February 23, 2013
Rexall Place, Edmonton, Alberta
Season series: This is the second of three meetings this season between the two clubs. In the opener on Jan. 30, Nail Yakupov scored the game-winner with a power-play goal 3:52 into overtime and Devan Dubnyk made 27 saves to lead the Oilers to a 2-1 victory. Edmonton went 0-3-1 against Phoenix in 2011-12.
Big story: After opening the season 4-2-0, the Oilers have only won two of their last 10 games to fall to 13th in the Western Conference standings with 15 points -- three behind eighth-seeded Minnesota. Following Saturday's home game against the Coyotes, the Oilers will embark on a nine-game road trip that spans 17 days.
Coyotes: After opening the season with four losses in five games, the Coyotes have gone 7-2-2, notching points in nine of the past 11 games to move into seventh place in the Western Conference with 18 points. The scoring has been spread across the board with Radim Vrbata (four goals) leading the way with 12 points. Forwards Martin Hanzal andMikkel Boedker and defensemen Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Keith Yandle each have 10 points.
Oilers: The Oilers lost to the Minnesota Wild for the 11th time in the past 13 meetings on Thursday at Rexall Place.Ryan Smyth scored his first goal in six games for the Oilers to give the home team a 1-0 lead, but the Wild scored the next three. Edmonton's Taylor Hall ended any hope of an Oilers comeback when he was given a five-minute penalty for kneeing and a game misconduct for an open-ice collision with Cal Clutterbuck with 2:33 to go. Clutterbuck had to be helped off the ice and was unable to put weight on his left leg. Hall received a two-game suspension for the hit.
Who's hot: Since returning from injury on Feb. 1, Coyotes goalie Mike Smith has notched three shutouts, posted a 2.08 goals-against average and a .930 saves percentage. Over that nine-game stretch, the Coyotes have posted points in seven games he has started. … Edmonton's Hall has recorded a point in five of the past seven games (one goal, six assists).
Injury report: In addition to missing Hall due to the suspension, the Oilers are without forwards Anton Lander (foot),Ryan Jones (eye) and Shawn Horcoff (hand) and defenseman Andy Sutton (knee). … Phoenix could have three players returning to its lineup, forwards Radim Vrbata (lower body), Matthew Lombardi (shoulder) and defenseman Derek Morris (upper body).
Expected In Goal:
(Neither have been confirmed as of post time.)
This point has been edited by Erik C.: 23 February 2013 - 01:41 PM