TALE OF THE TAPE:
Game: Edmonton Oilers (25-34-7, 57 pts) vs Columbus Blue Jackets (26-30-8, 60 pts)
Location: Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio
Time: 5:00 PM MT
Where to find it: TV: Sportsnet West – Radio: 630 CHED
Edmonton Oilers Preview:
Wow, what a win that was last night. The Oilers basically dominated that whole game, sans the second period where the team basically had to kill penalties for half a period. The team showed great resiliency and managed to fight through it.
On top of all that, the Oilers have finally decided not to be pushed around. Patrick Maroon was fantastic in his first game in Edmonton potting a nice goal. Him standing up for Taylor Hall was huge as well.
“Everybody has changed into this new mentality,” said blueliner Brandon Davidson, who had yet another monster game in Philadelphia, surpassing 25 minutes in ice time and going +2 with an assist on Maroon’s goal. “You see it on the ice with the passion… That’s the team we want to be is that scrappy and relentless team.”
Tonight the Oilers can prepare for more of the same from another tough team in the Columbus Blue Jackets. There is a really good chance for the Oilers to put some wins together here towards the end of the season, and that is more important to me than getting a high draft pick.
In this years draft there are some quality players in the top 10, with guys like Matthew Tkachuk, Jakob Chychrun, Olli Juolevi and Juilen Gauthier.
Cam Talbot, who has been a dominating force in the last five games posting a .965 sv% and allowing only six goals on 174 shots, gets the night off. That means the man they call LB gets the start.
“LB came here to develop and to play, and we’re in that situation right now with our record where he needs that opportunity,” McLellan said. “We have a lot of confidence in him based on the game he played earlier in the year. I’d like to think our group will rally around him and give him everything they have.”
There has been some talks today regarding the Oilers sitting someone to get Iiro Pakarinen. One would think Matt Hendricks could draw out of the lineup after blocking some heavy shots last night, but I doubt he will want to sit.
Quotes from oilers.nhl.com.
Think about this for a second…
— zach laing (@Loweded) March 4, 2016
Predictions for tonight:
- The Oilers top six continues to roll, and score three of tonight’s five goals.
- Laurent Brossoit comes in and has another great showing. The young guy can play and may be in the conversation for the backup role next year in Edmonton.
- The Oilers win 5-2.
How did last games predictions go?
- Maroon is awesome, and gets time in the top six tonight.
- The Pardy Party continues and he follows up his debut with another strong performance.
- Connor McDavid avenges his injury suffered at the hands of the Flyers, and takes it to the next level. 2G, 1 A.
Oilers won 4-0. Maroon was definitely an effective player, and pretty awesome. He got time in the top six, and scored his first goal with the Oilers.
The Pardy Party did continue, notching his first assist with the team. He again looked like a solid player, and there has been talk about resigning him.
McDavid didn’t quite get the points I thought he would, but he did end the game with one assist.
2/3 ain’t bad.
Blue Jackets Preview:
Columbus, which has won two of its past three games, tweaked its lines at practice Thursday, with Nick Foligno moving up to the second line and Brandon Saad dropping down to the third. Coach John Tortorella told The Columbus Dispatch he’s looking to get more offense out of his second, third and fourth lines. “We’ve gotten a lot of offense out of [the top line centered by Brandon Dubinsky],” he said. “They’re all over the scoring-chance sheet for us. I don’t think we’ve been consistent enough with the other lines, so we switched those guys to see if we can spark something and get [Foligno] in a situation where he’s playing with [center Alexander Wennberg]. We’ll see. I’m not sure where it goes, but we’ll see what happens.” Foligno, who had an NHL career-high 31 goals last season, has scored nine in 55 games. Rookie goalie Joonas Korpisalo is expected to start; he allowed five goals on 35 shots against the Oilers on Feb. 2. The Blue Jackets know they will have to do a better job against McDavid this time. “He never, never, ever looks at the puck,” defenseman Dalton Prout told the newspaper. “You can’t defend him 1-on-1. You have to do it as a team.”
Line Combos and Starting Goalies c/o Left Wing Lock:
Oilers Lines tentative due to uncertainty from McLellan
Oilers (Cam Talbot):
Taylor Hall – Leon Draisaitl – Zack Kassian
Nail Yakupov – Connor McDavid – Jordan Eberle
Patrick Maroon – Mark Letestu – Lauri Korpikoski
Matt Hendricks – Anton Lander – Adam Cracknell
Andrej Sekera – Mark Fayne
Adam Clendening – Darnell Nurse
Adam Pardy (Party) – Brandon Davidson
EDM Injuries: Oscar Klefbom (leg infection), Andrew Ference (hip), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (hand), Eric Gryba (knee), Benoit Pouliot (unknown, but likely shoulder separation).
Scratched: Iiro Pakarinen (?), Luke Gazdic, Nikita Nikitin
Blue Jackets (Joonas Korpisalo):
Boone Jenner – Brandon Dubinsky – Cam Atkinson
Scott Hartnell – Alexander Wennberg – Nick Foligno
Matt Calvert – William Karlsson – Brandon Saad
Rene Bourque – Gregory Campbell – David Clarkson
Ryan Murray – Seth Jones
Cody Goloubef – David Savard
Fedor Tyutin – Dalton Prout
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