Postseason Run

The Edmonton Oilers won't let the loss of their leading scorer prevent them from trying to make a run at the postseason.

The Oilers look to win their second straight game since learning Shawn Horcoff will miss the rest of the season when they face the struggling Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday night.

Oddsmakers from SBG Global have made Edmonton -115 money line favorites (NHL Odds) for today's game, the over/under has been set at 5 goals (Matchup). Current public betting information shows that X% of bets for this game have been placed on X (View NHL Bet Percentages).

Edmonton (24-26-5) avoided a third consecutive loss with a 5-0 win over Calgary on Monday night, hours after Horcoff announced he will have surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder. The 29-year-old All-Star forward had 21 goals and 29 assists in 53 games in 2007-08.

While Horcoff's loss is a major blow to the Oilers, who are last in the Northwest Division and 13th in the Western Conference, they are still very much in striking distance of the eighth and final playoff spot.

"There are only two ways you can deal with losing your best player,'' said defenseman Steve Staios, who had a goal Monday. "One is to use it as a crutch and an excuse, and the other way is to come out and give your best.''

Ales Hemsky and Sam Gagner each had a goal and an assist Monday, while Mathieu Garon made 24 saves for his fourth shutout of the season as the Oilers improved to 1-2-0 on their four-game homestand.

"It's a game we needed and points that we needed,'' said Edmonton's Jarret Stoll, who had two assists. "On the day that (Horcoff) made it official that he's gone for the season, it shows that we're not going to give up.''

Hemsky, second on the team with 47 points, could have more of an offensive impact in Horcoff's absence. He has three goals and five assists in 14 career games against Chicago, including a goal in the Oilers' 3-2 shootout home win over the Blackhawks on Nov. 24.

Garon, 16-12-1 with a 2.43 goals-against average, is likely to be back in net Wednesday after his performance against Calgary. He made 31 saves in the Oilers' 3-2 loss at Chicago on Dec. 23 in the teams' most recent meeting, but is 4-2-0 with a 2.15 GAA in his career versus the Blackhawks.

Although the Oilers have lost two of three to the Blackhawks, they'll look for their fifth straight win at home in the series.

Chicago (23-24-5), making its third stop on a season-high seven-game road trip, fell 3-2 in a shootout at San Jose on Saturday. The Blackhawks are 0-3-1 since winning four in a row from Jan. 13-19.

Despite being just eight wins shy of matching last season's total, the young Blackhawks are last in the Central Division and two points behind Edmonton in the West.

Patrick Sharp and All-Star Duncan Keith had goals Saturday, while Nikolai Khabibulin made 37 saves for Chicago.

Although Khabibulin is 0-8-2 with a 3.22 GAA since winning four in a row, he could be back in goal Wednesday after a solid performance over the weekend.

"His performance was incredible,'' coach Denis Savard said. "I believe in him, and he's a battler. You don't win a (Stanley) Cup (by) not competing and not being as good as he is."

Khabibulin is 3-1-1 with a 1.59 GAA in his last five starts versus the Oilers.

by: Staff Writers - Email Us

More NHL Hockey coverage from theSpread.com

 - NHL Hockey news wire
 - NHL top stories
 - Current NHL injuries
 - NHL Hockey schedule
 - NHL Hockey standings
 - NHL goalie stats
 - NHL Hockey scoreboard
 - NHL Hockey odds
 - NHL public betting charts
 - Expert NHL Picks
 - Comments and discussion
 - Signup for theSpread.com daily newsletter
 - NHL Home

NHL Top Stories

Thumbnail Caps trying to regain footing out East   Washington didn’t exactly end the month of November on a stirring note. But can the reigning Presidents’ Trophy winner return to form against the Islanders?
Thumbnail Luongo attempts to give Florida a jolt A new era of Panthers hockey begins tonight. But can the Blackhawks stand tall and deliver yet another stellar performance at the...
Thumbnail Lack of scoring punch hurting Ruff's crew Two of the Western Conference’s most dangerous clubs square off tonight in the Gateway City. Will the Blues or Stars come out on top?
Thumbnail Stellar goaltending powers Calgary's success When Johnny Gaudreau went down with a broken finger two weeks ago, all seemed for the Flames. Now, though, they’ve morphed into one of the Western...
Thumbnail Rookie phenom leads Toronto into battle   Washington is in the midst of a brutal stretch in the schedule. Can Alex Ovechkin & Co. dig deep to fend off the Maple Leafs...
More inNHL Articles  
Advertisement

NHL Headlines

More inNHL News  

NHL Team Pages