TALE OF THE TAPE:
Game: Edmonton Oilers (27-37-7, 61 pts. 5-4-1 in their last 10) vs Nashville Predators (34-22-13, 81 pts. 7-1-2 in their last 10)
Location: Rexall Place, Edmonton, Alberta
Time: 7:00 PM MT
Where to find it: TV: Sportsnet Oilers – Radio: 630 CHED
Edmonton Oilers Preview:
After falling at the hands of the Arizona Coyotes 4-0, the Oilers are looking to bounce back against a playoff bound Nashville Predators. The team’s 4-0 loss against the Coyotes is one the team would love to have back. They outshot the ‘Yotes 44-29, and should have won the game but the Saturday night curse continued and the Oilers fell.
The Predators, who are 7-1-2 in their last 10 games have lost their last two games. The Flames took them down in Overtime last Wednesday 4-2 in OT, then they fell 4-2 to the Canucks Saturday night.
While the Predators are sitting in the first Wild Card position and likely heading for the playoffs barring any disaster, the Oilers are playing for pride.
“To get comfortable and just say I’m going to come back here and get into my spot in Edmonton, I think would be a grave mistake on many of our players including our upper-end guys,” said McLellan. “I did a study the other day and went back and looked at Edmonton’s roster last year and the number of players that played in an Oilers jersey at one point. If I’m driving home in the call and saying to myself ‘if it’s not in Edmonton then it’s somewhere else.’ I’d go do that homework, because for a lot of them it was not somewhere else. It was nowhere. We’re in 28th, 29th, 30th range and those players aren’t quite as desirable as the Stanley Cup champs, even if it’s on par.”
McLellan’s comments show how nobody on this team should feel comfortable and nobody should be taking a night off. Despite the fact this is something that shouldn’t have to be said, it’s clear the Oilers need a kick to get going.
The team should be playing their most passionate hockey yet. It’s frustrating, it’s tough to watch. None the less, with only three weeks of hockey and ten games remaining it’s important for the players to make one last impression.
There are some lineup changes tonight.
Patrick Maroon draws in alongside Connor McDavid and Jordan Eberle, while Iiro Pakarinen lines up with Taylor Hall and Leon Draisaitl.
Laurent Brossoit gets the start.
Quotes from oilers.nhl.com.
Predictions for tonight:
- The Oilers win the game for LB.
- The line of Patrick Maroon, Connor McDavid and Jordan Eberle are all on the ice for two Oilers goals.
- Adam Clendening has another good showing, and scores his first with the Oilers.
Nashville Predators Preview:
Nashville’s franchise-record 14-game point streak ended with a 4-2 loss to the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday. The Predators are seven points ahead of the Minnesota Wild and Colorado Avalanche for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference. “It’s a tight playoff race, and you need all the points you can get,” Josi told The Tennessean after the loss Saturday. “It got us some separation from the teams below us, but it’s still a tight race. We’re nowhere near the playoffs yet, so we’ve got to keep going and get points along the way here.” Forward Colton Sissons has two goals and an assist in three games since being recalled from Milwaukee of the American Hockey League. Sissons replaced center Paul Gaustad, who has been out since March 5 because of an upper-body injury.
Line Combos and Starting Goalies:
Oilers (Laurent Brossoit):
Patrick Maroon – Connor McDavid – Jordan Eberle
Taylor Hall – Leon Draisaitl – Iiro Pakarinen
Matt Hendricks – Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – Nail Yakupov
Lauri Korpikoski – Mark Letestu – Adam Cracknell
Andrej Sekera – Mark Fayne
Nikita Nikitin – Adam Clendening
Jordan Oesterle – Griffin Reinhart
EDM Injuries: Oscar Klefbom (leg infection), Andrew Ference (hip), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (hand), Eric Gryba (knee), Benoit Pouliot (shoulder), Brandon Davidson (knee).
Nashville Predators (Pekka Rinne):
Calle Jarnkrok – Ryan Johansen – James Neal
Filip Forsberg – Mike Ribeiro – Craig Smith
Miikka Salomaki – Mike Fisher – Viktor Avirdsson
Colin Wilson – Colton Sissons – Austin Watson
Roman Josi – Shea Weber
Mattias Ekholm – Ryan Ellis
Anthony Bitetto – Barret Jackman
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