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Preview: Oilers vs. Rangers Game 30

The Rangers are in town for Glen Sather Night. Can the Oilers close out a five game home stand with a perfect record?

The Architect.
The Architect.
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

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18-8-3 39 points, 1.344 p/g Ranks 12-15-2, 26 points, .897 p/g
Eastern Conference - 3rd Western Conference - 14th
5th P/G 25th
8th ST 14th
26th S/G 21st
1st Goal 24th
7:30 PM MDT
TV - Sportsnet West
Radio - 630 CHED
Rexall Place
The opposing view: Blueshirt Banter

Four in a row!

They almost lost this one.

The Oilers took the Sharks to overtime (or was it the other way around?)  and captured two more points on a goal from Taylor Hall.  The Oilers got on the board six minutes into the second period with a goal from Leon Draisaitl.  Draisaitl's goal held the fort until early in the third period when Justin Braun scored his first of the year for the Sharks to tie it up.  Jordan Eberle would respond a few minutes later to give the Oilers another lead and that's when it got a little weird.  The Sharks scored twice in 90 seconds to take a 3-2 lead on goals from Patrick Marleau and Joe Pavelski.  This is the part where the Oilers usually go quietly into the night, but a tip-in goal from Ryan Nugent-Hopkins knotted the score at 3-all late in the third.

Taylor Hall scored the finisher in OT.  The Oilers are winners of four straight.  Of note is that the Oilers yielded just 28 shots, which is a considerably better number than the 39 they had been averaging over the first three games of the streak.

The Oilers have a chance to close out their five game home stand with ten points if they can defeat the Rangers on Glen Sather night.  Let's go to the tape

The Oilers are saying

"I know the kind of player I can's nice it's finally starting to come"


That's Oilers forward Jordan Eberle on finding some consistency in his game.

After scoring just four points in his first thirteen games of the season, Jordan Eberle is enjoying a four point (3-1-4) run in his last three games.  Remember when everybody kept calling him a soft perimeter player?  Everything changes once you start finding the back of the net.  How about that?

The opponents are saying

One of his strengths is that he's pretty even-keeled and focuses game to game on improvement whether or not the team wins or loses.

That's Rangers forward Dominic Moore on Rangers coach Alain Vigneault.  Vigneault will be coaching his 1,000th NHL game tonight.

Vigneault has compiled a 548-349-112 record since his debut with the Canadiens in 1997-98.  He coached the Canucks to the Western Conference Finals in 2010-11 and the Rangers to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2013-14.

Have some of this

  • Four game winning streaks are fun, but when's the last time the Oilers had a five game winning streak?  It was during the rebuild.  No, the pre-rebuild.  I think it was 2009-10.  You remember, the year with J.F. Jacques on the top line and good ol' Nikolai Khabibulin in between the pipes.
  • Ah yes, it was the Jerred Smithson year.  How could I forget?
  • Anders Nilsson (9-7-1, .921 SV% / 2.51 GAA) will start for Edmonton again, as he should.  Cam Talbot will likely go for the Oilers when the Oil visit the Rangers next week.  Talbot has played just once since November 14th.  The Rangers will go with Henrik Lundqvist (14-6-3, .937 SV% / 1.99 GAA / 2 SO)
  • Nikita Nikitin is back.  In the lineup.  For the Oilers.  Mark Fayne cleared waivers yesterday, and Nikitin is back.  Back again.  Nikitin has nine points (1-8-9) in fourteen games with Bakersfield (AHL).
  • Connor McDavid (clavicle),  Nail Yakupov (ankle), Andrew Ference (undisclosed), Rob Klinkhammer (lower body) and Benoit Pouliot (lower body) will be missing from action tonight.  For the Rangers, Emerson Etem (illness) Kevin Klein (abdomen) and Derek Stepan (ribs) are out.