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Oilers-Blues Preview @NHL

After losing four straight to some of the NHL's best teams, the Edmonton Oilers ended that skid with a win against one of the worst.

They'll look to beat another struggling club when they continue a five-game road trip against the St. Louis Blues on Sunday.

Ryan Smyth scored twice and Dwayne Roloson turned away 26 shots as Edmonton (8-7-1) returned to the win column with a 4-1 victory over Columbus on Friday.

"We played pretty sound hockey," said Smyth, the team leader with 10 goals. "Hopefully we can continue some good things out of this."

The defending Western Conference champion Oilers had lost six of seven, with the last four coming to Nashville, Dallas, Montreal and Detroit - a combined 40-15-5 this season.

Edmonton coach Craig MacTavish was also pleased with his team's performance.

"It's as good of a game, technically, as we've had all year," he said. "We were in the right spot, playing in units of five."

Despite the win, the Oilers continued to struggle on the power play, going scoreless in four opportunities. They are 0-for-22 with the man-advantage over the last five games. That unit is operating at just 13.0 percent this season after finishing at 18.1 in 2005-06.

Edmonton's power play clearly isn't the same without departed defenseman Chris Pronger, who scored 10 of his 12 goals with the man-advantage last season.

St. Louis (4-8-3) is tied with Chicago and Columbus for the fewest points in the Central Division and its four wins in 15 games is among the lowest in the league.

The Blues were unable to recover from two first-period goals in a 3-1 road loss Friday to the Blackhawks, who ended an eight-game slide.

"Once again we got off to a slow start," St. Louis coach Mike Kitchen said. "They get two power-play goals and we're down 2-0. I'm getting tired of that story."

While Keith Tkachuk and Bill Guerin have combined for 12 goals, fellow veteran Doug Weight has yet to score this season. Weight, who finished last season with Stanley Cup champion Carolina, has no points in three straight games after recording four assists in a win over Colorado on Nov. 2.

A visit from the Oilers could be coming at the perfect time for St. Louis, which has won three straight in the series and is 9-1 with three ties in the last 13 home meetings.

Roloson, though, has played well against the Blues, recording three shutouts in his last seven games versus them. He is 4-3 with three ties and a 1.86 goals-against average in 10 career starts against St. Louis.

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