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Oilers-Blackhawks Preview @NHLdotcom

GAME: Edmonton Oilers (38-26-12) at Chicago Blackhawks (24-40-11).

TIME: Friday, 8:30 p.m. EDT.

A controversial loss slid the Edmonton Oilers into a seventh-place tie in the Western Conference, but they get a chance one day later to bounce back and move into sixth.

The Oilers visit the hapless Chicago Blackhawks at the United Center in the second game of a four-game road trip.

Edmonton is tied with the San Jose Sharks for seventh in the conference, with the teams occupying the last two remaining playoff spots. The Oilers are looking to move into sixth, as they are one point behind the Colorado Avalanche, but they also are only two points ahead of the ninth-place Vancouver Canucks.

Colorado, San Jose and Vancouver are all idle Friday night.

A disputed call on an apparent goal by Michael Peca in a 2-1 shootout loss to the Minnesota Wild on Thursday prevented the Oilers from taking a lead. Peca's shot appeared to be covered by goaltender Manny Fernandez after it crossed the goal line, but a video review upheld the ruling on the ice of no goal.

"I don't know where the blame or responsibility lies," Peca said. "Somebody should be held accountable, without question. We're in a playoff race. What happens if we miss by one point?"

The Oilers have dropped two of their last three games, scoring only once in each of the two losses. Their are 4-3-3 in the last 10 games, with a power-play unit that has gone 2-for-28 in the six defeats and 6-for-18 in the four wins.

Edmonton has won five of its last seven games against the Blackhawks, outscoring Chicago 27-17.

The Blackhawks are looking to win back-to-back games after defeating the Nashville Predators 4-3 on Wednesday.

"It's all about getting the pucks to the net," Blackhawks coach Trent Yawney said. "Speaking from experience as a defenseman, those shots out of the corner, if they hit the net and you're not paying attention, you can easily be pulling them out of the back of your net."

The win was only the Blackhawks' third in the last 10 games, nine of them decided by one goal.

They have won two consecutive home games and will try for three in a row for the first time since a four-game home winning streak from Nov. 13-Dec. 16.

Goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin, who made 26 saves against the Predators, has won three of his last four starts. He has a 2.27 goals-against average with a .940 save percentage in the three victories. He is still searching for his first shutout of the season.

STANDINGS: Oilers - 89 points, 3rd place, 6 PB, Northwest Division. Blackhawks - 59 points, 4th place, 53 PB, Central Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Oilers - Ryan Smyth, 34 goals; Ales Hemsky, 55 assists; Shawn Horcoff and Hemsky, 72 points; Jaroslav Spacek, 94 PIM. Blackhawks - Mark Bell, 23 goals; Kyle Calder, 32 assists and 53 points; Matthew Barnaby, 168 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through April 5): Oilers - Power play: 18.4 percent (84 for 457), 11th in NHL. Penalty killing: 83.7 percent (376 for 449), 12th. Blackhawks - Power play: 12.0 percent (46 for 383), 30th. Penalty killing: 83.8 percent (429 for 512), 11th.

GOALTENDERS: Oilers - Dwayne Roloson (12-22-4, 2 SO, 2.86 GAA); Jussi Markkanen (15-12-6, 0, 3.13). Blackhawks - Khabibulin (16-23-5, 0, 3.31); Craig Anderson (5-12-3, 1, 3.44).

SEASON SERIES: Blackhawks, 2-1.

LAST MEETING: Jan. 3; Oilers, 5-0. At Edmonton, Alberta, Fernando Pisani scored two goals and Ty Conklin made 23 saves in his first shutout of the season.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Oilers - 20-11-6 on the road; Blackhawks - 14-18-5 at home.

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