Chicago (6-7-2) at Edmonton (8-7-0)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Edmonton, AB
Temp: 45° F
  • Game info: 9:00 pm EST Tue Nov 18, 2003
Preview | Box Score | Recap

This may not be the best time to be a member of the Chicago Blackhawks.

The Blackhawks, missing their top two forwards and starting goaltender, hope to end a five-game winless streak when they open a six-game road trip against the Edmonton Oilers.

Chicago is already missing center Alex Zhamnov and right wing Eric Daze, and learned over the weekend that No. 1 goalie Jocelyn Thibault would be out 10-12 weeks following hip surgery.

Without Thibault, the Blackhawks will rely on Michael Leighton and backup Craig Anderson—both 22 years old—to share the duties in net. Leighton has made 14 NHL starts, while Anderson has made six.

“Obviously everyone wanted to see these kids get an opportunity, and we did, too,” Blackhawks coach Brian Sutter said. “We won’t lose confidence in them. It’s a great opportunity for them.”

Leighton made 32 saves Sunday in a 2-2 tie with the New York Rangers, ending a personal three-game losing streak.

Kyle Calder and rookie Brett McLean scored for Chicago, 0-2-1-2 in its last five games.

“They say the first game of a road trip is the last one at home, so this was a pretty good one to start on,” Sutter said.

The Blackhawks play their next six games on the road against Western Conference teams. They don’t play at home again until Dec. 3 against Buffalo.

Chicago made a minor trade Monday, acquiring defenseman Stephane Robidas and a second-round pick in next year’s draft from Dallas for defenseman Jon Klemm.

While Chicago is starting a six-game road trip, Edmonton beat archrival Calgary 2-1 in overtime Saturday in its first home game following six straight on the road.

Ryan Smyth scored with 16 seconds left in the extra period as the Oilers improved to 5-2-2 in their last nine.

“We didn’t play great tonight, that’s for sure,” Edmonton’s Mike York said. “I think we were a little bit of a tired hockey team, maybe the first-game-back blues. But Ty (Conklin) played a great game. He really stole one for us.”

Edmonton’s starting goalie—Tommy Salo—is also sidelined with a hip injury. Conklin has started the last four games in place of Salo, who is listed as day-to-day.

The Oilers are 4-1-1 in their last six at home against the Blackhawks.

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