Edmonton Oilers @ Washington Capitals: Game 6 Preview

Everybody who's playing tonight, take one step forward. Not so fast, Nail. - Perry Nelson

Nail Yakupov is banished to the press box for the second straight game as the Oilers look for their first road win of the year.

Nuggets

@

Washington_lions_1943_medium
1-3-1, 0.6 p/g
Ranks 1-4-0, .4 p/g
Western Conf: 14th Eastern Conf: T-13th
25th P/G T-27th
16th ST 3rd
16th ES 21st
29th Goal 25th

5:00 p.m. MDT | Sportsnet
Verizon Center
Tickets

The opposing view: Japers Rink

Top Story:

Jason LaBarbera will get the start tonight for the Oilers in relief of Devan Dubnyk. Wheels have all but fallen off for Dubnyk, who has had an abysmal start. Dubnyk has yet to win a game this season, going 0-3-1 with a 5.43 GAA and an astonishingly bad .829 SV%. The Oilers generated five goals against the Leafs on Saturday night. Can they get a solid night from LaBarbera and two points in the standings?

Yak Attack: Nail Yakupov was scratched last game. Not surprisingly, Nail Yakupov wasn't happy about being scratched last game. Fast forward to the present, and now Nail Yakupov is bolting for Russia. Wait, what?

Igor Larionov (Yakupov's agent) says there's "not a single one (thought)" about that. We'll wait and see if the media machine has already set sail.

The Oilers are saying:

"I really liked our group of forwards last game. We'll stick with the same group"

That's Oilers coach Dallas Eakins, on keeping Nail Yakupov out for a second consecutive game.

I, uh. Well then.

Without going into thirty paragraphs about how playing the same fourth line is a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad idea, let's just say that keeping one of the more electrifying players out of your lineup isn't my idea.

Who am I kidding? Sitting one of your electrifying players while icing a fourth line of Gazdic-Acton-Brown is stupid and contains carcinogens known to cause cancer in the state of Caifornia. It's game six, and a team that had some serious trouble scoring Thursday against Peter Budaj and the rest of Montréal is sitting one of their best players. I hope Coach has something up his sleeve.

The Opponent is saying:

"We're not big statistical people because sometimes the numbers are skewed"

-- Capitals coach Adam Oates

Numbers are bad, guys. Numbers can get skewed, especially if you've watched whatever the hell we've been watching over the past near-decade.

Key matchup: Mikhail Grabovski against anyone on the Oilers. Grabovski has five points so far in this young season. At 3M cap, he would've sure looked good in an Oil-oh, who am I kidding, our centre situation is awesome.

Expected Lines & Pairings:

Taylor Hall - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - Ales Hemsky
Ryan Smyth - Mark Arcobello - Jordan Eberle
Jesse Joensuu - Boyd Gordon - David Perron
Luke Gazdic - Will Acton - Mike Brown

Ladislav Smid - Jeff Petry
Andrew Ference - Justin Schultz
Nick Schultz - Anton Belov

Jason LaBarbera

Scratches: Nail Yakupov, Phillip Larsen

The Capitals expected lineup based on recent practices and updates:

Marcus Johansson- Nicklas Backstrom - Alex Ovechkin
Brooks Laich - Mikhail Grabovski - Troy Brouwer
Jason Chimera - Eric Fehr - Joel Ward
Martin Erat- Jay Beagle - Tom Wilson

Karl Alzner - Mike Green
Alexander Urbom - John Carlson
Nate Schmidt - Steven Oleksy

Braden Holtby

A victory tonight will hush the masses if ever so slightly. Heck, Jason LaBarbera might play two in a row if he cleans house tonight.

If the Oilers lay an egg, look out.

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