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Struggling Oilers continue trip against Blackhawks

by Brian Compton

OILERS (4-12-2) at BLACKHAWKS (11-2-4)


Last 10: Edmonton 3-6-1; Chicago 7-1-2

Season series: This is the first of three meetings between the Edmonton Oilers and Chicago Blackhawks. They will face each other again on Nov. 25 at Rexall Place.

Big story: The Oilers conclude their four-game road trip against the Blackhawks, who will be seeking their third straight win. Edmonton has dropped back-to-back games after opening the trip with a 4-3 overtime victory against the Florida Panthers.

Team Scope:

Oilers: Edmonton's struggles continued Saturday, when it suffered a 4-2 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center. David Perron and Taylor Hall scored for the Oilers, but that wasn't enough to prevent their seventh loss in the past eight games. Devan Dubnyk stopped 30 of 34 shots in the defeat.

"I thought we started well the first 10 minutes of the game and then we took a penalty, and it kind of unraveled from there," Hall said. "They had some really good time in our end, had some really good chances. [Dubnyk] made a lot of big stops tonight, where in the past couple games we haven't been giving up those kinds of shots. It's something we have to clean up."

Blackhawks: Chicago made it two in a row Saturday behind the work of right wing Patrick Sharp, who had four assists to lead the Blackhawks to a 5-2 win against the Dallas Stars at American Airlines Center. Marian Hossa scored twice and Jonathan Toews had a goal and an assist for Chicago, which killed six Dallas power plays.

The Blackhawks have scored five or more goals in six of their past eight games.

"We've been creating our fair share of chances all season long and early on the pucks seemed to be staying out and now they seem to be able to score with every line," Sharp said. "Our defense is great at creating and jumping into plays. We don't try to look at the numbers and say we should be scoring this many goals a game. We're just trying to help each other and create offense."

Who's hot: Hall has four goals in the past three games for Edmonton. … Over the past five games, Sharp has two goals and five assists, Hossa has four goals and three assists and Toews has five goals and two assists.

Injury report: Oilers forwards Steve MacIntyre (knee), Corey Potter (back), Ryan Hamilton (knee) and Tyler Pitlick (knee), defenseman Justin Schultz (groin) and goaltender Richard Bachman (lower body) are on injured reserve. … The Blackhawks are expected to be without defenseman Michael Kostka (foot) and forwards Brad Mills (lower body) and Michal Handzus (upper body).

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