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Edmonton Oilers @ Pittsburgh Penguins - Game 7 Preview

In Pittsburgh for the second half of a back-to-back? It will all turn out well.

Greg Fiume

Edmonton Flyers


Pittsburgh Shamrocks
1-4-1, 0.5 p/g
Ranks 4-1-0, 1.6 p/g
Western Conf: 15th Eastern Conf: 2nd
26th P/G 5th
19th ST 11th
14th ES 5th
30th Goal 23rd

5:00 p.m. MDT | Sportsnet
Consol Energy Center

The opposing view: Pensburgh

Top Story:

The Jason LaBarbera experience was no better than the Devan Dubnyk mystical magical show.  Dubnyk will get the start in Pittsburgh tonight, just in time for a team averaging four goals per game.  Of particular concern will be the penalty kill, where the Oilers are not only allowing vast swaths of the scoring chance area to go unguarded, but they're also giving up the 5th most shots in the league while short-handed.  Lots of shots from high value areas?  This is a recipe for disaster against Sidney Crosby, who is always among the league's leaders in shooting distance.  The Oilers need to avoid penalties at all costs.

Badger don't give a ...: Justin Schultz is a disaster in his own end right now.  His possession numbers don't look bad because once he has the puck he does cool things with it, but when he doesn't have the puck, he doesn't have much interest in obtaining it.  His shadowboxing routine in his own end is a strange thing.

The Oilers are saying:

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins played the same amount of shifts as Luke Gazdic in the 3rd period and that's with Gazdic serving 2 minutes for roughing.  Will Acton had more shifts than Hopkins in the 3rd.  And Nail Yakupov was watching from the press box.

Next up?  Dallas Eakins bag skates Dustin Penner.

We don't need to go into a deep discussion about how awful the fourth line is, and how Eakins had them out against Alex Ovechkin three times last night, but Edmonton has three sub-40% forwards and they're getting nice zonestarts.  None of these three players are NHL players.  Stop playing them and especially stop playing them while putting Nail Yakupov in the press box.

The Opponent is saying:

"I feel pretty good. I think it's still a process, getting used to everything -- timing, execution.

--Sidney Crosby, talking about getting his game back and moving into mid-season form.

Nine points in five games and he's still getting used to everything.

Key matchup: Jeff Petry versus the world.  Petry has been the Oilers lone bright spot on defense in all situations.  Petry is going to have to take on and saw off either Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin for the Oilers to have a chance in Pittsburgh

Expected Lines & Pairings:

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

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

Devan Dubnyk

Scratches:  Mike Brown, Phillip Larsen

The Penguins expected lineup based on recent practices and updates:

Chris Kunitz - Sidney Crosby - Pascal Dupuis
Jussi Jokinen - Evgeni Malkin - Beau Bennett
Chuck Kobasew - Brandon Sutter - Dustin Jeffrey
Tanner Glass - Joe Vitale - Craig Adams

Brooks Orpik - Paul Martin
Matt Niskanen - Rob Scuderi
Olli Maatta - Deryk Engelland

Marc-Andre Fleury

In honor of Justin Schultz and his own-zone shadowboxing routine: