While the Oilers have certainly slipped out of playoff contention, they're generally playing excellent hockey of late, having won the first four games of their current home stand against Colorado, Detroit, L.A., and Columbus. Two of those wins were via the shootout, which Edmonton has dominated this year; their 14 SO victories are an NHL-best since it was added for the 2005-6 season. Clearly, the team has bought into a mission outlined over at Covered In Oil (just one of the many fine blogs that covers the Oilers); they simply must finish as high as they can in the standings, to prevent Anaheim Ducks GM Brian Burke from possibly snagging the top overall pick in the 2008 NHL Draft (widely presumed to be Steve Stamkos). The Ducks, of course, own Edmonton's #1 pick for the next four seasons due to the Oilers signing of restricted free agent Dustin Penner last summer, a move that Burke whined about constantly.
John Glennon of the Tennessean reports that Dan Ellis gets the start in goal, and that the lineup from Saturday's big win in Dallas will remain intact. That means Ville Koistinen continues to play at the expense of Greg Zanon, so watch those Predators power plays to see if Koistinen picks up where he left off in December with his work on the point.
This game (and the rest of the road trip that ends in Detroit on Sunday) won't be carried on Fox Sports South (boo... hiss...), but they should be on DirecTV's Center Ice, so I'll try to provide live blogs or detailed recaps for each. Tonight likely won't be a live blog, however, as 2 of the 3 Little Forecheckers turn 6 years old today, so we'll be partying big time (do they have a VIP room at Chuck E. Cheese?).