The NHL returns on Saturday, August 1st, with their qualifying round and round-robin play. The Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in a restart that will feature 24 teams competing for the Stanley Cup. The top four teams in each conference are competing in round-robin play to finalize the top four seeds. The next eight teams are competing in five-game seeded play to earn a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The Edmonton Oilers and Chicago Blackhawks will face off in Edmonton starting Saturday. The Oilers finished the abbreviated regular season with 83 points on a 37-25-9 record, which was good for the 5th seed. The Blackhawks finished the abbreviated regular season with 72 points on a 32-30-8 record, which was good for the 11th seed.
The Oilers are hoping to get center Riley Sheahan back, and while he has been getting in practice time, he did not play in the team’s exhibition game. Reserve defenseman Caleb Jones is also “a little nicked up.” The Oilers won their exhibition game 4-1 behind two Connor McDavid goals and a strong combined performance by Mikko Koskinen (17 saves on 17 shots) and Mike Smith (19 saves on 20 shots).
The Blackhawks welcomed back Corey Crawford between the pipes on Wednesday after he missed most of training camp due to Covid-19. He stopped all 11 Blues shots he faced in 30:06 of play in a 4-0 Blackhawks victory. The team will be without defenseman Brent Seabrook after multiple surgeries this past year.
Below is a full rundown of the Oilers-Blackhawks series and how to watch it. The NBC games are all available at NBCSports.com/live.
Oilers vs. Blackhawks series info
Saturday, Aug. 1: Blackhawks vs. Oilers, 3 p.m. | NBC, SN
Monday, Aug. 3: Blackhawks vs. Oilers, 10:30 p.m. | NBCSN, NHL.TV, SN, NBCSCH
Wednesday, Aug. 5: Oilers vs. Blackhawks, 10:30 p.m. | NBCSN, NHL.TV, SN, NBCSCH
Friday, Aug. 7: Oilers vs. Blackhawks*, TBD
Saturday, Aug. 8: Blackhawks vs. Oilers*, TBD