January 2, 2012
Blackhawks looking for revenge on Oilers
By DEREK VAN DIEST, QMI Agency
CHICAGO - The Chicago Blackhawks have vivid memories of their last encounter with the Edmonton Oilers.
They were not happy with the way the Oilers manhandled them 9-2 in mid-November at Rexall Place.
They’re looking for revenge.
“We certainly haven’t forgotten, we have ourselves to blame for not being prepared for that game,” said Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews. “But at the same time, we’re sitting there in the third period and they’re still trying to score 10 goals on us. You don’t forget that very quickly.
“We’re not going to sit here and make any promises to what we’re going to do to them tonight. Let’s just say we’ll let our play do the talking. We’ll be ready for this one.”
The Oilers dominated the last contest against the Blackhawks getting to goaltender Ray Emery early.
Taylor Hall led the offensive explosion with a hat-trick in the game. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had five assists.
The Blackhawks had played the night before and were heading to Las Vegas for a team retreat the following day.
“It’s been quite some time since, then but I’m sure they haven’t forgot,” said Hall. “We’ve been beating like that before by teams and we certainly don’t forget. We know they’re going to put their best effort forward tonight and we’re going to have to be ready for that.
“This is a huge game for our team, we’ve had a day to think about things and where we’re at. This is as big as any game that we’ve had this year.”
Devan Dubnyk gets the surprise start in net for the Oilers after giving up four goals on nine shots in a loss to the New York Islanders on Saturday.
Dubnyk did bounce back in the contest with a strong third period, keeping the Islanders from running up the score.
“Sometimes you have to give a guy the opportunity to bounce back,” said Oilers head coach Tom Renney. “He’s a guy that can clearly play the position and can play it real well. He needs to know that goalies too can get a second chance.”
Ben Eager will also be getting a second chance.
After taking three undisciplined penalties in Saturday’s contest and eventually getting benched, the Oilers winger will draw back into the lineup against his former team.
“We’re coming back to a team he played for,” said Renney. “We hope the passion and the emotional level is where it needs to be, which is right on the edge.
“That being said, Ben can help us when he plays hard. When he plays well, he can be a real effective player for us. He’s going to have to bump some bodies, get dirty have a presence out there in order to make the contribution I’m looking for from him.”
Notes … The Oilers have sent Lenaart Petrell to their AHL affiliate in Oklahoma City and called up Teemu Hartikainen, who could be in the lineup against the Blackhawks Thursday.