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Game Preview: Oilers at Boston

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The Oilers, winners of five games in a row, travel to Boston to take on the Bruins.

Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
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Edmonton
16-9-3 35 points Ranks 13-15-2, 28 points
6th Eastern Conference 13th Western Conference
1.25 (9th) P/GP .93 (25th)
29.8 (13th) S/GP 28.8 (21st)
3.21 (2nd) G/GP 2.67 (12th)
5:00 PM MDT
TV - Sportsnet West
Radio - 630 CHED
Rexall Place
The opposing view: Stanley Cup of Chowder

A home stand to remember

The Oilers wrapped up a five game home stand on Friday night with a 7-5 win over the New York Rangers. No that is not a typo, the score was 7-5. That win gave the Oilers a perfect record on the home stand, five games and five wins. And not wins against bottom feeders either, in those five games the Oilers beat the Bruins, Stars, Rangers, and Sharks, some of the NHL's better teams can be found in that list. Two weeks ago if you'd glanced at what was on the horizon you'd have likely thought that those five games, and the three on the road that'll be played this week, is where the Oilers' season would come to a grinding halt. Three wins in those eight games would have seemed unlikely, winning the first five, well, if you saw that coming I hope you bet some money on it.

The Oilers are saying

Tough spot here for Cam Talbot. He hasn't played in over two weeks and now he gets a start on the road with his team having won five straight. I see two ways this works out for Talbot. One, he gets shelled tonight, could be his fault, could be the team with a bad performance or just some unlucky bounces after five straight wins. Either way, we don't see him again for another two weeks as a result. Alternatively, he plays really well tonight, convincing the coaches that he's hot, in which case they start him again tomorrow night in New York where he gets shelled, and we don't see him again for another two weeks.

The Bruins are saying

Every team that faces off against the Oilers says the same things, some version of "They're a team with some good pieces, just looking to find out how to put them together. We certainly don't want to look past them." But regardless of what they say, I doubt that any of them see the Oilers as much more than a free space on the schedule, a game they should absolutely win. Having lost to the Oilers earlier this month, and with Peter Chiarelli making his return to Boston, I'm sure that the Bruins would love to bring the Oilers winning streak to an end with a lopsided victory.

Have some of this

  • The Oilers activated Andrew Ference from the injured reserve today. He won't play tonight though, Nikita Nikitin will draw in for an injured Oscar Klefbom.
  • Taylor Hall was named the NHL's second star of the week. Corey Crawford was the first star, Justin Faulk the third.
  • The Oilers might have dodged a bullet tonight with the Bruins set to start Jonas Gustavsson in place of Tuukka Rask. Rask has a 0.948 save percentage in his last eight games.
  • David Pastrnak skated with the Bruins today but will be out of the lineup as he continues to recover from a foot injury.