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Preview: Game 19 - Oilers vs. Blackhawks

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Oilers to get another tough test as Blackhawks come to town.

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images


Chicago

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oilers logo black text
10-7-1, 21 points, 1.167 p/g Ranks 6-12-0, 12 points, .667 p/g
Western Conference - 6th Western Conference - 14th
11th P/G 30th
14th ST 12th
2nd S/G 25th
11th Goal 28th
7:30 PM MDT
TV - Sportsnet One
Radio - 630 CHED
Rexall Place
The opposing view: Second City Hockey

A Predictable Outcome

The Oilers were down 3-1 late in the second period on Saturday when Teddy Purcell scored on a sneaky wrist shot from near the blue line. The Oilers would head into the third period trailing 3-2, when Taylor Hall scored with five minutes remaining in the third period. The Oilers could hold on and hey, at least they'd get a point right? Wrong. With just over ninety seconds remaining, LA's Nick Shore pounced on a rebound and sent a wrist shot behind Cam Talbot just as a penalty to Anton Lander expired. Kings win, and the Oilers now have twice as many losses as they do wins. Two games ago, the Oilers were last in the Western Conference, but now that the Blue Jackets win more than just every other Tuesday, the Oilers are now last in the NHL.

The Oilers play two at home (Chicago, New Jersey) before heading out on the road for five straight.

Let's go to the tape.

The Oilers are saying

"We have confidence in both of them...We are trying to develop two goaltenders that are figuring their way out and trying to establish themselves as starters in the League"

Source

That's Oilers coach Todd McLellan on Cam Talbot and Anders Nilsson

Cam Talbot worries me a ltitle bit. Then again, the entire Oilers defence continues to confound and frustrate. Eric Gryba, Mark Fayne, Justin Schultz and Andrej Sekera have all frustrated the fan base to varying degrees. Everything is frustrating you guys, OK?

The opponents are saying

"The best thing about it (is) it'll be a good test to find out how we can play consistently on the road in some real tough buildings". Source
That's Blackhawks coach Joel Quennville on the beginning of a long Western Conference road trip.

The Blackhawks are a meagre 2-5 in seven road games this season. The Oilers are 3-5 at home. I'm trying to find a positive here. I had a banana a couple of weeks ago.

Have some of this

  • Anders Nilsson (3-4-0 .902 SV% / 3.21 GAA) will start between the pipes for Edmonton tonight. Nilsson has started two of the last three Oiler games, including a back-to-back set in Anaheim and then Arizona. Nilsson's numbers don't sizzle, but (unfortunately) they're a notch better than Talbot's (3-8-0, .890 SV% / 3.09 GAA). Corey Crawford (8-5-1, .918 SV% / 2.41 GAA, 2 SO) will start for the Blackhawks tonight.
  • NEON LEON STILL SHINING - Leon Draisaitl is one of the bright spots in a world without Connor McDavid. Another goal and assist in Los Angeles, and Draisaitl is killing it with a 5-8-13 line in eight games this season. Keep the ball rolling.
  • WHO'S COMING OFF THE BACK END? Justin Schultz is coming back from an injury soon, and the Oilers will have to make a roster move in order to accommodate his return. When he's back, I've got Sekera, Fayne, Schultz, Klefbom, Nurse and Gryba. Gryba's not my choice, I think he and Chiarelli are stuck at the hip. If the Oilers return Darnell Nurse to the Condors, I think you'll hear a loud collective groan from the base.
  • Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (flu) should be back in the lineup tonight. He missed Saturday's loss in LA. An Oilers roster without Nugent-Hopkins and McDavid is...let's just move on here.
  • The Blackhawks are led in scoring by Patrick Kane (13-15-28 in 18 GP) followed by the unlikely Artemi Panarin (6-12-18 in 18 GP). You'll remember Panarin as he scored two goals in Chicago's victory over the Oilers ten days ago.
  • For the Oilers, Connor McDavid (clavicle), Andrew Ference (flu), Justin Schultz (back) and Rob Klinkhammer (lower body) will be out tonight. The Blackhawks do not have any injuries listed on their injury report.