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Preview: Oilers @ Capitals Game 21

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Oilers pick up much needed home victory before heading on the road

Anders Nilsson turned aside 19 of 20 shots in Friday's victory over New Jersey
Anders Nilsson turned aside 19 of 20 shots in Friday's victory over New Jersey
Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports


Edmonton

@

caps 2
7-12-1, 15 points, .75 p/g Ranks 13-5-1, 27 points, 1.421 p/g
Western Conference - 14th Eastern Conference -3rd
29th P/G 4th
19th ST 7th
23rd S/G 4th
28th Goal 6th
5 PM MDT
TV - Sportsnet West
Radio - 630 CHED
Verizon Center
The opposing view:  Japers' Rink


A Much Needed Two Points

Leon Draisaitl scored his seventh goal of the season the first.  The Oilers would add three more goals and an empty netter as they cruised to a 5-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils on Friday night.  Leon Draisaitl remained hot as he picked up an assist to go along with his first period goal, giving him seventeen points (7-10-17) in ten games this year.  Jordan Eberle had a power play goal, while Oscar Klefbom and Mark Letestu each had a goal for the Oilers. Taylor Hall had the empty netter to go along with a couple of assists, and the Oilers took two much needed points in this game.

The Oilers begin a five game road trip today in Washington.  Let's go to the tape.

The Oilers are saying

"I'm hoping I'll be in one of the games on the road trip...It's close, I've been feeling good."

Source

That's Oilers defenceman Justin Schultz, ready to get back into the lineup.  Schultz has missed eleven games with a back injury.

Schultz gets a lot of flack for his play, but a cursory glance over the Oilers blue reminds you that even with his blemishes, the team can't really afford to go without him right now.  Look for him sooner than later.

The opponents are saying

"(The points) count just as much now as in a couple of months so that's kind of our mindset, what we take to the rink every day and make sure that we emphasize and keep growing as a team"

Source
That's Capitals defenceman John Carlson on the Capitals' current mindset.

Carlson make a compelling points, and yes, the points are worth the same today as they are in three months.  The Capitals seem to be feeding off this mindset, as they've gotten two points in thirteen of their nineteen games so far this year, and have yet to lose two in a row.  Currently, the Capitals rank third in the Eastern Conference, and second in their division.

Have some of this
  • STREAKING IN THE GYMNASIUM - Taylor Hall has eight points in his last five games (3-5-8).  Draisaitl has ten.  (4-6-10).  Hall currently ranks fourth in the NHL in points (9-15-24).
  • With Lauri Korpikoski coming back from injury, Andrew Miller has been sent back to Bakersfield. Miller's latest stint saw him appear in five games.
  • I've got Anders Nilsson (4-4-1, .901 SV% / 3.04 GAA) penciled in to start.  Nilsson turned aside 19 of 20 New Jersey shots on Friday, and it'll be him or Cam Talbot (3-8-0, .890 SV% / 3.09 GAA) who will likely take on Braden Holtby (11-4-1, .920 SV% / 2.01 GAA).
  • For the Oilers, Connor McDavid (clavicle),  Luke Gazdic (undisclosed),  Justin Schultz (back) and Rob Klinkhammer (lower body) are out of the lineup.  For the Capitals, Brooks Orpik (lower body) is questionable.  .