SUN Hockey Pool

Oilers show two faces on special teams

ROBIN BROWNLEE -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 9:27 AM ET

NEW YORK -- Win the special teams. Win the game.

That's a fundamental rule of thumb, and one that's applied to the Edmonton Oilers through the first two stops on a three-game road swing that wraps up in New Jersey tomorrow.

In Saturday's 3-2 shootout loss to the Isles, the Oilers power play was 1-for-9, while the Isles went 2-for-7.

In Thursday's 3-2 win over Philadelphia, the Oilers held the Flyers to one goal on eight attempts and got two short-handed goals from Ethan Moreau.

The Oilers also scored one power-play goal in five attempts.

"Our special teams are better, but they're very much works in progress," said coach Craig MacTavish. "The power play had a tough night."

In simple terms, the Oilers were a plus-2 in special teams against the Flyers, thanks to Moreau and a minus-1 against the Isles.

"It's a powerful number," MacTavish said. "Very few times you lose the special team's battle and win the game.

"Our penalty killing hasn't been great at home (ranked 30th). That's a primary reason why we don't have the home record we should have."

CONKLIN IMPRESSES: Ty Conklin wrapped up his two-game conditioning stint with Hartford of the AHL with a 34 saves in a 3-2 shootout loss to Philadelphia on Saturday.

He rejoined the Oilers yesterday and will start against New Jersey tomorrow.

Conklin, 29, beat Springfield with 34 saves in a 4-3 shootout win for the Wolf Pack Friday before losing to the Phantoms.

He didn't show any ill effects of the strained groin that put him on injured reserve during his conditioning assignment in Hamilton.

"He played very well in both games," MacTavish said. "We're going to give him an opportunity to play."

AROUND THE RINK: MacTavish liked the work of Krys Kolanos against the Islanders more than he did the effort of Jani Rita against the Flyers, so he'll go with him again in New Jersey ... Radek Dvorak (strained groin) skated yesterday and will be joining the team today.


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