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Wild @ Oilers Game 48 Preview

Can the Oilers somehow make it three in a row?

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Can the Oilers pull off a third consecutive victory tonight?
Can the Oilers pull off a third consecutive victory tonight?
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports



20-20-6, 46 points, 1 p/g Ranks 12-26-9, 33 points, .702 p/g
Western Conference - 12th Western Conference -14th
22nd P/G 29th
4th ST 25th
24th ES 27th
23rd Goal 28th
7:30 PM MDT - SNW
Rexall Place
The opposing view: Hockey Wilderness

1, 2...3?

Alexander Ovechkin scored two goals for the Capitals, but it wasn't enough as the Oilers left Washington with a 5-4 shootout victory.  More impressive is the fact they overcame a two goal deficit in the third period en route to the victory.  Washington led the Corsi events 50/35, but it's satisfying to win, even more so on the road.  Edmonton's last two games have resulted in road victories, which doubled their road victory total on the season from two to four overall.  Small victories.

The Oilers look to make it three in a row tonight with a victory at home versus the Wild.  Dream big.

The Oilers are saying

"I think ti was nice for everyone, I don't think it will break anything, the whole league was in the same situation as us...I think everyone enjoyed their four or five days off."

That's Oilers forward Benoit Pouliot on how it was nice getting a few days off.

Save for the last two games prior to the All-Star Break, it's no doubt that the Oilers could've used a whole month off.  Second worst in the league in points per game, third worst in goals allowed per game (hooray?), and still pretty badat even strength.  A few recent games haven't been disasters on the shot clock, which is encouraging.  There's still a long way to go this season with no chance of playoffs in sight.  I'd settle for a few good games out of every ten.

The Opponent is saying

"Where we go from here; that remains to be seen.  When you look at the standings and where we're sitting right now, a very large portion of the season remains".
That's Wild coach Mike Yeo on his team's position in the Western Conference.

    The Western Conference is a tough place to be.  The Wild are at a 'Bettman' .500, but that's only good for twelfth in the West and a solid seven points out of the playoff race.  What's keeping them away?  Didn't they dump 200 million dollars into a couple players a few years ago?

  • They're not scoring a whole lot.  They're tenth in the West in scoring.  Jason Pominville leads the team in points, but he's only got nine goals.  Zach Parise leads with 19 goals, and is second in scoring on the team.
  • Goaltending hasn't been the team's strong suit, with Darcy Kuemper trotting out a lonely .904 SV%.  The Wild acquired Devan Dubnyk shortly before the All-Star Break, and you might see him in between the pipes for the Wild tonight.
  • At least Mike Yeo's been having fun lately.

Have some of this

  • MORE ROY - Eight points (3-5-8) in eleven games as a member of the Oilers.  His line's getting outshot a fair bit, but goals (and points) are good things.  I don't for a minute think this sort of streak is sustainable, but it's been a nice ride for Derek Roy so far in Edmonton.
  • NO HALL? Taylor Hall took a shot off his leg in yesterday's practice, and will miss the game tonight as a result.  That's bad.  The good news is that Luke Gazdic will be in.  Wait, that's not good news at all.  Defence will remain the same as last game versus Washington.
  • Viktor Fasth was in between the pipes for both of Edmonton's victories on the last road trip.  Fasth (4-10-2, 3.37 / .888SV%) will get the start tonight looking for his third in a row.  Devan Dubnyk (11-6-2, 2.66 /.914SV%) will get the nod for Minnesota.  A first round pick of the Oilers in 2004, Dubnyk is on his fifth NHL team (Oilers, Predators, Canadiens, Coyotes, Wild) in the past two seasons.  Will he stick in Minnesota?
  • Daryl Katz is making more friends every day.