TALE OF THE TAPE:
Game: Edmonton Oilers (12-15-2) vs New York Rangers (18-8-3)
Location: Rexall Place, Edmonton, Alberta
6:00 PM MT Glen Sather Ceremony
7:30 PM MT Puck Drop
Where to find it: TV: Sportsnet – Radio: 630 CHED
Edmonton Oilers Preview:
Hey Slats, this one’s for you. Tonight will be a special one in Edmonton. While I myself was never around to witness the greatness that Glen Sather put together, there is no denying the success that he saw during his 20 year tenure.
The Oilers dynasty was something special. Under Sather during that time, the team won five Stanley Cups, 89 playoffs games and had a regular season win % of 64.8. The time saw six players inducted into the Hall of Fame; Glenn Anderson, Paul Coffey, Grant Fuhr, Jari Kurri, and Mark Messier.
The glory days of the Oilers will never be forgotten, and now Slats gets his rightful place in the Arena that started it all.
Oilers tied on Gretzky and Hamilton banner night. Won on Kurri, Fuhr and Anderson night. Lost on Messier, Coffey and Phillips night. 3-3-2.
— Jason Gregor (@JasonGregor) December 11, 2015
Beyond the Sather ceremony, the Oilers are looking to win their fifth game in a row for the first time since the 2012-2013 lockout shortened season. There is no denying the hot streak the Oilers are on. Wins against the Bruins, Stars, Sabres and Sharks have not come easy and the team has earned all of the eight points they have.
Anders Nilsson gets another start tonight and has posted an impressive .936 sv% in his last five games.
The Rangers come into Edmonton on a bit of a cold streak, going 4-5-1 in their last ten games while the Oilers have gone 6-3-1 in their last ten. On top of that, the Oilers have gone 5-4-1 in the last ten games played against the Rangers. The opportunity is there for the Oilers to steal a win against the Rangers and as they continue to climb the standings.
The team is currently three points out of a playoff spot and a win tonight would be huge in those efforts; especially since there are a ton of former Oilers in town to celebrate alongside Sather.
Lundqvist will start in goal, coach Alain Vigneault confirmed Thursday following practice. He entered games Thursday leading the NHL in save percentage (.937) and second in goals-against average (1.99). He’s given up four goals in his past three starts but has a 1-1-1 record to show for it. Girardi, who was dinged up blocking a shot Wednesday in a 2-1 loss to the Vancouver Canucks, watched practice Thursday but said he is ready to play, and Vigneault said he will be in the lineup. New York currently is not carrying a seventh defenseman with Kevin Klein (oblique) out. The Rangers have been held to a single goal in three of four games in December but still ranked seventh in the League entering Thursday at 2.76 goals per game. – nhl.com
Line Combos and Starting Goalies c/o Left Wing Lock:
New York Rangers (Henrik Lundqvist):
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