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Oilers @ Senators Game 57 Preview

Oilers head to Ottawa for Hockey Day in Canada

Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

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16-31-9, 37 points,  .732 p/g Ranks 21-22-10, 52 points, .982 p/g
Western Conference - 14th Eastern Conference - 11th
29th P/G 23rd
26th ST 14th
28th ES 21st
29th Goal 21st
12:00 PM - CBC
Canadian Tire Centre
The opposing view: Silver Seven

Lander, Ahoy!

The Edmonton Oilers enjoyed an improbable third period comeback on the heels of a Ryan Nugent-Hopkins goal scored in the last minute of regulation time.  Then, Anton Lander improbably scored less than two minutes into overtime. The Oilers won, on the road, for the second time in three games.  This is all happening so fast, I don't know what to do about it.  I mean, just a few short weeks ago, the Oilers hadn't won but a couple of games on the road for the entire season.  Now, they're winning in overtime in Montréal.  Go figure.

Nugent-Hopkins' goal was his second of the game.  Matt Hendricks scored for Edmonton in the second period, and Anton Lander is finally getting his due after playing well for some time.  Viktor Fasth earned his sixth victory on the year.  I'm earnestly saying that this whole winning thing is a really crazy feeling.  It feels good, man.

The Oilers are saying

"When you add a guy like Benny it's always going to help your team.  Tomorrow morning we'll have another discussion to see where we're at.  There's a lot of questions up in the air with the lineup tomorrow so we'll have the rest of the day to think about it and see how guys are.  We'll make decisions tomorrow."

That's Oilers interim head coach Todd Nelson on whether or not Benoit Pouliot will make it back into the lineup today versus Ottawa.

While Taylor Hall is out, the team would do especially well to have Benoit Pouliot back in the lineup.  Pouliot has been held out since the beginning of the month with a foot injury.  Pouliot has ten points (including eight goals) in his last thirteen games dating back to January 1.  If he gets the green light to play, don't be surprised to see him next to 93 and 14.

The Opponent is saying

"That's just a bad goal.  It catches the wrong side of my blocker and I can't find it....after the guys scored two quick ones like that.  It happens, but the guys kind of got energy from it and went out and just played their hearts out.  All the credit to them.  It was great to see, and I think it's stuff we can build on."
That's Senators goaltender Robin Lehner on allowing a bad one versus a potent Pittsburgh offence. The Senators were defeated last game by the Penguins by a score of 5-4 in a shootout.  David Perron (remember him?) scored the shootout winner for Pittsburgh.  I bet you he's laughing his ass off in Pennsylvania.

The Senators aren't quite an also-ran in the Eastern Conference, it's just that...well, yeah, they are.  With 29 games to go, they're eleven points behind the Bruins.  The Bruins have been looking more like the Bruins as of late, and the Panthers and the Flyers are between the Senators and sniffing distance of eighth place.  Ottawa will have to win something like twenty games in order to have a fighting shot at getting into the dance.

Have some of this
  • HOCKEY DAY IN CANADA - All seven Canadian teams are in action today, beginning with the Oilers and Senators at 12 local time.  The Leafs and Habs go at it later, the Jets play the Wings, and the Canucks will face off against the Flames.
  • Viktor Fasth (6-14-2, .889 SV% / 3.31 GAA) is the likely go for Edmonton, while Robin Lehner (8-11-3 .906 SV% / 2.97) is a likely go for the Senators.  Ottawa's Craig Anderson remains out while he recovers from a hand injury.
  • NOTABLES - Anton Lander has a two game goal streak.  Jordan Eberle has four assists in his last three games.  Ryan Nugent-Hopkins has three points (2-1) in his last three games.  Things get a little easier when the puck goes in the net.  Heck, the Oilers had 38 shots against Montréal.  I can get behind that.
  • As mentioned above, Benoit Pouliot is a game time decision.  Him getting into the lineup would likely push Luke Gazdic to the pine, which is alright by me.
  • Bobby Ryan currently leads the Senators in scoring (14-25-39 in 49 GP).  The Senators are tenth in the East in total goals scored, averaging 2.68 goals per game.