Chicago
Blackhawks
40-34-8
Edmonton
Oilers
41-35-6
SO
40 SOG
31 SOG
1st2nd3rdOTsoT
CHI ()
EDM ()
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Blackhawks-Oilers Preview

Saturday, 11.24.2007 / 7:00 PM

Associated Press

Whether it's due to injuries or penalties, playing short-handed has hardly been a problem for the Chicago Blackhawks this season.

After losing two straight to open their six-game road trip, the Blackhawks look to win their third in a row away from home for the first time in two years when they face the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday.

With two more forwards out with injuries, the Blackhawks scored a pair of short-handed goals in a 2-1 win at Calgary on Thursday to improve to 2-1-1 on their extended road swing that ends Sunday in Vancouver.

Chicago hasn't won three in a row on the road since Nov. 10-19, 2005, which included wins over Calgary and Edmonton.

The Blackhawks (12-8-1), who had 12 short-handed goals while finishing last in the Central Division in 2006-07, has an NHL-leading 10 this season after scoring five in its last two contests. They scored three with a man down in a 5-3 win at Detroit last Saturday for their first win on the trip.

Chicago last scored a short-handed goal in three straight games from March 16-21, 1995.

"We're aggressive all over the ice, we're blocking a lot of shots, and we have good speed with our forwards," said Patrick Sharp, who scored his league-leading fifth short-handed goal Thursday and second in two games. "Put all that together, throw in a little bit of luck and a few good bounces."

Sharp has five of his team-high 11 goals in his last three contests. His only goal in seven games against Edmonton was short-handed in Chicago's 2-1 home win on April 4 in the teams' most recent meeting.

Jacob Dowell scored in his NHL debut Thursday and is the latest rookie to contribute for the Blackhawks. First-year players Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews have combined for 15 goals and 38 points.

"It's a great feeling. I've worked hard and it's finally paying off, getting my chance here," the 22-year-old Dowell said.

Dowell was called up after Rene Bourque was lost for up to six weeks with a broken thumb. Chicago also played without veteran Jason Williams, who is day-to-day with a sore groin.

The Blackhawks are still awaiting the return of Martin Havlat, who has missed 20 games with a shoulder injury.

"With all the guys going down, it's getting tough. We're pretty thin," Chicago coach Denis Savard said. "It's difficult when you have to slot certain players into certain positions and move them up a couple slots, but we've just got to hang in there."

Nikolai Khabibulin made 30 saves Thursday for his second straight win and fifth in his last seven starts. He went 2-1-0 with a 1.36 goals-against average last season against Edmonton.

The Blackhawks have won just twice in their last 13 visits to Edmonton, losing their last three trips.

The Oilers (8-13-1), though, are 4-7-0 at home this season and are tied with Los Angeles for the fewest points overall (17) in the Western Conference.

Edmonton fell 3-2 to Colorado on Thursday for its third loss in four contests on its season-high six-game homestand.

"We had a (season) high number of turnovers tonight," Oilers coach Craig MacTavish said. "You can't be turning the puck over like that."

Shawn Horcoff had a goal and an assist for the second straight game, and he leads Edmonton with nine goals and 20 points. Horcoff has six goals and nine assists in 21 games against the Blackhawks.

Mathieu Garon stopped 28 shots in his fifth start in the team's last six games ahead of No. 1 goaltender Dwayne Roloson, who has lost five in a row. Garon could be back in net Saturday, with a 4-1-0 career record and 1.93 GAA versus Chicago.

2007-2008 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Mar 09 '08EDM 6 at CHI 5 - OTA. Cogliano
Feb 06 '08CHI 1 at EDM 4D. Penner
Dec 23 '07EDM 2 at CHI 3B. Seabrook
Nov 24 '07CHI 2 at EDM 3 - SOS. Gagner
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%