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Oilers, Panthers meet in clash between sliding teams

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Edmonton Oilers and Florida Panthers were both looking to take some steps forward this season, but a month into the schedule they instead find themselves with similar struggles.

The two clubs meet on Tuesday night in Florida looking to snap five-game losing streaks.

The Oilers and Panthers are both near the bottom of the standings in the NHL thanks to their season-long struggles. Edmonton is last in the Western Conference with just eight points, while Florida is 14th out of 16 clubs in the East with nine points.

The Oilers have lost five straight for the second time already this season, notching a pair of 0-4-1 droughts, while the Panthers' season-long skid has produced two regulation defeats along with a trio of shootout setbacks.

Both clubs will try to avoid losing six in a row for the first time since April of last season. Edmonton did so from April 4-16, while Florida's came on April 11-21 and both teams failed to secure a single point over their respective skids.

Edmonton has been shut out in back-to-back games, losing 4-0 to Toronto on Tuesday before suffering a 5-0 loss to Detroit on Saturday. Both setbacks came at home and the Oilers were outshot 31-14 by the Red Wings.

The Oilers have not scored since 4:12 into the second period of a 2-1 shootout setback to Los Angeles on Oct. 27.

"We had no one stand up and push back," said Oilers coach Dallas Eakins. "We've got a group that is hurting. They're dying. They've lost their confidence. The best way to get your confidence back is with some success and it starts with one guy to push back. It feeds the rest of the group.

"My job right now is I've got to find a way to give this group some confidence. They're dying. They're hurting. I believe they are trying, but we're playing scared right now. You can't play scared in this league or you're going to get killed."

Edmonton goalie Richard Bachman suffered an injured groin in the first period after allowing two goals on nine shots and Jason LaBarbera gave up three goals on 22 shots in relief.

Bachman was making his third straight start with Devan Dubnyk out with a sprained ankle, but is not expected to be in uniform tonight. Nor are defenseman Anton Belov and Justin Schultz due to injury, so Edmonton recalled Taylor Fedun from Oklahoma City of the American Hockey League and the 25-year- old defenseman could make his NHL debut tonight.

Also, Dubnyk and forward Ryan Smyth are expected to be in uniform tonight for the Oilers. Smyth has been out since Oct. 22 with a groin injury and practiced on a line with Sam Gagner and Nail Yakupov, while it is unknown if Dubnyk will start or dress as the backup.

After leaving its home fans frustrated, Edmonton begins a four-game road trip tonight and has not lost in Florida since March 8, 2002. The Oilers have won each of their past four trips to Sunrise, including three straight in a shootout.

The Panthers have lost seven of their last eight versus the Oilers overall and are coming off Saturday's 3-2 shootout defeat to Washington.

Tomas Fleischmann scored during a 4-on-3 power play with 2:38 left in regulation to force extra time, but Scott Clemmensen failed to stop any of the three skaters he faced in the shootout after posting 21 saves through overtime.

"I'm still confident in our guys," said Florida coach Kevin Dineen.

Jesse Winchester also scored for the Panthers, who have just one victory in their last nine games.

With Tim Thomas still not ready to return from a lower-body injury, Clemmensen or Jacob Markstrom will start tonight. Markstrom has never faced the Oilers, while Clemmensen allowed two goals on 28 shots in a loss the only other time he faced them.

Dubnyk stopped 26-of-27 shots faced to win his only encounter with the Panthers, while LaBarbera has never started against Edmonton. He did stop all eight shots faced in one relief appearance.

11/05 10:59:22 ET

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Schedule

Wednesday, April 23Full Scoreboard
Pittsburgh3Final(OT) | Box
Columbus «4Rink Replay
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game Four. Series tied, 2-2.
Anaheim2Final | Box
Dallas «4Rink Replay
Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game Four. Series tied, 2-2.
St. Louis3Final(OT) | Box
Chicago «4Rink Replay
Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game Four. Series tied, 2-2.
Full Scoreboard

Standings

2013 - 2014 NHL Eastern Conference Standings
 
Atlantic Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
p-Boston 54 19 9 117 261 177 31-7-3 23-12-6 18-9-3
x-Tampa Bay 46 27 9 101 240 215 25-10-6 21-17-3 19-8-3
x-Montreal 46 28 8 100 215 204 23-13-5 23-15-3 18-8-4
x-Detroit 39 28 15 93 222 230 18-13-10 21-15-5 17-8-5
Ottawa 37 31 14 88 236 265 18-17-6 19-14-8 14-9-7
Toronto 38 36 8 84 231 256 24-16-1 14-20-7 14-13-3
Florida 29 45 8 66 196 268 16-20-5 13-25-3 13-16-1
Buffalo 21 51 10 52 157 248 13-21-7 8-30-3 7-18-5
 
Metropolitan Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
y-Pittsburgh 51 24 7 109 249 207 28-9-4 23-15-3 20-8-2
x-NY Rangers 45 31 6 96 218 193 20-17-4 25-14-2 16-11-3
x-Philadelphia 42 30 10 94 236 235 24-14-3 18-16-7 15-11-4
x-Columbus 43 32 7 93 231 216 22-15-4 21-17-3 16-13-1
Washington 38 30 14 90 235 240 21-13-7 17-17-7 12-15-3
New Jersey 35 29 18 88 197 208 21-11-9 14-18-9 16-9-5
Carolina 36 35 11 83 207 230 18-17-6 18-18-5 15-13-2
NY Islanders 34 37 11 79 225 267 13-19-9 21-18-2 10-16-4
 
x= clinched playoff berth
y= clinched division title
z= clinched overall points title
2013 - 2014 NHL Western Conference Standings
 
Central Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
y-Colorado 52 22 8 112 250 220 26-11-4 26-11-4 19-6-3
x-St. Louis 52 23 7 111 248 191 28-9-4 24-14-3 21-6-2
x-Chicago 46 21 15 107 267 220 27-7-7 19-14-8 13-13-3
x-Minnesota 43 27 12 98 207 206 26-10-5 17-17-7 14-12-3
x-Dallas 40 31 11 91 235 228 23-11-7 17-20-4 13-11-5
Nashville 38 32 12 88 216 242 19-17-5 19-15-7 12-13-4
Winnipeg 37 35 10 84 227 237 18-17-6 19-18-4 9-15-5
 
Pacific Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
z-Anaheim 54 20 8 116 266 209 29-8-4 25-12-4 22-4-3
x-San Jose 51 22 9 111 249 200 29-7-5 22-15-4 18-7-3
x-Los Angeles 46 28 8 100 206 174 23-14-4 23-14-4 16-10-3
Phoenix 37 30 15 89 216 231 22-14-5 15-16-10 14-9-6
Vancouver 36 35 11 83 196 223 20-15-6 16-20-5 12-13-4
Calgary 35 40 7 77 209 241 19-19-3 16-21-4 11-15-3
Edmonton 29 44 9 67 203 270 16-22-3 13-22-6 8-17-4
 
x= clinched playoff berth
y= clinched division title
z= clinched overall points title
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Scoreboard
Local
Final
CHR 9
DUR 1
 
Final
MIA 101
CHA 97
7:05pm Tonight
CHR
DUR
 
Final
ATL 3
MIA 1
Final
CHC 5
ARI 7
Final
COL 10
SFG 12
Final
OAK 0
TEX 3
Final
SEA 5
HOU 3
Final
PIT 2
CIN 5
Final
CLE 5
KAN 3
Final
WAS 5
ANA 4
Final
TOR 8
BAL 10
Final
DET 4
CWS 6
Final
TAM 4
MIN 6
Final
BOS 5
NYY 1
Final
NYM 3
STL 2
Final
MIL 5
SDP 2
Final
LOS 5
PHI 2
12:05pm Today
CLE
KAN
 
12:35pm Today
PIT
CIN
 
1:08pm Today
DET
CWS
 
1:10pm Today
TAM
MIN
 
1:10pm Today
NYM
STL
 
2:20pm Today
CHC
ARI
 
7:05pm Tonight
WAS
SDP
 
7:07pm Tonight
TOR
BAL
 
7:10pm Tonight
BOS
NYY
 
8:10pm Tonight
HOU
OAK
 
10:10pm Tonight
LOS
PHI
 
Final
MIA 101
CHA 97
Final
SAN 92
DAL 113
Final
HOU 105
POR 112
7:00pm Tonight
ATL
IND
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
OKC
10:30pm Tonight
GSW
LAC
Final
CLB 4
PIT 3
Final
DAL 4
ANA 2
Final
CHI 4
STL 3
8:00pm Tonight
DET
BOS
9:30pm Tonight
MIN
COL
10:30pm Tonight
LOS
SJS
Final
CHR 9
DUR 1
 
7:05pm Tonight
CHR
DUR