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Oilers @ Panthers Game 46 Preview

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Winless (and pointless) in their last two, the Oilers look to grab a point or two versus Florida

Pouliot on fire, better throw him in the water.
Pouliot on fire, better throw him in the water.
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports


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@

10-26-9, 29 points, .644 p/g Ranks 20-13-9, 49 points, 1.186 p/g
Western Conference - 14th Eastern Conference - 9th
30th P/G 16th
25th ST 7th
28th ES 17th
29th Goal 18h
5:00 PM - SN1
BB&T Center
The opposing view:  Litter Box Cats

No New Tale To Tell

Two more goals by Benoit Pouliot were not enough to propel the Oilers to victory Thursday night against Tampa Bay. Pouliot got the Oilers on board with a shorthanded goal in the first period.  He added a powerplay goal late in the second period to put the Oilers up 2-1.  The Oilers were outshooting Tampa 18-10 at the end of the second period.  For half a second, it looked like the Oilers would defeat the Lightning...twice in a season.  Inconceivable!  Well, at least until Ondrej Palat scored twice for Tampa in the third, and that's the end of all of that.  Oilers played a decent game, they finished 32-19 on the shot clock, they led Corsi events 56-42.  What could've possibly gone wrong?

The Oilers take on the Panthers today for the second time in a week.  Let's go to the tape.

The Oilers are saying

"If we play like we did (Thursday), especially (Saturday) here in Florida, we'll have a big, big chance to win that game.

That's Oilers forward Benoit Pouliot on Thursday's performance.

Benoit Pouliot is the hottest thing on the Edmonton Oilers right now.  He's got six goals in his last four games. and he's right about how the overall performance of the team was good on Thursday night.  The Oilers kept Tampa to a low, low nineteen shots, which is commendable.  A couple of costly errors ended up spewing the game away for the Oilers, but this is kind of what we've come to expect from a team that's won ten games out of forty-four chances.  The defence is still bad, and it will only get worse when the team trades Jeff Petry in the coming weeks.

The Opponent is saying

"What he (Dale Tallon) wants to do is build through the draft and that's how you have to win in the NHL to be good.  You can find some other players out there, but I don't think you can really build a strong team through free agency, you have to be able draft (sic) and cultivate your own players"

I seem to remember the Panthers splashing their money all over the place this past offseason, and for whatever reason, the next memory I have is when they signed Ed Jovanovski (again) to that ridiculous 35+ contract a few years ago.  Let's see how much water Bill Lindsay holds.

CURRENT PANTHERS DRAFTED BY FLORIDA (10+ GP IN 2014-15)
  • Aaron Ekblad (2014) (1st round)
  • Aleksander Barkov (2013) (1st round)
  • Jonathan Huberdeau (2012) (1st round)
  • Vincent Trochek (2011) (3rd round)
  • Erik Gudbranson (2010) (1st round)
  • Nick Bjugstad (2010) (1st round)
  • Dmitry Kulikov (2009) (1st round)
That's an impressive list of players, but like the Oilers, they've gotten really good at picking in the first round. While later rounds might prove to be a challenge to the Panthers, they still didn't pick Mitch Moroz in round two.  The first pick of round two, at that.

Have some of this
  • POULIOT ON FIRE - Mentioned a little bit above, but Benoit Pouliot is on rocket fuel right now.  Six goals in the last four games, get this guy the disc.
  • FASTH STARTS - Viktor Fasth (2-10-2, .886 SV% / 3.47) is slated to get his third start under Coach Nelson.  I doubt Fasth will be an Oiler after the end of this season, is it possible he plays well enough to make him worth something at the deadline? Now's a good time to start.  Look for Roberto Luongo (17-9-7, .923 SV% / 2.34 GAA to get the nod for Florida.
  • SAME LINES - Save for Fasth, the Oilers are keeping the same lines as in Tampa.
  • UNINSPIRING - Edmonton's road record is 2-12-7 on the road this year.  That's two wins, nineteen losses.  They almost made it three wins on Thursday night.  Almost.
  • MORE SONGS ABOUT FORMER OILER GOALTENDERS - Big ups to Devan Dubnyk for getting a 7-0 shutout victory against the Sabres on Thursday night.  Dubnyk joined the Minnesota Wild via trade the day prior.  He's one of the former Oilers I'm really pulling for, and you should too.
  • GOILERS