SUN Hockey Pool

Oilers set to battle old Cup foes

Sports Network

, Last Updated: 11:44 AM ET

The Edmonton Oilers will play just their third game in Raleigh since the 2006 Stanley Cup Finals tonight, when they visit the Carolina Hurricanes at RBC Center.

The Oilers were the Western Conference's eighth-seeded team when they made a shocking run to the 2006 Cup Finals. Of course, Edmonton's Cinderella run ended when Carolina notched a 3-1 victory in the decisive Game 7 at RBC Center, giving the franchise its first ever Stanley Cup title.

That Game 7 was actually Edmonton's last postseason contest, as the club has finished outside of the playoff picture in each of the last four seasons. The Hurricanes haven't fared much better in that span, qualifying for the postseason just once in 2009.

The Oilers have won three of the four meetings overall since their playoff series with Carolina and posted a 4-2 home victory over the Hurricanes last season. Edmonton has split its two trips to Raleigh since '06, losing by a 7-2 count during the 2007-08 campaign and posting a 3-1 decision the last time the clubs met at RBC on Nov. 1, 2008.

Edmonton has just four wins in 12 games this season, but is coming off a victory Saturday night in Chicago. It was the second win in two tries this season against the defending Stanley Cup champions.

Sam Gagner and Kurtis Foster scored in the third period to lift the Oilers to the 2-1 victory over the Blackhawks. Nikolai Khabibulin made 26 saves to help his team end a two-game slide.

Edmonton forward Shawn Horcoff suffered a leg injury in Saturday's game and is questionable for tonight's contest. However, Jean-Francois Jacques, who has missed the entire season so far after undergoing back surgery, may be ready to make his 2010-11 debut tonight. Jacques has been playing with Oklahoma City of the AHL to regain his conditioning.

Meanwhile, Oilers defenseman Theo Peckham has missed the last two games with flu-like symptoms, but he returned to practice on Sunday and is expected to play tonight.

The Oilers are 2-2-2 as the visiting team this year and are playing the second test of a five-game road trip tonight.

Carolina has won two of its last three games and is coming off a split of a home-and-home series with Florida. The Hurricanes lost the road portion to the Panthers, 7-4, but rebounded with a 3-2 win in Saturday's home game. Eric Staal scored twice to lead Carolina to the close win over the Panthers. Staal has now netted 199 goals, the fourth most in franchise history.

"It was a better effort from everybody, including myself, I wasn't happy with the way I played [Friday] night," Staal said. "We were a lot stingier tonight, more aggressive, tighter gaps and better back pressure by everybody. It resulted in some chances for us and limiting their opportunities."

Jeff Skinner added a goal and an assist while Cam Ward turned aside 18 shots to earn the win for Carolina.

Hurricanes defenseman Joni Pitkanen missed his second straight game with an upper-body injury and is questionable for tonight. The Finnish blueliner has one goal and four assists in 12 games this season.

The Hurricanes are 3-2-0 as the host this year and are playing the middle test of a three-game homestand tonight. Carolina will cap the residency Thursday against Philadelphia.


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