TALE OF THE TAPE:
Game: Edmonton Oilers (7-13-1) vs Carolina Hurricanes (7-10-4)
Location: PNC Arena, Raleigh, North Carolina
Time: 5:00 PM MT
Where to find it: TV: Sportsnet 360 – Radio: 630 CHED
Edmonton Oilers Preview:
The Carolina Hurricanes… woof…
Everytime the Oilers take on the Hurricanes, I can’t help but reminisce over the 2006 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Not over the heartbreaking Game Seven loss, but of the feeling surrounding the team the whole season. The success we once saw will soon return, and I can’t wait to see the first banner get raised to the rafters at Rogers Place in the years to come.
None the less, the Oilers need to focus on the now and not the future. This should be an interesting matchup tonight. The Hurricanes do a great job of suppressing shots (25.4 SA/gm), whereas the Oilers and their lethal top six loves to get pucks on net.
The Oilers have had success lately and there are lots of things going right for the team. A tough schedule to start the year hasn’t helped our efforts, but one of the better things I have noticed is that the systems are starting to show. Since last season, the Oilers have had a increase in CF% in all situations from 48.9 to 50.3. That percentage is good enough for 14th in the NHL – a nice change from the 22nd ranked CF last year.
The emergence of Leon Draisaitl has been big for the Oilers. In his first 10 games, he has scored 17 points. Good enough for the best point pace in the entire NHL. His linemate Taylor Hall isn’t far behind, ranking 5th in the league in that statistic.
“I think we’re all offensive guys and we all want to help the team win or get scoring chances,” said Draisaitl. “That’s the challenge for us tonight, to create as many scoring chances as we can.”
Anders Nilsson will make his fourth-straight start and his eighth in the last ten games.
Forward Nathan Gerbe was placed on injured reserve Tuesday with a lower-body injury sustained in a 4-3 win against the Los Angeles Kings on Sunday; general manager Ron Francis said Gerbe is expected to miss 4-6 weeks. Defenseman Ryan Murphy remains day-to-day with a concussion; Murphy has missed four games and has been skating but not practicing. Carolina lost to the Philadelphia Flyers 3-2 in overtime on Monday, scoring two goals in the third period to force overtime. The Hurricanes are 1-5-1 in their last seven games. “We have three points in our last two games, which is obviously good for our confidence and momentum,” defenseman Brett Pesce told the Hurricanes website after the loss. “We played the best in the third period (against Philadelphia), and we can carry that into the next game.” – nhl.com
Line Combos and Starting Goalies c/o Left Wing Lock:
Oilers (Anders Nilsson):
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