OILERS (26-42-9) at COYOTES (36-28-13)
Season series: This is the fifth and final game between the Edmonton Oilers and Phoenix Coyotes. Phoenix is 4-0-0 against Edmonton in 2013-14 and hasn't lost in regulation to the Oilers since Jan. 25, 2011.
Big story: Neck and neck with the Dallas Stars for the second Western Conference wild-card spot for the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Coyotes can move ahead of idle Dallas by earning a point or two; both teams have 85.
"Everybody watches other scores (so) you know what’s going on," Coyotes Head Coach Dave Tippett said. "…(But) it’s meaningless if you don’t take care of your own business. You've got to keep fate in your own hands and to do that you have to win."
Coyotes: Phoenix has lost three straight games (0-2-1). After playing the Oilers, three of the Coyotes' final four games are against teams either in or close to qualifying for the postseason, including a potential showdown against the Stars in the season finale April 13.
The Coyotes are looking to repeat what they accomplished two seasons ago when they ended on a five-game winning streak to clinch the Pacific Division.
''We are still out of the playoffs right now, but we all know how important these points are,'' forward Martin Hanzal said. ''So we have to make sure we win the rest and get in."
Phoenix will enter the game with a 12-game point streak vs. the Oilers and looking to cap a season sweep of the series between the new Pacific Division rivals. The Coyotes last lost in regulation to Edmonton on Jan. 25, 2011.
"Tonight's a huge game for us," captain Shane Doan said after a spirited morning skate on Friday. "We've got to come out with energy and excitement, and make sure that we bring our best."
Backup goalie Thomas Greiss will again start for Phoenix for injured goalie Mike Smith, who skated with teammates, albeit briefly, at Friday's morning skate. Tippett said a re-evaluation of Smith's injury won't come until later in the weekend.
"He continues to improve. But no timetable yet," Tippett said.
Forward David Moss, who has missed the past two-plus games with a lower-body injury, is expected to play.
Oilers: Edmonton, which is 29th in the overall NHL standings, put a scare into two playoff teams in consecutive games.
After playing the San Jose Sharks tough in a 5-4 loss Tuesday, the Oilers led the Anaheim Ducks 2-0 in the third period Wednesday before losing 3-2. Considering the type of season it's been, Head Coach Dallas Eakins has been impressed with the Oilers' effort as the schedule winds down.
"I think there are a lot of people in our market that were wondering if (the players) were going to start mailing it in," Eakins said, "Believe me, I'm not going to sit here and accept losing games by a goal, but it's hard to critique that group when they're fighting so hard."
Goalie Ben Scrivens will start for Edmonton.
Who's hot: Coyotes forward Mikkel Boedker has at least one point in six of his past nine games. He has three goals and four assists over that span... Oilers forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins has a point in three of his past five games (2-3-5). Forward Jordan Eberle has 10 points in his past seven games.
Injury report: Coyotes defenseman David Schlemko (lower body ) has not played since March 6. And goalie Mike Smith (lower body) remains out and will be re-evaluated over the weekend... Oilers forward Tyler Pitlick (knee) is day-to-day. Forward Nail Yakupov (fractured ankle) is out indefinitely. Forwards Jesse Joensuu (high ankle sprain), Ryan Jones (torn PCL) and Luke Gazdic (shoulder) and defenseman Andrew Ference (pectoral tear) are out for the season.
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