Blackhawks face off versus struggling Oilers as circus trip continues

The Chicago Blackhawks (11-7-1) continue their circus trip with a game at the Oilers tonight in Edmonton.

This season, the Oilers are languishing at the bottom of the Pacific division with a 6-11-2 record. They're having problems scoring, and more importantly, they're having problems keeping the other teams' goals out of their net: they have 3.37 GAA versus 2.53 G/G. Their power play is more like a power pffft and their penalty kill is below 80%. The Oilers have won just 2 of 10 games they've played to date in November, and they're hungry for a win - or even just points. Edmonton is 0-9-1 versus the Western Conference so far this season.

Taylor Hall leads the Oilers with 19 points (8 goals/11 assists) in 13 games against the Blackhawks. Hall will be seeking his 100th NHL goal tonight, while Ryan Nugent-Hopkins will be looking for his 100th career assist.

For whatever reason, the Oilers have always seemed to bring their "A" game versus the Blackhawks. No matter how bad their record, however, their young, speedy talent has resulted in some embarassing blowouts for Chicago over over the past few seasons, so the Blackhawks won't take them for granted. The Blackhawks swept them last season and hope to repeat that feat this year.

Ben Scrivens (4-8-1, 3.09 GAA/.895 sv%) will start in net for Edmonton, while Antti Raanta will see his first start for Chicago since October 25th.

The Blackhawks recalled 2011 first-round Draft pick Phillip Danault from Rockford while Andrew Shaw is still injured. Danault will have his NHL debut in tonight's game; he has had 3 goals and 7 assists in 14 games for the IceHogs so far this season. Danault has evolved into a solid forward in the past couple seasons in Rockford. As the Blackhawks may be facing some tough roster decisions come the summer of 2015, if the salary cap does not rise significantly, it is a good thing that so many of their prospects have been getting a look in the NHL as of late.


Patrick Sharp remains on LTIR and Andrew Shaw remains out with an upper body injury for Chicago.

Benoit Pouliot has a broken foot and is out indefinitely for Edmonton.

Where to watch: WGN Chicago, CBC, TVA Sports 2