Skidding Oilers host Coyotes

( – The Edmonton Oilers will try to pick up their first
victory in over three weeks when they host the Arizona Coyotes in Monday’s
encounter at Rexall Place.

The Oilers have lost nine straight since earning a road win against the New
York Rangers on Nov. 9. The skid is Edmonton’s longest since going 0-8-3 from
March 8-31, 2011.

Edmonton is 0-6-3 on its current slide and the club’s two most recent setbacks
came in road overtime losses. The Oilers lost 1-0 in Nashville on Thursday
before dropping a 4-3 decision the following night in St. Louis.

The Oilers led the Blues 3-2 after Mark Arcobello’s goal at 3:55 of the third
period, but Alex Pietrangelo evened the score with 7:35 left in regulation.
Vladimir Tarasenko then scored in the final minute of OT to lift St. Louis to
the win.

Edmonton’s Ben Scrivens faced a barrage of St. Louis shots, stopping 37 of the
41 pucks fired his way. David Perron and Nikita Nikitin scored second-period
goals for the Oilers, while Taylor Hall added two assists in a losing effort.

St. Louis outshot the Oilers 41-16 in the game, but nine of Edmonton’s shots
came in the middle period.

“When you look at our second period, if we play games like that, we win
games,” Scrivens said.

Edmonton also will try to snap a seven-game home losing streak tonight. The
Oilers are 4-8-1 at Rexall Place this season and haven’t won as the host since
beating Montreal 3-0 on Oct. 27.

While the Oilers are attempting to halt an epic slide, Arizona enters Monday
on a relatively modest three-game losing streak. However, the Coyotes only
have managed three wins over their last 11 games, going 3-6-2 during that

The Coyotes hope to stop their skid by staying perfect against Edmonton this
season. Arizona has won the first two of five scheduled encounters in 2014-15,
picking up a 7-4 home win over the Oilers on Oct. 15 before notching a 2-1
victory Nov. 16 in Edmonton.

The Oilers have lost seven of eight and 17 of the past 21 games in this series
overall and the Coyotes have claimed four straight and nine of 10 at Rexall

Arizona was shut out for the fourth time this season its last time out, as
Karri Ramo made 26 saves to lead the Calgary Flames to a 3-0 road victory in
the desert. Devan Dubnyk made 26 saves on 29 shots for the Coyotes.

“We had players I think can do more to create some offense for us,” Arizona
head coach Dave Tippett said. “In this game if you played slow, you didn’t
play well.”

Arizona could return to struggling No. 1 Mike Smith in net tonight. Smith is
just 4-11-2 with a 3.26 goals against average this season and is 0-5-2 since
last picking up a victory on Nov. 7 in Anaheim. However, the 32-year-old does
boast a lifetime 9-1-1 record and 2.69 GAA in his career against the Oilers.

The Coyotes are opening a two-game road trip that ends tomorrow night in
Calgary. They are 5-7-1 away from home this season.