Hossa could return in rematch with Oilers

Chicago Blackhawks' Marian Hossa celebrates his goal against the Philadelphia Flyers during the...

Chicago Blackhawks' Marian Hossa celebrates his goal against the Philadelphia Flyers during the second period in Game 2 of their NHL Stanley Cup final hockey game in Chicago, May 31, 2010. (REUTERS/John Gress)

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, Last Updated: 3:58 PM ET

The Edmonton Oilers have already stopped one losing streak this season in a meeting with the Chicago Blackhawks. Less than two weeks later they get a chance to do so again as the two clubs square off for the second time this season at the United Center, where the 'Hawks could have Marian Hossa back in the lineup for the first time in six games.

The Oilers have lost eight of nine since opening the season with two straight wins, with the lone victory in that span coming in Chicago on Oct. 29. That 7-4 victory halted a six-game slide (0-4-2), but Edmonton has lost consecutive home games to Vancouver and Detroit since.

Sam Gagner scored twice in the win over the Blackhawks, though those two tallies represent the only goals for the sixth overall pick of the 2007 draft this season. Rookies Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle had a goal and an assist in the win.

Hall, the top pick of the 2010 draft, scored his third goal of the season and first at home in Friday's 3-1 setback to Detroit. Nikolai Khabibulin made 27 saves to keep the game close.

"Right now we're playing not to lose, and that's dangerous," Oilers head coach Tom Renney said.

Forward Steve McIntyre missed the contest due to a sore back, while Theo Peckham was scratched due to flu-like symptoms. Both skaters are questionable for tonight.

Edmonton, which is beginning a five-game road trip tonight and is 1-2-2 as the guest this year, snapped a four-game skid to Chicago with last month's win and had lost two straight and six of eight in the Windy City.

Khabibulin made 37 saves and is 13-7-0 with a 2.33 goals-against average in his career versus the 'Hawks, who he spent four seasons with prior to joining the Oilers before the 2009-10 season.

Hossa missed that game versus the Oilers, the first of five straight after suffering an upper-body injury versus the Kings on Oct. 27, but head coach Joel Quenneville said he is optimistic Hossa can return tonight. The forward has scored in four straight against Edmonton and has 10 goals in 18 career games against the club.

Chicago had lost three of four without Hossa before knocking off Atlanta, 5-4, in a shootout last night in a game that featured a reunion with some former friends.

Dustin Byfuglien, Andrew Ladd, Brent Sopel and Ben Eager were all part of the Blackhawks' Stanley Cup-winning club last year, but all were part of an offseason roster purge due to salary cap issues and landed in Atlanta. Byfuglien missed on his shootout attempt in the fifth round before Viktor Stalberg won it with a backhander past Atlanta goaltender Ondrej Pavelec.

"It's a lot more fun knowing you can win it instead of having the pressure of having to tie it," said Stalberg. "I was really hoping that I would have the chance to win it and that's all you want when you go out there."

Jonathan Toews had two goals and two assists for a career-high four points and Patrick Kane finished the game with two goals and an assist for the Blackhawks, while Marty Turco stopped 33 shots in the win.

Turco gave up four goals on 12 shots versus the Oilers in October and was pulled in favor of Crawford, who got the loss that night and could make his first appearance since Oct. 29 this evening with Chicago playing on back-to- back nights.


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