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Reply To: NHL • Saturday Service Plays • 3/12/16

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Preview: Arizona at Edmonton

When: 10:00 PM ET, Saturday, March 12, 2016
Where: Rexall Place, Edmonton, Alberta

The Edmonton Oilers have escaped the basement of the Western Conference thanks to a recent surge they hope to continue against a struggling division rival as they begin a five-game homestand Saturday against the Arizona Coyotes. Edmonton has won five of its last seven contests to move two points ahead of Winnipeg in the West but has played three more games than the Jets and two more than Calgary, with which it is tied at 61 points.

The Oilers are 16-15-2 at home this season but have lost six of their last seven (1-5-1) at Rexall Place. Arizona is wrapping up a four-game road trip on which it improved to 1-1-1 with Friday’s 4-1 triumph at Calgary. The Coyotes, who have won only two of their last 11 contests (2-8-1), are clinging to their slim playoff hopes as they trail Colorado by nine points for the second wild-card spot in the West. The home team won each of the first three meetings of the season between Edmonton and Arizona, with the Coyotes going 2-0-1.

TV: 10 p.m. ET, FSN Arizona Plus, Sportsnet (Edmonton)

ABOUT THE COYOTES (29-32-7): Arizona is hoping Oliver Ekman-Larsson returns to the lineup as the defenseman has missed the team’s last two games with a bruised shoulder. The 24-year-old Swede leads the team in a number of offensive categories, including assists (30), points (49), power-play goals (12) and game-winners (seven). Captain Shane Doan has scored a club-leading 24 goals this season, his highest total since netting a career-best 31 in 2008-09.

ABOUT THE OILERS (27-36-7): Edmonton expects to have Ryan Nugent-Hopkins in the lineup against Arizona after the 22-year-old was activated from injured reserve Friday. Nugent-Hopkins, who hasn’t played since Jan. 18 because of a hand injury, has recorded eight goals and 22 assists in 46 games this season. Taylor Hall leads the team with 22 goals but has scored only two in his last 10 contests.

OVERTIME

1. Oilers D Darnell Nurse will serve the second contest of his three-game suspension for an incident against San Jose on Tuesday.

2. Arizona rookie LW Max Domi has gone nine games without a tally since posting back-to-back two-goal performances Feb. 18 and 20.

3. Three of Edmonton’s last five victories have been 2-1 decisions while another was a 3-1 final.

PREDICTION: Oilers 3, Coyotes 2