TALE OF THE TAPE:
Game: Edmonton Oilers (16-21-3) vs Carolina Hurricanes (16-17-6)
Location: Rexall Place, Edmonton, Alberta
Time: 7:00 PM MT
Where to find it: TV: Sportsnet West – Radio: 630 CHED
Edmonton Oilers Preview:
After bringing in 2016 with a solid 4-3 win over the Arizona Coyotes, the Oilers look to build off that win as they take on the Carolina Hurricanes.
In the upcoming month of January, the Oilers face the Lightning and Panthers twice, as well as three games in the Pacific Division (Arizona, San Jose, Calgary) and two against Central Division teams in Dallas and Nashville.
The return of Connor McDavid appears to be coming sooner rather than later as earlier today he was taking faceoffs and participating in drills. HIs return will come at a good time, whenever that might be. He will certainly help offensively, and will be a welcomed addition in the challenging schedule ahead.
The loss of McDavid seems to have taken a huge effect on the team’s power play. Since he suffered his fractured clavicle on November 3rd, the Oilers power play fell from 22.5% (10th) to 16.5% (26th).
His offensive instincts are a huge addition, and allow for the team to run two effective power play units.
Tonight, the Oilers face off against an old foe. This year the Hurricanes have been a bit of an interesting case. Despite sitting 25th overall in the league, the ‘Canes rank 2nd in the league in Corsi For %, with 54.4%.
The Hurricanes are a young, fast team just like the Oilers and like the Oilers, they are weak defensively. It should prove to be an interesting game, and a good chance for the Oilers to get two points in the win column.
Cam Talbot gets the start again for the Oilers.
“Since he’s been getting some starts here lately, he’s been really solid for us,” said Nugent-Hopkins. “He’s held us in a few games. Boston for sure, and won too. We try to play as well as we can for them and not give up too many high-scoring chances. It’s nice to have confidence in both guys right now.”
As we move into 2016, I hope to see some real progression out of this group. Lead by Todd McLellan and Peter Chiarelli, the effects they have had on this team has already began to show. Now, it is time to take it to the next level.
Carolina recalled forward Brock McGinn from Charlotte of the American Hockey League on Sunday. McGinn had two goals and three points in 14 games during an earlier stint with the Hurricanes this season. He’ll likely take the place of Phillip Di Giuseppe, who left the Hurricanes’ 2-1 overtime loss to the Nashville Predators on Saturday because of an upper-body injury and went through the NHL’s concussion protocol. Coach Bill Peters hasn’t decided on a goaltender; Eddie Lack is 1-0-1 and has allowed three goals in his past two games; Ward has surrendered eight goals in his past five starts.
Line Combos and Starting Goalies c/o Left Wing Lock:
Oilers (Cam Talbot):
Taylor Hall – Leon Draisaitl – Teddy Purcell
Benoit Pouliot – Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – Jordan Eberle
Matt Hendricks – Mark Letestu – Lauri Korpikoski
Rob Klinkhammer – Anton Lander – Jujhar Khaira
Darnell Nurse – Justin Schultz
Andrej Sekera – Brandon Davidson
Brad Hunt – Eric Gryba
Hurricanes (Cam Ward):
Kris Vertseeg – Eric Staal – Elias Lindholm
Joakim Nordstrom – Jordan Staal – Andrej Nestrasil
Jeff Skinner – Viktor Rask – Phillip Di Giuseppe
Brad Malone – Riley Nash – Chris Terry
John Michael-Liles – Justin Faulk
Jaccob Slavin – Ron Hainsey
Noah Hanifin – Brett Pesce
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