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Game Thread: Oilers at Arizona - In The Desert In Search Of A Win

The only other time this season that the Oilers played back-to-back games they won both, they look to repeat the feat tonight in Arizona against the Coyotes.

Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

Sometimes you have to wonder how the NHL comes up with their schedule. Do they even look at a map? Or is it just a blind folded monkey throwing darts? The Oilers play in Anaheim on Wednesday, then to Arizona for a game the next night, only to head back to California for a game against the Kings on Saturday. Huh? Obviously they're on charted flights so this is hardly the worst thing that a professional athlete will have to endure, but you have to wonder if this couldn't have been done another way.

How To Watch

Puck drop: 7:00PM MST
TV: Sportsnet Oilers
Radio: 630 CHED

What To Watch For

The numbers don't support the decision but the Oilers are going with Nilsson between the pipes for the second straight night. Why? Probably because Nilsson played quite well last night and Talbot's play of late has more closely resembled a tire fire than that of an NHL goalie. The problem with this is that a goalie's play in the first game of a back-to-back tells us absolutely nothing about how they'll play in the second game. Going with the same guy on back-to-back nights is 100% about playing a hunch which really isn't a good plan if you're trying to give your team their best chance of winning. As an Oilers fan I hope that hunch pays off.

The Opposing View

From Five For Howling:

Keys to the Game

Start strong. Edmonton is in their second game of a back to back and may be low on energy. The Coyotes can set the tone early on and control the momentum of the game.

Penalty Killing. The Coyotes have allowed the other team to score a power play goal in five of their last six games. It would do well for the Yotes to break that streak.

Protect the goalie. Depending on who gets the start the team needs to do their best to help out their goaltender. Both netminders are coming off of solid outings, but the best way to build momentum is give them easy games.

Projected Line Combinations

Taylor Hall Ryan Nugent-Hopkins Leoon Draisaitl
Anton Slepyshev Mark Letestu Nail Yakupov
Teddy Purcell Anton Lander Jordan Eberle
Luke Gazdic Andrew Miller Iiro Pakarinen
Andrej Sekera Darnell Nurse
Oscar Klefbom Mark Fayne
Griffin Reinhart Eric Gryba
Anders Nilsson
Cam Talbot