SUN Hockey Pool

No place like home for Oilers

Tayloer Hall is swarmed by teammates after he scored the overtime winner Saturday against the St....

Tayloer Hall is swarmed by teammates after he scored the overtime winner Saturday against the St. Louis Blues. The Oilers opened their six-game homestand with a win, only their third at Rexall this season. (LAURA PEDERSEN/QMI Agency)

GERRY MODDEJONGE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:59 AM ET

EDMONTON - Home is where the heart is, and the Edmonton Oilers love nothing more than a win at Rexall Place.

The thing is, up until last Saturday they’d won only three games in their home barn this season.

But they capitalized on the momentum of a 3-0 road swing through eastern Canada by carrying the streak onto home ice with a 2-1 overtime victory over the St. Louis Blues.

It was the curtain-raiser on a two-week, six-game home stand, during which the Oilers will look to even out their home-and-away record, which so far shows 15 of their 24 points coming on the road.

“We’ve got a bit of a home stand here and it’s nice to get the first one,” said Jordan Eberle.

“We want to continue playing well. We know we’ve been a good road team so far.”

Being good is one thing …

“We want to be a great home team,” said Sam Gagner.

“You look at the best teams in the league and it’s hard to go into their rink and steal games.

“That’s what we want to be here and (Saturday) night was obviously a big step.”

Streak

The Oilers are on a four-game winning streak, having won five of their last six.

“I feel like there are still a lot of things that we could have done better and we’re going to learn from that,” Gagner said.

“I think the biggest thing for us is continuing to play a patient, simple game and create chances off of that.”

Not to mention doing it at home with the same tenacity the team showed on last week’s swing through Ottawa, Montreal and Toronto.

“Those buildings, they’re hard to play in ... but at the same time they’re really easy to play in because you get up for them,” said Ryan Jones.

“They’re easy to get up for, they’re buildings that have a lot of history and you’re so excited to play in them.

Excited

“Then you come home and there’s a little tendency after a day off to let down a little bit, but we knew we had to get these fans on our side quickly. A lot of people saw that road trip and they were excited to see us play.

“We came out a little bit slow (Saturday), weathered the storm for a little while and then in the third period, I thought we took it over a little bit and gave them something to cheer for.”

Turns out that coming away with two points in dramatic fashion with overtime heroics is exactly what the fans want to see in their own building, which happens to have a little history of its own — and not just because it’s the oldest rink in the league, either.

“When you can build off the fans, it’s great,” said Jones.

“At the same time, you have some buildings where it’s really quiet and you have to build your own momentum.

“This is a place that the fans can get you up and if we string together a couple wins, they’re kind of like the seventh man.”

ICE CHIPS: After his knee collided with Blues forward Andy McDonald’s helmet in overtime Saturday, Oilers captain Shawn Horcoff took what the team called a maintenance day instead of practising on Sunday.

gerry.moddejonge@sunmedia.ca

twitter.com/Gerry_EdmSun


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