TALE OF THE TAPE:
Game: Edmonton Oilers (19-25-5) vs Nashville Predators (21-18-8)
Location: Rexall Place, Edmonton, Alberta
Time: 8:00 PM MT
Where to find it: TV: CBC – Radio: 630 CHED
Edmonton Oilers Preview:
ONE! MORE! GAME! ONE! MORE! GAME!
That’s right folks, ONE MORE GAME until the triumphant return of our beloved Connor McDavid. Following tonight’s matchup against the struggling Predators, the Oilers don’t play another game until the 2nd of February due to the NHL’s All-Star Weekend.
The break is going to be much needed time for some Oilers to recover from injury. Following the break, McDavid and Oscar Klefbom are expected to return from their injuries.
Speaking of injuries, Brandon Davidson suffered an injury during Thursday’s matchup against the Stars, and he was subsequently placed on the injured reserve.
Griffin Reinhart was recalled from the Bakersfield Condors, and will play in his first NHL game since his assignment to the Condors on November 28th.
“When I first went down I was a bit upset and, mentally, it was tough to overcome — or (I was) a bit disappointed I should say,” said Reinhart. “But I think I’ve bounced back pretty strong. I started showing up a bit earlier, I started staying out a bit later and doing some more off-ice things and I think it was starting to pay-off.”
The jury is out on Reinhart, but Elliotte Freidman gave him a solid vote of confidence Friday afternoon saying “it’s way too early to write this guy off.”
Let’s hope his brief stint in the A helped restore some confidence in his game, and hopefully we see him turn a bit of a corner here.
Tonight, the Oilers just look to make it through the game without any injuries. The aforementioned all-star break is going to be a great time for the boys to recover, and hopefully make a playoff push come February.
Predictions for tonight:
- Oilers win!
- Somebody gets hurt.
- Fans celebrate as the return of McDavid is closer.
Forward Ryan Johansen had a goal and an assist in a 4-1 win Thursday at the Winnipeg Jets and has nine points (three goals, six assists) in seven games with the Predators since he was acquired in a trade with the Columbus Blue Jackets on Jan. 6. The Predators have killed 17 of 18 penalties over their past five games. Nashville is 3-7-1 in its past 11 games but is 2-1-1 in its past four and entered Friday one point out of playoff position in the Western Conference. “We’ve got to be consistent with what we’re doing,” coach Peter Laviolette told the Predators website. “There are a lot of things that go into it. We’re at our best when we’re playing with energy and we execute well. There’s no question that (the win against Winnipeg is) just the first step to getting something going in the right direction. Now you’ve got to build off it.” – nhl.com
Line Combos and Starting Goalies c/o Left Wing Lock:
Oilers (Cam Talbot):
Taylor Hall – Leon Draisaitl – Teddy Purcell
Nail Yakupov – Benoit Pouliot – Jordan Eberle
Matt Hendricks – Anton Lander – Rob Klinkhammer
Zack Kassian – Mark Letestu – Iiro Pakarinen
Darnell Nurse – Justin Schultz
Andrej Sekera – Mark Fayne
Griffin Reinhart – Eric Gryba
Nashville Predators (Pekka Rinne):
Kevin Fiala – Ryan Johansen – James Neal
Filip Forsberg – Mike Ribeiro – Craig Smith
Mikka Salomaki – Mike Fisher – Calle Jarnkrok
Eric Nystrom – Paul Gaustad – Cody Bass
Roman Josi – Shea Weber
Mattias Ekholm – Ryan Ellie
Barret Jackman – Petter Granberg
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