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Oilers v. Blackhawks - 2 Kings 18:19-21

Chris Austin-USA TODAY Sports

When the Blackhawks arrived in Edmonton, Brandon Faber went to speak with some of the local reporters and he gave them this message:

"This is what the Bowmans, the kings of Chicago have to say: What is it that gives you so much confidence in the people running your team? Do you think that mere words can substitute for players with actual ability and executives with both knowledge and wisdom? Look at the results of the people you're counting on to put you in a position to one day compete with us! Can you count on teams like the Flames to fail? Sure, but the Blackhawks won't simply fall back to you and play at your level. Waiting around for us to fail isn't going to work and pushing the action yourselves hasn't exactly been a reliable strategy!"

Chicago Blackhawks @ Edmonton Oilers

Rexall Place, 7:30 p.m. MST
Television: Sportsnet

Visiting Team Scouting Report: The Chicago Blackhawks are one of the best possession teams in the entire league. They have a Fenwick percentage of 56.5% during five-on-five play and lead the league by a wide margin with a 59.5% Fenwick percentage during five-on-five play when the score is tied (the second-place Sharks are at 56.3%). But the team isn't just good; they're good with style. The Blackhawks are second in the NHL with 34.7 shots on goal per game and the top team in the NHL with 3.63 goals per game (well ahead of second-place Anaheim who have 3.08). The Oilers come into tonight's game having won three consecutive games for the first time this year, but there's no questioning the fact that Edmonton is the underdog tonight.

Expected Lineups:

Edmonton Oilers (7-15-2):

Hall - Nugent-Hopkins - Eberle
Yakupov - Gagner - Hemsky
Smyth - Gordon - Perron
Joensuu - Acton -Gazdic

Belov - J Schultz
Ference - Petry
N Schultz - Potter


Chicago Blackhawks (16-4-4):

Sharp - Toews - Versteeg
Saad - Pirri - Kane
Smith - Shaw - Morin
Bollig - Kruger - Brookbank

Keith - Seabrook
Oduya - Hjalmarsson
Leddy - Rozsival


By The Numbers:

  • Since coming back from injury, Justin Schultz has played 20:35 and 19:11 against the Blue Jackets and Panthers respectively. It's just the second time this season that Schultz has played two games in a row with less than twenty-one minutes. It's possible that the reduction is just a blip as Schultz gets back into the lineup, but it's worth watching to see if the reduced ice time becomes a trend.
  • Jonathan Toews gets a lot of credit for being one of the league's best two-way players. What seems to get lost because of that moniker is that he's also one of the league's best offensive players period. Since 2010-11, Toews has averaged 0.97 points per game, which puts him in a tie for 11th with Patrick Kane, Ryan Getzlaf and Henrik Zetterberg.
  • With 18 points in his first 20 games as an Oiler, David Perron is on pace to eclipse Magnus Paajarvi's point total with the Oilers in parts of three seasons (58) in his first year with the team. I know that that isn't really a totally fair comparison, but I'm certainly not (yet) regretting the trade that brought Perron to the Oilers from St. Louis.