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Preview: Oilers @ Carolina Game 22

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The Oilers performed well in Washington, but the goals never came. Can a trip to Raleigh help straighten things out?

The one that got away.
The one that got away.
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports


Edmonton

@

hurricanes logo 2
7-13-1, 15 points, .714 p/g Ranks 7-10-4, 18 points, .858 p/g
Western Conference - 14th Eastern Conference -15th
30th P/G 26th
20th ST 28th
22nd S/G 8th
15th Goal 27th
5 PM MDT
TV - Sportsnet 360, Sportsnet West
Radio - 630 CHED
PNC Arena
The opposing view:  Canes Country

Braden Holtby turned aside 33 shots en route to a shutout, and Capitals defenceman Dmitry Orlov scored the game's lone goal off a weird bounce.  Washington emerged victorious by the slimmest of margins, but the Oilers looked pretty good in a losing effort.  The Oilers are six games below a Bettman .500.  Will the goals begin to come?

The Oilers are saying

"Doing contact (Tuesday) was the first time I really did any of that and felt pretty good...As long as I feel good tomorrow and keep improving, I'll be ready to go soon."

Source

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

Schultz is likely out of tonight's lineup, but looks to be back sometime this road trip.  Edmonton's next game is in Detroit on Friday.

The opponents are saying

"The boys played a really, really solid third...We're proud of coming back like that, but for sure we wanted two points.  We'll take the one and move on."

Source
That's Hurricanes goaltender Eddie Lack on his team's 3-2 OTL against the Flyers on Monday night.

NET GAINS?
Eddie Lack was dealt from Vancouver to the Hurricanes this past off-season for a pair of third round picks.  Lack's movement to Carolina might have been a signal that Cam Ward was on the move out of town, but that hasn't happened yet, and Eddie Lack has only played six games in this season.  Lack's .875 SV% hasn't spoken well for a guy who's career SV% was a lofty .921 in Vancouver.  Cam Ward currently sits at a .902 SV% in sixteen games this year.  Ward is in the last year of his deal with a 6.3M cap hit.  Ward could potentially be a trade chip to a playoff club later this year.

Have some of this
  • We're 25% through the NHL season!  The Oilers have....seven wins!  They are....getting better!  They need to score...more than zero goals in order to win games!  Are the Oilers better than seven wins?  I think so, by at least a couple.  The Oilers played a real solid game against the Capitals on Monday night, and if it weren't for a weird bounce and some acrobatic saves by Braden Holtby, I think they could've skated out with a W and some confidence.  Tonight's a good test to see if all of those good feelings in Washington can lead to a couple of points in Raleigh.
  • Anton Lander caught a scratch last game.  To compensate for that, the Oilers moved Luke Gazdic onto 4LW and Lauri Korpikoski to 4C. To the team's defense, Lander had himself a real bad outing against New Jersey, and it's understandable why he caught some sweet press box action against Washington.  But ugh, Luke Gazdic and an out of place Lauri Korpikoski next to Iiro the Hero.  What did Pakarinen do to deserve that?  Gazdic played 5:38, no shots, no blocks, no hits.  No kidding.
  • Leon Draisaitl's point scoring stream came to an end when he failed to notch at least one point (along with the rest of the club) in Washington on Monday.  Draisaitl's got 17 points (7-10-17) in eleven games.  His S% is through the roof at 31.8.  Score two more tonight.
  • Anders Nilsson (4-5-1).908 SV% / 2.83 GAA) will get the start tonight in Carolina. I think Nilsson's really turned up the heat on Talbot, and is making a strong case to be thsi team's number one goalie for the season.  He'll likely face off against Cam Ward (6-6-3, .902 SV% / 2.44 GAA / 1 SO)
  • Oscar Klefbom missed practice yesterday after taking a high stick from Washington's Nicklas Backstrom.  I don't want to think what happens if he's unable to go tonight.  I think that means Andrew Ference.  I sure hope Oscar Klefbom is ready to play tonight.
  • For the Oilers, Connor McDavid (clavicle), Justin Schultz (back)  Rob Klinkhammer (lower body) are out. Matt Hendricks (hand) missed practice yesterday and is questionable. Carolina will be without Nathan Gerbe (lower body), James Wisniewski (knee) and Ryan Murphy (concussion)