TALE OF THE TAPE:
Game: Edmonton Oilers (19-23-5) at Tampa Bay Lightning (24-17-4)
Location: Amalie Arena, Tampa, Florida
Time: 5:30 PM MT
Where to find it: TV: Sportsnet West – Radio: 630 CHED
Edmonton Oilers Preview:
Well folks, there you have it.
The Oilers injury curse continues as Ryan Nugent-Hopkins will be out for 6-8 weeks with a hand injury. Seriously guys, you can’t make this stuff up anymore. The losses to the Oilers lineup have been devastating, and this team hasn’t been healthy all at once this season yet.
The loss of Nugent-Hopkins puts strain on the Oilers up the middle. For the next three games, the Oilers center depth is Leon Draisaitl, Anton Lander, Mark Letestu and Matt Hendricks.
According to Man Games Lost, the Oilers have lost the most man games due to injury, as well as the greatest cumulative impact from the players lost.
None the less, the Oilers have still managed to improve by 10 points since last season and are in the playoff hunt.
Tonight, the Oilers look to take out the Tampa Bay Lightning after suffering a head-scratching 3-2 loss on January 8th that saw the Lightning come back from a 2-0 deficit. Mind you, all three of their goals bounced off Oilers players and in.
Sometimes, that’s just the luck of the draw.
The ‘Ders returns between the pipes tonight and Todd McLellan is looking for big things out of him.
“I can recall (Anders) carrying the team for seven or eight games early in the year,” McLellan said. “There’s no reason why he can’t get back to that.”
Hopefully tonight’s game will bring some better bounces our way.
Today, please take note of all of the job losses in the media. There are lots of fantastic writers that have lost their jobs, but at the end of the day it is our loss too.
Tampa Bay is seeking its sixth consecutive win Tuesday. The Lightning did not practice Monday after extending its win streak with a 3-1 victory against the Florida Panthers on Sunday. Goalie Ben Bishop likely will start; he has allowed two or fewer goals in 21 of his past 26 starts. Tampa Bay has won six of seven since forward Ondrej Palat returned from an injured left ankle. “There’s no secret he’s a huge part of our team,” coach Jon Cooper told the Tampa Bay Times. “He’s a complete player who plays the whole 200 feet. He can play anywhere in the lineup. He’s one of those guys you don’t read about in the newspapers every single night, but he’s probably the reason the guys are in the newspapers – that unsung hero type. As a coach, you wish you could have more of Palats. But when you do get them, you’re glad you have them. And when they’re out of the lineup, you don’t realize how much you miss them. That’s what he is to us.”
Line Combos and Starting Goalies c/o Left Wing Lock:
Oilers (Anders Nilsson):
Taylor Hall – Leon Draisaitl – Teddy Purcell
Benoit Pouliot – Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – Jordan Eberle
Zack Kassian – Mark Letestu – Nail Yakupov
Luke Gazdic – Matt Hendricks – Iiro Pakarinen
Andrej Sekera – Mark Fayne
Darnell Nurse – Justin Schultz
Brandon Davidson – Eric Gryba
Tampa Bay Lightning (Ben Bishop):
Ondrej Palat – Vladislav Namestnikov – Steven Stamkos
Alex Killorn – Tyler Johnson – Nikita Kucherov
JT Brown – Valtteri Filppula – Ryan Callahan
Cedric Paquette – Brian Boyle – Erik Condra
Victor Hedman – Anton Stralman
Jason Garrison – Andrej Suster
Nikita Nesterov – Brayden Coburn
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