Saturday’s NHL previews

Saturday’s games involving Canadian teams:

Thrashers at Oilers, 3:30 p.m. ET

Thrashers—Atlanta (25-24-10) slumps into Edmonton having won just two of its last ten games. The Thrashers started the season off well but have dropped out of a playoff spot. They are in a tie with Buffalo in the Eastern Conference with 60 points, two back of eighth-place Carolina heading into Friday’s games.

Oilers—Edmonton (18-32-8) looks to win three games in a row for the first time since early December. The Oilers pulled off 4-1 victories at home against Dallas and Montreal. Beating Atlanta would put a winning cap on Edmonton’s six-game homestand.

Senators at Maple Leafs, 7:00 p.m. ET

Senators—It will be a vastly different Ottawa lineup taking to the ice at the Air Canada Centre. The Senators (18-30-9 going into their game Friday against Boston) have traded four players away in the last week to rebuild the struggling franchise. Ottawa is last in the Eastern Conference with 45 points.

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Maple Leafs—A big hole will be felt in Toronto’s blue-line. The Leafs (25-27-6) will be playing their first game since veteran defenceman Tomas Kaberle was dealt to Boston. It’s been a kind month to the team—Toronto is 6-2-1 in February.

Stars at Canucks, 10:00 p.m. ET

Stars—Dallas (31-21-6) hopes to end their Western Canada road trip on a winning note. The Stars lost in Edmonton and Calgary earlier this week and have just two wins in their last ten games. A win will jar them loose out of a logjam in the Western Conference—heading into Friday’s games Dallas was tied with four teams at 68 points.

Canucks—The league’s best team will try to protect its few remaining defenceman against Dallas. Vancouver (37-13-9) has lost six blue-liners to injury, the latest being Kevin Bieksa with a broken foot. It’s the first in a six-game homestand for the Canucks.