Oilers vs Wild Preview – Beaten up Oilers look to tame the Wild



Game: Edmonton Oilers (26-36-7, 59 pts) vs Minnesota Wild (31-26-10, 72 pts)

Location: Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul, Minnesota

Time: 6:00 PM MT

Where to find it: TV: Sportsnet West – Radio: 630 CHED

Edmonton Oilers Preview:

Broken, battered and bruised, the Oilers are going to try and field a hockey team tonight. Darnell Nurse has been suspended for three games for his beatdown of Roman Polak. Matt Hendricks and Taylor Hall were vocal in their support for Darnell Nurse.

Nurse himself admitted he probably went a little overboard.

“I’m a hard player, always have been. I like to go out and stick up for my teammates. It was probably a little overboard,” Nurse told reporters after receiving his punishment. “You’ve got to do it at the right times and in the right way. You always have to stick up for the guys you play with.” – sportsnet.ca

Andrej Sekera, who got hit into the boards awkwardly by Tomas Hertl in the 2nd period of the Sharks game is a gametime decision.

Adam Pardy is also a game-time decision with an undisclosed ailment.

If Sekera can’t go, that means Nikita NIkitin will draw back into the lineup. Once his contract is up in Edmonton, I would imagine he will head back to Russia. His play has been very poor, and I don’t see any teams taking a shot at him.

Jordan Oesterle, who was recalled from the Bakersfield Condors on Wednesday will slide into the line-up today. When he played four games at the end of Feb., he showed very well recording one point in four games with 18 min. TOI/Gm.

“I definitely felt good coming in. It was nice having those games last year to be comfortable with the guys and I definitely felt my game grew over the year,” Oesterle began. “This is a bigger opportunity than it was when I was here last month. I think I just need to play my game, play a strong game and do what I was doing in the American League.”

With Nikitin’s poor play, Oesterle has a chance to slide into the lineup and see the rest of the season in Edmonton. The Oilers used their final post-deadline recall on him so I would imagine he will see the rest of the regular season in Edmonton before he returns to the Condors for the playoffs.

In 42 games in the AHL, this season Oesterle has 23 points.

Quotes from oilers.nhl.com.

Predictions for tonight:

  1. Oilers win 2-0.
  2. Jordan Oesterle scores his first NHL goal.

How did last games predictions go:

  1. Oilers beat the Shorks 3-2.
  2. Lauri Korpikoski continues his recent hot-streak, and scores a goal tonight.
  3. The Big Cat has a strong showing, and gets an assist.

Ouch. Not only did the Oilers get shutout in their game against the Sharks, I got shutout in my predictions.

Minnesota Wild Preview:

Minnesota could be without forward Jason Pominville, who is day-to-day with a lower-body injury. Wild coach John Torchetti said he wasn’t sure if Pominville will play, but if he does, he would break Kyle Brodziak’s Wild record for consecutive games played (232). Pominville tied the record in a 4-2 loss to the St. Louis Blues on Sunday. “We’ll have to see after the morning skate, even if he does,” Torchetti told the Wild website. Torchetti also declined to name a starting goaltender. Devan Dubnyk allowed three goals on 16 shots against the Blues before being pulled for the second time this season. Darcy Kuemper made 18 saves over the final 27:55 but hasn’t started since a 3-2 loss to the Washington Capitals on Feb. 26.

— NHL.com

Line Combos and Starting Goalies:

Oilers lines are tentative due to injuries.

Oilers (Cam Talbot):

Taylor Hall – Connor McDavid – Zack Kassian
Patrick Maroon – Leon Draisaitl – Jordan Eberle
Lauri Korpikoski – Mark Letestu – Nail Yakupov
Luke Gazdic/Iiro Pakarinen – Anton Lander – Adam Cracknell

Jordan Oesterle – Mark Fayne
Nikita Nikitin – Adam Clendening
Griffin Reinhart – ??

EDM Injuries: Oscar Klefbom (leg infection), Andrew Ference (hip), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (hand), Eric Gryba (knee), Benoit Pouliot (shoulder), Brandon Davidson (knee).

Minnesota Wild (Darcy Kuemper) c/o Left Wing Lock: 

Zach Parise – Mikko Koivu – Charlie Coyle
Jason Zucker – Mikael Granlund – Thomas Vanek
Nino Niederreiter – Erik Haula – Justin Fontaine
Chris Porter – Jarret Stoll – David Jones

Ryan Suter – Jared Spurgeon
Matt Dumba – Marco Scandella
Jonas Brodin – Mike Reilly

Any ideas on how to improve my game previews? Send me an email at zjlaing@gmail.com. Follow me on Twitter.


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