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Oilers @ Jackets Game 69 Preview

Coming soon to an Oiler blue line near you:  Nikitin.
Coming soon to an Oiler blue line near you: Nikitin.
Chris LaFrance-USA TODAY Sports

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18-39-11, 47 points, .692 p/g Ranks 29-34-4, 62 points, 1.304 p/g
Western Conference - 14th Eastern Conference - 13th
29th P/G 9th
27th ST 10th
28th ES 6th
27th Goal 4th
5:00 PM  MDT - SNOL
Nationwide Arena
The opposing view: The Cannon

Comeback To Defeat

The Penguins built a 4-0 lead in the first 21 minutes of play, only to have the Oilers improbably tie it up midway through the third period.  It was all for naught however, as Steve Downie scored the go-ahead goal for Pittsburgh with five and a half minutes remaining in the third.  An empty-netter would give Pittsburgh a 6-4 victory, and Edmonton's fiftieth loss of the year (18-39-11).  Oiler goals were had by Anton Lander (PPG), Jordan Eberle, Benoit Pouliot (PPG) and Derek Roy.  Was sort of fun to see Edmonton come back down four goals in Pittsburgh, but deep down inside, we all knew how it was going to end.

Tomorrow became today, and the Oilers take on the Blue Jackets tonight.  Let's see who's saying what.

The Oilers are saying

"Our execution was off.  We had some opportunities to get some decent shots, but we missed the net.  We just weren't sharp.  After the first period, I thought we got a lot better.  We got better as the game went on.  We battled back and never quit.  Against a team like that, we can take something away from this game."

That's Oilers interim head coach Todd Nelson on last night's game in Pittsburgh.

The good news?  After tonight, there's only a dozen more games in the season.  Bad news?  There are a dozen more games left in the season.  It's almost impossible for the Oilers to get results worse than they did in the first period of last night's game.  That's not a challenge, you guys.

The Opponent is saying

"I thought we came out right from the start, got right into the game and we were doing the right things 5-on-5."
That's Jackets coach Todd Richards on last night's 3-1 victory in Detroit.

Winners of their last two, the Jackets are working on their third game in four nights.  Goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky, who was victorious in last night's game against Detroit is scheduled to get the start for Columbus again tonight.  More on that in the next paragraph.

Have some of this
  • An absolutely forgettable start for Ben Scrivens last night.  Scrivens (12-22-8, .896 SV% / 2.99) got the hook after yielding four goals in thirteen shots, good for a .692 SV% on the night.  He'll get a chance to turn that around, as he'll go for the Oilers tonight.  Sergei Bobrovsky (19-16-2, .915 SV% / 2.79) will also start his second game in as many nights for Columbus.
  • Nail Yakupov is doing just fine out there as of late (5-6-11 in his last 14 GP).  That's not too shabby.
  • Defenceman Ryan Murray is expected to be in the lineup for the Jackets tonight. Tonight's game will be just the eighth of the season for Murray, who has been out since the beginning of November with an ankle injury.
  • Nikita Nikitin is projected to be ready for tonight's game.  That's good news if you're Nikita Nikitin. That's borderline objecitonable news if you're a fan of a hockey club with Nikita Nikitin on it.  Put your beer on ice now.