TALE OF THE TAPE:
Game: Edmonton Oilers (28-38-7, 63 pts. 6-4 in their last 10) vs Vancouver Canucks (27-30-12, 66 points. 4-6 in their last 10)
Location: Rexall Place, Edmonton, Alberta
Time: 7:00 PM MT
Where to find it: TV: Sportsnet West – Radio: 630 CHED
Edmonton Oilers Preview:
73 down, 9 to go.
What does the end of the season look like for the Oilers? Well, three of the last nine games include matchups against the Vancouver Canucks. The toughest remaining games will include draws against the Sharks, Kings, Ducks and Coyotes.
The Oilers have an opportunity to put a few games together at the end of the year. Is it out of the realm of possibility for the Oilers to go .500 the rest of the way? I don’t. It could have implications on the ability to have the highest chance to win the lottery draft, but there are some real quality players in the four to eight range that could really benefit the Oilers.
#Oilers in the last three months:
Mar: 9 GP, 5-4, 10 pts.
Feb: 14 GP, 4-8-2, 10 pts.
Jan: 11 GP, 4-5-2, 10 pts.
— zach laing (@Loweded) March 18, 2016
The Oilers and Canucks have split the two games played already this year, with each team winning 2-1 in OT. Oddly enough, both teams that won the game lost in the possession game.
“They’re in a similar boat to us where they’re trying to continue to lay their foundation down with a number of young players and those young players have produced lately, the second half of the year the Horvats and those type of players have been very good,” said McLellan. “But I still believe it runs through [the Sedin’s] and their ability to cycle and play on their backhands and create time and space for their teammates. That’s a huge challenge for our team. We’ve worked real hard all year to play better in our zone and they’re going to test it tonight for sure.”
Like any game against the Canucks, the challenge is to contain the Sedin’s. Combined, they have scored 161 points in 165 career games against Edmonton.
The recent decisions by the Oilers coaching staff to combine size with skill throughout the line-up has already begun to pay dividends. Maroon has been a nice fit the last few games with McDavid and Eberle, while Iiro Pakarinen has played alongside Hall and Draisaitl.
Pakarinen has two points (1G-1A) in his last two games.
The Canucks have seemingly had the Oilers number for some time now winning seven of the last 10 games. However, the Oilers have kept the last three games close, bringing them all to OT.
Cam Talbot, who has a .935 sv% in his last 10 starts, gets the start tonight.
Quotes from oilers.nhl.com.
Predictions for tonight:
- Oilers beat the Canucks 3-0.
- Former Canuck Zack Kassian scores.
- CAM TALBOT SHUTOUT!!!!!
Last games predictions and results:
- Oilers win 3-1.
- Patrick Maroon fights David Backes for all the crap he has done to the Oilers in the last few years. Nobody gets hurt, but Maroon gets the W.
- Darnell Nurse returns, plays over 20 minutes and is a positive CF player in his first game back.
The Oilers won 6-4! Maroon and Backes didn’t fight, but they did do some jawing.
Goalie Jacob Markstrom will start after Ryan Miller made 31 saves in a 3-1 loss to the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday. Hansen (ribs) did not practice Thursday and will miss the next two games. Defenseman Alex Biega will play after missing one game with an upper-body injury. Vancouver is 28th in the NHL with 163 goals and tied for 26th with 36 power-play goals. “We have to get our D involved more, I don’t think our D is involved as much as they were in the past,” coach Willie Desjardins told the Canucks website Thursday. “I think our power play has to be a little bit better. We got to get a few more off the power play. Plus, we have to get more power plays. We just don’t get enough power plays.”
Line Combos and Starting Goalies:
Oilers (Cam Talbot):
Taylor Hall – Leon Draisaitl – Iiro Pakarinen
Patrick Maroon – Connor McDavid – Jordan Eberle
Lauri Korpikoski – Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – Nail Yakupov
Matt Hendricks – Mark Letestu – Zack Kassian
Andrej Sekera – Mark Fayne
Griffin Reinhart – Jordan Oesterle
Darnell Nurse – Adam Clendening
EDM Injuries: Oscar Klefbom (leg infection), Andrew Ference (hip), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (hand), Eric Gryba (knee), Benoit Pouliot (shoulder), Brandon Davidson (knee), Adam Pardy (hand).
Vancouver Canucks (Jacob Markstrom):
Daniel Sedin – Henrik Sedin – Alexandre Grenier
Brendan Gaunce – Bo Horvat – Jake Virtanen
Sven Baertschi – Linden Vey – Emerson Etem
Alexandre Burrows – Jared McCann – Radim Vrbata
Ben Hutton – Christopher Tanev
Dan Hamhuis – Matt Bartkowski
Andrey Pedan – Nikita Tryamakin
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