Oilers on the March toward Western Conference bottom


The Edmonton Oilers haven’t scored a goal in their last two games – obviously, not a winning recipe.

On Friday, one night after being shut out 3-0 by the Detroit Red Wings, the Oilers were soundly defeated 6-0 by the Nashville Predators.

The highly touted trio of youthful talent in Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle was a combined minus-nine against the Predators. The Oilers have lost all five of their games to begin the month of March and are now one point ahead of the Columbus Blue Jackets for last in the Western Conference standings.

“You just have to hate to lose that much and say, ‘OK, this has really got to happen,'” Oilers head coach Ralph Krueger told NHL.com.

“I have a feeling, I mean, if this one doesn’t do it, I don’t know what will. This has got to knock us really off our feet and say, ‘Enough is enough’ and ‘What are the elements that aren’t fitting and what are we doing that’s not enough?’

“Having been in close games for so long and then starting to lose a few has obviously broken our psyche with the last two scores — and the Minnesota [game] — so three of the last four games are unacceptable.”

The first period provided an ominous sign of what was in store for Edmonton.

Oilers goalie Devan Dubnyk had a bouncing puck, shot in from the center ice by David Legwand, skip past him, giving Nashville a two-goal lead.

Dubnyk was pulled to begin the second period.

Sabres place Lehner on IR; Recall Lieuwen

Connor Brown, Robin Lehner
Leave a comment

They’re just one game into their regular season, but the Buffalo Sabres have already had to shift things around in their crease.

The Sabres announced that they have placed starting goaltender Robin Lehner on injured reserve after he was knocked out of Thursday’s game with a lower-body injury.

In a corresponding move, the club has recalled Nathan Lieuwen from their AHL affiliate in Rochester.

The 24-year-old didn’t play in the NHL last season, but he did have a 1-4-0 record with a 2.98 goals-against-average and a .906 save percentage in seven games during the 2013-14 season.

Lieuwen was Buffalo’s sixth round pick, 167th overall, in the 2011 draft.

The Sabres also announced that they have loaned defenseman Jake McCabe and goaltender Linus Ullmark to the Rochester Americans (AHL).

McCabe was a healthy scratch in Thursday’s game against Ottawa, while Ullmark is being activated off I.R. after having double hip surgery during the off-season.



Chara ‘doubtful’ for game against rival Canadiens

Brad Marchand, Zdeno Chara
Leave a comment

It looks like the Boston Bruins will be without their captain again on Saturday night.

Head coach Claude Julien told members of the media that Zdeno Chara is considered doubtful for tonight’s game against the Montreal Canadiens.

Chara suffered an upper-body injury during the preseason and he’s already been forced to miss Boston’s season opening loss to the Jets.

Per CSN, Chara says he’s improving but he won’t return to the lineup until he’s as close to 100 percent as possible.

“Every area of the injury is improving,” said Chara. “Hopefully it’s not long before I’m free of any kind of discomfort. That’s what we’re doing right now…we’re being patient. For sure you don’t want to come back, and be half of what you are…and basically hurting yourself and the team. And you’re putting yourself in a position where you could be missing more time. At this time of the season, I think it’s important to be as close as you can be to 100 percent.”

Based on the number of defensive mistakes they committed on Thursday, the Bruins need Chara back as soon as possible: