After a pair of wins on the road last weekend the Oilers' 0-4 start suddenly seems like a distant memory. The sky is bluer, the air a little more fresh, and food tastes better. Yes, winning is good for the soul, and tonight the Oilers look to keep those good times going as they play host to the Detroit Red Wings. Like many teams though, the Wings have dominated the Oilers in recent seasons and currently have an eight game winning streak against the home team. In fact you have to go back to December 2009, 18 games ago, to find a game where the Red Wings failed to get a point against the Oilers. But that was before the current two game winning streak, everything is different now.
How To Watch
Puck drop: 7:30PM MST
TV: Sportsnet One
Radio: 630 CHED
What To Watch For
In a handful of games with the Oilers last spring Andrew Miller showed that he has some offensive upside, recording a goal and five assists in nine games. Tonight he's back in the Oilers line-up for the first time this season skating alongside Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins; he is definitely not in Bakersfield any more. If he can keep up with his linemates tonight - Hall is currently among the league leaders in shots on goal, averaging almost five per game - we might get another glimpse of that offensive upside. Anton Slepyshev has struggled at times this season, so if Miller can show that he's the more consistent option he might be able to hang around for a while after Matt Hendricks returns from the IR.
The Opposing View
From Winging It In Mowtown:
Five shots in five games so far and no goals, but Tatar is showing signs of getting ready to break into the scoring column. The Wings need more depth scoring and he's going to be a big key to making that happen. Tatar sometimes falls into the habit of demanding one more stickhandle when he should be putting it on net. If he can simplify a bit while keeping his uptempo play going, he should find success soon.
Projected Line Combinations
Things look a lot like they did on the weekend with a couple of minor changes. Andrew Miller draws in on the right side with Hall and Nugent-Hopkins. Luke Gazdic returns to the press box, Slepyshev fills in for him. And Griffin Reinhart is out with an undisclosed injury, Ference will skate in his place.
|Taylor Hall||Ryan Nugent-Hopkins||Andrew Miller|
|Benoit Pouliot||Connor McDavid||Nail Yakupov|
|Lauri Korpikoski||Anton Lander||Teddy Purcell|
|Anton Slepyshev||Mark Letestu||Rob Klinkhammer|
|Oscar Klefbom||Justin Schultz|
|Andrej Sekera||Mark Fayne|
|Andrew Ference||Eric Gryba|