TALE OF THE TAPE:
Game: Edmonton Oilers (22-30-6) vs Minnesota Wild (25-22-10)
Location: Rexall Place, Edmonton
Time: 7:00 PM MT
Where to find it: TV: Sportsnet West – Radio: 630 CHED
Edmonton Oilers Preview:
After losing 13 of 14 games then subsequently firing Head Coach Mike Yeo only to name John Torchetti interim head coach, the Wild have won two in a row.
The wins came against the Canucks and Flames, and the team has to be feeling better about themselves. Tonight, the Oilers look to get back on track after dropping two in a row to the Winnipeg Jets and the Anaheim Ducks.
During Tuesday’s game, Benoit Pouliot and Nail Yakupov both got a sniff of Todd McLellan’s Dog House, and now they both will be starting on the fourth line with Anton Lander.
This is really the first time we have had a chance to see Todd McLellan really Dog House someone, let alone three players. Let it be known though, that the Oilers need all three of them to step up and play better hockey. Pouliot is really down there because of some poor choices that lead to needless penalties. Yakupov and Lander are there because they have not played good hockey.
Lander spent nine games in the press box eating popcorn and watching the team play below. All around, it has been disappointing seasons for both Lander and Yakupov.
The team will look to get a spark with some line changes as well as the return of Adam Clendening to the lineup.
“A good, solid night,” said McLellan of his expectations of Clendening. “He’s a puck mover, move the puck. He’s got the ability to run the power play, run the power play, if he gets that opportunity. He’s been in and out of the lineup… great opportunity in front of him. I think some of our players, right now over the next month, are going to get opportunities that they’re either going to seize or they’re not.”
Adam is still a player that I am high on and I am really interested to see where he fits in on this team, or if he isn’t quite what we need. His foot speed is an obvious concern, but he does make smart decisions with the puck.
Hopefully he is able to see some more regular ice.
Predictions for tonight:
- The Oilers break their losing streak, and end the Wild’s winning streak. 4-2 Win.
- The Dog House line gets a goal.
- Adam Clendening has a great outing making smart defensive plays as well as contributing on the score sheet.
Wild Preview: Minnesota will try for its third straight win since interim coach John Torchetti replaced Mike Yeo behind the bench on Saturday. Defenseman Marco Scandella is questionable with an undisclosed injury. He did not play in a 5-3 win against the Calgary Flames on Wednesday and Torchetti did not have an update on him after the game. Nate Prosser took Scandella’s place in the lineup, but Christian Folin absorbed more minutes, finishing with a career-high four shots on goal and was a plus-1 in 20:02 of ice time. “Marco wasn’t in, so here you go, this is what you want,” Torchetti said. “Take advantage of the opportunity. [Folin] was big and strong. That’s what we want from our young guys.” Torchetti wouldn’t disclose his starting goaltender; Devan Dubnyk made 25 saves against the Flames, meaning Darcy Kuemper could start. – nhl.com
Line Combos and Starting Goalies c/o Left Wing Lock:
Oilers lines to be confirmed at game time.
Oilers (Cam Talbot):
Taylor Hall – Leon Draisaitl – Teddy Purcell
Matt Hendricks – Connor McDavid – Jordan Eberle
Lauri Korpikoski – Mark Letestu – Iiro Pakarinen
Benoit Pouliot – Anton Lander – Nail Yakupov
Andrej Sekera – Justin Schultz
Darnell Nurse – Mark Fayne
Brandon Davidson – Adam Clendening
EDM Injuries: Oscar Klefbom (undisclosed), Andrew Ference (hip), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (hand), Eric Gryba (leg), Zack Kassian (illness)
Scratched: Nikita Nikitin
Minnesota Wild (Devan Dubnyk):
Zach Parise – Mikko Koivu – Charlie Coyle
Jason Zucker – Mikael Granlund – Thomas Vanek
Nino Niederreiter – Erik Haula – Jason Pominville
Ryan Carter – Jarret Stoll – Justin Fonataine
Ryan Suter – Jared Spurgeon
Nate Prosser – Matt Dumba
Mike Reilly – Christian Folin
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