late from Pascal Leclaire, so that's an area coach Cory Clouston hopes to sure up. Edmonton goalie Nikolai Khabibulin, meanwhile, has faced the second-most shots in the League (515) behind Colorado's Craig Anderson.

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