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Oilers-Penguins Preview @NHL

The Pittsburgh Penguins had been in a major scoring drought to open the season, but finally broke out offensively with six goals in their latest game.

Five days later, they'll see if they haven't lost their touch.

After a long layoff, the Penguins will try to stay hot on Thursday when they host the Edmonton Oilers, who have split the first four games of their season-long seven-game road trip.

Pittsburgh (6-4-2) had scored only 25 goals in its first 11 games (2.27 per game), a far cry from last season when it was seventh in the NHL with 2.93 per contest.

The Penguins had been especially bad during the first three games of their four-game road trip, scoring just four total goals while going 0-2-1. On Saturday in St. Louis, however, Pittsburgh started to click as six different players scored in a 6-3 rout of the Blues.

"It's big," said center Sidney Crosby, who had two assists. "You want to make sure your confidence level is there, and I think we had it."

It wasn't certain that Crosby would play until shortly before game time. He left the team's 4-1 loss to Phoenix on Thursday with an undisclosed injury, but logged nearly 23 minutes of ice time in St. Louis - his most in nearly two weeks.

Crosby should be ready to go when Edmonton (6-5-1) comes to town, and with four days off since their last game, the rest of the Penguins are antsy to get back on the ice.

"Anytime you have a lull in game action, it gives you a chance to work on things," defenseman Mark Eaton told the team's official Web site. "It's nice to get back home, get into a routine and get back in front of the Pittsburgh fans."

The Oilers, meanwhile, have barely seen their hometown fans this season. Edmonton has played nine of its 12 games on the road - including seven of its past eight - and has three more away from home before returning to Rexall Place.

After opening their current trip with a loss in Nashville, the Oilers won their next two games. It looked like they were on their way to a third straight victory on Wednesday in Columbus, but a two-goal lead quickly slipped away in the third period and the Blue Jackets went on to win 5-4.

"It's a painful, painful lesson," Edmonton coach Craig MacTavish said. "There's a right way to play this game and a wrong way to play it and we got on the wrong side of it early and it looked like we were going to get away with it. But we didn't."

Despite the loss, the Oilers seem to be finding some sort of offensive chemistry. Edmonton scored five goals during an 0-4-1 stretch from Oct. 22-30, but has 12 goals in its past three games, led by three goals and two assists from winger Ales Hemsky.

The team's goaltending situation, though, appears to be a bit more unsettled. While Marc-Andre Fleury (5-3-2, 2.34 goals-against average) is the clear No. 1 goaltender in Pittsburgh, it seems the Oilers aren't sure who their top netminder is.

Mathieu Garon (3-3-0, 3.18 GAA) came into the season as the team's top option, but it's 39-year-old Dwayne Roloson who may be forcing MacTavish's hand. Roloson has started Edmonton's last three games, and in five starts this season he's 2-2-1 with a 2.78 GAA.

The Penguins, who won in Edmonton last season, are 6-1-0 with two ties in their last nine meetings with the Oilers in Pittsburgh.

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