|CHI||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||9|
|EDM||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||2|
The streaking Chicago Blackhawks are still without a regulation loss in December, but the majority of their success has come at the United Center.
They'll soon find out whether they can keep it up on the road.
The Blackhawks carry a four-game winning streak into their three-game swing through western Canada, but they've lost five straight in Edmonton, where the trip starts Tuesday against the Oilers.
Chicago is 5-0-1 this month, the lone defeat being a 5-4 road shootout loss to Stanley Cup champion Detroit on Dec. 6. Four of the Blackhawks' wins - the most recent coming Sunday, 3-1 over Columbus - have been at home, where they're 10-1-4 this season.
On the road, they've lost four of five to fall to 5-5-3, closing their last multi-game trip with three straight losses in California from Nov. 26-29. Coach Joel Quenneville is hoping this week's journey through Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver won't be a repeat of that.
"It will be a fun trip for us," Quenneville said. "... It's a good test playing those teams up there. They're all teams that are in the same pack that we're in and they will all be meaningful games."
The young Blackhawks (15-6-7) will certainly hit the road with plenty of momentum, having outscored opponents 16-5 during their season high-tying four-game run. They haven't won five in a row since the 2001-02 season, which was also the last time they reached the playoffs.
Martin Havlat scored the winner against the Blue Jackets, while Patrick Sharp got his team-leading 17th goal.
The Oilers (14-12-2) have also been hot lately, winning four of five. Edmonton picked up a 3-0 home victory over Vancouver on Saturday - a game coach Craig MacTavish thinks could be a breakthrough for his club.
"It was the first game all year where I can say that everybody played well," MacTavish said. "It was the first real complete 60-minute game we have played all year. Normally, there have been patches of the game where there are some poor performances, but everybody did their job tonight."
Dwayne Roloson made 23 saves for his third straight victory and first shutout since Feb. 22, 2007, while Dustin Penner's goal less than a minute into the game stood up as the winner.
"It was important to get a win like this, especially in our own building where we haven't played our best hockey," Roloson said.
The win was just Edmonton's fourth in 10 games at Rexall Place this season, but that might not matter much to the Blackhawks as they visit the NHL's northernmost venue. They've been outscored 18-5 while going 0-4-1 in their last five visits.
Chicago beat the Oilers 3-0 the teams' first meeting of the season Oct. 22, getting 23 saves from Nikolai Khabibulin in his only shutout this season.
It's unclear if Khabibulin will start over Cristobal Huet on Tuesday. Khabibulin is 3-7-1 with a 3.14 goals-against average at Edmonton, while Huet has never played there.
Either way, the Blackhawks defense should get a boost from defenseman James Wisniewski, who's on track to see his first action of the season following knee surgery over the summer.
|Mar 20 '09||EDM 5 at CHI 4 - SO||P. O'Sullivan|
|Feb 03 '09||CHI 3 at EDM 1||D. Bolland|
|Dec 16 '08||CHI 9 at EDM 2||B. Campbell|
|Oct 22 '08||EDM 0 at CHI 3||P. Sharp|