NHL

Oilers-Senators Preview

Share This Story

   
 

The Edmonton Oilers are already staring up at the rest of the Western Conference.

With a season-long road trip continuing against the suddenly hot Ottawa Senators, their struggles could grow even worse.

Edmonton looks to avoid a sixth straight defeat Saturday at Ottawa.

There are plenty of defensive issues for the Oilers (1-6-1) under first-year coach Dallas Eakins, whose club's only win came in a 5-4 shootout at home over winless New Jersey on Oct. 7. They lost at home to Montreal and on the first four stops of a six-game trip since.

The 35 goals surrendered by Edmonton are the most in the league, and the club has allowed at least three in every contest. Devan Dubnyk has a 4.91 goals-against average in five starts, while Jason LaBarbera has a 3.22 GAA in three starts and one relief appearance. Their combined .853 save percentage is easily the worst in the NHL.

But a strong performance from Dubnyk - he stopped 37 shots - and a record-breaking accomplishment by Taylor Hall was wasted in a 3-2 loss to the New York Islanders on Thursday.

Hall gave Edmonton a 2-1 edge in the first period after scoring two goals in a span of 8 seconds, breaking Wayne Gretzky's franchise mark of 9 set on Feb. 18, 1981.

"'It's an empty feeling because a loss is a loss," said Hall, whose eight points are tied with Mark Arcobello for the team lead. "It's great to know I have the record but tonight wasn't our best effort. The wheels have really fallen off for us as these losses have piled up."

The Oilers are scoreless on the power play in nine opportunities spanning their last three contests. Their penalty kill is the league's worst, allowing nine goals on 29 chances, including at least one power-play goal in each game.

"I knew this renovation was going to be messy, but I didn't think it would be this messy," Eakins said of his rebuilding squad.

Ottawa (3-2-2) also got off to a rough start, totaling five goals through a 1-2-2 stretch. But the Senators have nine goals in back-to-back victories and are coming off a 5-2 home win over New Jersey on Thursday. It was the first of six home contests during an eight-game stretch after they started the season with a six-game trip.

"We were excited to come home," said Jason Spezza, who recorded a goal and two assists and has six points in his last two games. "We definitely used the energy and got off to our best start of the season so far and that led to us winning the game."

Despite Craig Anderson making 39 saves Thursday and being 6-1-1 with a 1.74 GAA and four shutouts in his last eight starts versus Edmonton, Robin Lehner will start Saturday and make his first appearance against the Oilers.

"Right now, our basis for the goaltenders is based on the number of shots they have to face," coach Paul MacLean said after practice Friday. "If you're going to be facing 45 and 50 (shots), there's no sense in going back-to-back and you might as well give them a chance and be ready to go."

The Senators have won eight of the last 10 meetings, though Edmonton won the most recent matchup, a 4-3 overtime victory at Ottawa on Feb. 11, 2012. Hall scored the winner 17 seconds into the extra period.

Spezza recorded two assists in that game and has 14 points over his last 10 games against the Oilers.

Tagged: Oilers, Senators, Jason Spezza, Taylor Hall

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by



Play Hockey Simulation Game on WhatIfSports

NHL Videos

Toews, Kane: Easy decision to resign with Blackhawks Posted: Jul 17, 2014
Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane say their decision to sign matching 8-year, $84M...

LA mayor 'F-bombs' Kings rally Posted: Jun 17, 2014
Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti toasts the Stanley Cup champion Kings in front o...

Kings, fans celebrate Stanley Cup Posted: Jun 16, 2014
Kings players celebrate winning the Stanley Cup with a parade through downtown L...

More Than Sports on MSN

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Reebok Sidney Crosby Pittsburgh Penguins Premier Hockey Jersey - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Pittsburgh_Penguins/browse/featuredproduct/175178/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_175000/FF_175178_xl.jpg&w=100 159.95 Reebok Sidney Crosby Pittsburgh Penguins Premier Hockey Jersey - Black
    Reebok Dallas Stars White Premier Hockey Jersey http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Dallas_Stars/browse/featuredproduct/243363/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_243000/FF_243363_xl.jpg&w=100 124.95 Reebok Dallas Stars White Premier Hockey Jersey
    Reebok Tampa Bay Lightning Primary Logo T-Shirt - Royal Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Tampa_Bay_Lightning/browse/featuredproduct/301017/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_301000/ff_301017_xl.jpg&w=100 19.95 Reebok Tampa Bay Lightning Primary Logo T-Shirt - Royal Blue
    Majestic Anaheim Ducks Black Official Logo Full Zip Hoodie Sweatshirt http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Anaheim_Ducks/browse/featuredproduct/398322/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_398000/FF_398322_xl.jpg&w=100 43.99 Majestic Anaheim Ducks Black Official Logo Full Zip Hoodie Sweatshirt
    Detroit Red Wings Youth Black Southpaw Backpack http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Detroit_Red_Wings/browse/featuredproduct/403205/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_403000/FF_403205_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Detroit Red Wings Youth Black Southpaw Backpack
    Reebok Chicago Blackhawks #88 Patrick Kane Red Premier Hockey Jersey http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Chicago_Blackhawks/browse/featuredproduct/408123/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_408000/FF_408123_xl.jpg&w=100 159.95 Reebok Chicago Blackhawks #88 Patrick Kane Red Premier Hockey Jersey
    Majestic New Jersey Devils Red Felt Tek Patch Pullover Hoodie Sweatshirt http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_New_Jersey_Devils/browse/featuredproduct/456774/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_456000/ff_456774_xl.jpg&w=100 47.99 Majestic New Jersey Devils Red Felt Tek Patch Pullover Hoodie Sweatshirt
    Vancouver Canucks 2011 NHL Western Conference Champions Hockey Stick http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Vancouver_Canucks/browse/featuredproduct/665779/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_665000/ff_665779_xl.jpg&w=100 11.95 Vancouver Canucks 2011 NHL Western Conference Champions Hockey Stick
    Majestic New York Islanders Royal Blue Felt Tek Patch Pullover Hoodie Sweatshirt http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_New_York_Islanders/browse/featuredproduct/752594/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_752000/ff_752594_xl.jpg&w=100 47.99 Majestic New York Islanders Royal Blue Felt Tek Patch Pullover Hoodie Sweatshirt