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Preview: Game 46 Oilers vs. Flames

Oilers need 2 points in order to keep pace in the Pacific

Nail Yakupov scored Edmonton's lone goal in their 2-1 shootout loss in San Jose
Nail Yakupov scored Edmonton's lone goal in their 2-1 shootout loss in San Jose
Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports



20-20-2, 42 points, 1 p/g Ranks 17-23-5, 39 points, .867 p/g
Pacific Division - 6th Pacific Division - 7th
26th P/G 29th
30th ST 23rd
18th S/G 19th
29th Goal 26th
8:00 PM MDT
Radio - 630 CHED
Rexall Place
The opposing view: Matchsticks and Gasoline

Yak's Back, But It's Not Enough

Nail Yakupov scored Edmonton's lone goal in his triumphant return to the lineup, while Cam Talbot turned aside 36 of 37 San Jose shots.  San Jose scored twice in the shootout, helping push the Sharks to a 2-1 shootout victory while lengthening the distance between Edmonton and third place in the Pacific.

The goal was Yak's third of the season, and it brought the Oilers to a 1-1 tie eight minutes into the second period. Marc-Edouard Vlasic got San Jose on the board midway through the first with his fifth of the year.

Edmonton takes two points out of possible four on their brief two game road trip.  Great if you're playing the Eastern Conference, but killer if you're trying to play catch-up in your division.  The Oilers face Calgary tonight at the Pillbox.

Let's go to the tape.

The Oilers are saying

"I thought he had a lot of energy...He played fast.  He was prepared to shoot the puck, and we'd been missing that dangerous shot all the time...I was impressed with him being able to play at the pace he did after being out as long as he was.  Good for him."


That's Oilers coach Todd McLellan on Nail Yakupov's return to the lineup.

Score a goal?  Check.

Draw the game's first penalty?  Check

Fly?  Check.

We need to get that McDavid guy back and put 'em back together.

The opponents are saying

"He was telling us he was good, but this morning getting on the ice, it was clear that it was not good."  Source
That's Flames coach Bob Hartley on forward Michael Frolik.  Frolik has been out for the past dozen games with an upper body injury.  Frolik has been out since December 22nd.

Have some of this
  • I'll give McLellan the "it's his first game back from injury" pass on this one.  But if Yakupov shows like he did on Thursday night, there's no way this should happens again.
  • TALKING ABOUT TALBOT - When the Oilers traded for Cam Talbot in the offseason, many assumed that he'd be the starting goaltender for the 2015-16 season.  After a wobbly start, he's put up some numbers that have been really lights out.  If the Oilers could start scoring a bit, the Oilers might be a few more points up in the standings.  What should the Oilers offer?  Check out Sunil's latest on how the Oilers should approach signing Cam Talbot.
  • This is Matt Hendricks' final game of three that he'll be sitting out for a boarding call to Aaron Ekblad on Sunday.
  • KASSIAN - New Oilers winger Zack Kassian made his debut on Thursday.  Kassian was his charming self in logging 14:23 ice time, registering four hits, two takeaways, and two PIMs.
  • The Oilers should start Cam Talbot (7-13-3, .912 SV% / 2.72 GAA / 1 SO), as he's been turning aside most everything in his path.  The Flames are going with Jonas Hiller (5-4-0, .870 SV% / 3.40 GAA / 1 SO).  The start will be Hiller's
  • PACIFIC WATCH / SHOOTING FOR SIXTH:  Consecutive losses in OT/SO have pushed the Oilers to seven points outside of third place in the Pacific.  Third place (46 points) is owned by San Jose at the moment.  The Oilers are at 39, have played three more games than the Sharks, and really should beat the Flames tonight to get out of last place in the Western Conference.
  • Connor McDavid (clavicle), Andrew Ference (undisclosed), Matt Hendricks (suspension)  and Oscar Klefbom (hand), are out for the Oilers.  For the Flames, Jiri Hudler (groin), Lance Bouma (leg) and Michael Frolik (upper body) will not dress.