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Game Thread: Canadiens vs Oilers - Chasing .500

As crazy as it sounds, the Oilers are almost back to even.

Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

Tonight, with the Canadiens in town as the de facto home team, the Oilers will be looking for their fourth in as many games. Seriously, that's not a typo. A win tonight would be four straight for the Oilers, a feat the team last accomplished in March/April of the 2013 campaign, and it would get the Oilers back to .500, or the NHL's ass backwards version of .500 at least, for the first time since the games started counting nearly a month ago. I don't know about you, but I have almost have trouble picturing it.

How To Tune In

Sportsnet West at 7:30PM. And for a change there isn't another game on before hand, so it should actually be the Oilers game at 7:30 sharp.

What To Watch For From The Oilers

Get your Leon Draisaitl fix while you can because after tonight he's going back to Prince Albert. Just kidding, we both know that's about as likely as Luke Gazdic scoring 50 goals in a season. No, after tonight Draisaitl will be a permanent fixture in the Oilers lineup, and management will cross their fingers and toes and hope that he finds another gear to his game, one that'll allow him to cover the bet as the team's second line centre more often that not. I won't be betting on that happening and fully expect a similar discussion to occur as he approaches game number 39, after which this season will count as one of the seven before he reaches free agency.

What To Watch For From The Canadiens

With a 7-1 record the Canadiens currently sit atop the NHL standings. For those who might be more familiar with the basement dwelling Oilers teams of recent seasons it's important to remember that, as a general rule, good teams have good players and since the Canadiens are a good team this means that there are more than a few things that you might want to keep an eye on tonight. For me there are three, listed in no particular order:

  1. P.K. Subban
  2. P.K. Subban
  3. P.K. Subban

Projected Lineups

Edmonton Oilers

Taylor Hall - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - Jordan Eberle
Teddy Purcell - Leon Draisaitl - David Perron
Benoit Pouliot - Mark Arcobello - Nail Yakupov
Matt Hendricks - Boyd Gordon - Jesse Joensuu

Nikita Nikitin - Justin Schultz
Andrew Ference - Jeff Petry
Martin Marincin - Mark Fayne

Ben Scrivens

Montreal Canadiens

Max Pacioretty - David Desharnais - Brendan Gallagher
Alex Galchenyuk - Tomas Plekanec - PA Parenteau
Rene Bourque - Lars Eller - Dale Weise
Brandon Prust - Manny Malhotra - Travis Moen

Alexei Emelin - P.K. Subban
Andrei Markov - Tom Gilbert
Nathan Beaulieu - Mike Weaver

Dustin Tokarski

Final Thought