Hawks' seven-game homestand concludes against Oilers

Hawks' seven-game homestand concludes against Oilers
February 25, 2013, 10:30 am
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Nina Falcone

The Blackhawks' seven-game homestand will conclude tonight against the Edmonton Oilers.

After defeating the Blue Jackets on Sunday night, the Hawks survived their 18th consecutive matchup without a loss in regulation. But tonight, the Oilers -- who are kicking off a nine-game road trip -- are not hiding the fact that they'd like to be the team that ends Chicago's streak.

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"To play the best team in the National Hockey League right off the bat is exciting for us," Oilers coach Ralph Krueger told the media on Friday.

"We feel extremely confident that we're going to give them a difficult night and we're going there to do everything to try and win. It would be more than an honor to end that streak."

The Oilers (7-7-3) have earned 17 points in 17 games played this season and currently stand as the Western Conference's 13th place team. But a win tonight could change all of that.

Edmonton's in a tight race with Calgary, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Dallas and San Jose, who are within two points of each other. The Oilers are coming into tonight's matchup with some momentum after defeated the Coyotes on Saturday, and unlike the Blackhawks, had a day in between games to rest up and prepare.

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The Oilers' point leaders are Sam Gagner (five goals, 12 assists), Taylor Hall (three goals, 13 assists) and captain Jordan Eberle (six goals, six assists). However, Hall is currently serving a suspension and will not be playing tonight. Former Blackhawks forward Ben Eager and goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin will be making a return to the United Center, and Khabibulin is expected to get the start in net over Devan Dubnyk.

Tonight marks the first matchup between the Blackhawks and Oilers this year. These two teams will be facing off again on Mar. 10 and April 24.

Make sure to join the conversation during tonight's game by using #HawksTalk on Twitter, and don't forget to check out the latest team-related social media trends on Blackhawks Pulse.