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Game 41 Preview: Oilers vs Hurricanes - We've Made It Halfway

Welcome to the halfway point of another season of Oilers hockey.

James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

What You Need To Know

Puck Drop: 7:00 MST
How To Watch: Sportsnet West
Team Records: Oilers 16-21-3, Hurricanes 16-17-6
Goals For per Game: Oilers 2.45, Hurricanes 2.36
Goals Against per Game: Oilers 3.05, Hurricanes 2.79

Last Game

All it took for the Oilers to get back in the win column after four straight losses was an entirely new year, it was just that simple. Against the Coyotes on Saturday afternoon the Oilers played a solid game and got a late goal from Jordan Eberle to send the game into overtime and eventually a shootout where the Oilers came away with the bonus point. For Eberle, who also scored in the first period to snap a seven game goalless drought, this was his second goal of the night, the first time all season he’s scored two goals in one game.

Tonight's Game

Tonight the Oilers bring to a close the first half of their 2015/16 schedule when they play host to the Carolina Hurricanes. This will be the second and final meeting between these two teams this season (assuming that June won’t include a repeat of the 2006 Stanley Cup Final). In their previous meeting the Oilers fell to the ‘Canes by a score of 4-1 in a game that was just plain ugly for the visitors. Despite the this being Carolina’s their third game in four nights, the Hurricanes outshot, out chanced, and out played the Oilers for a full 60 minutes. I’m sure the home crowd would be happy to not see a repeat performance this evening.

What the Oilers Are Saying

You know it’s going to hurt, but you don’t do it for your own personal gains, you do it for the team. For me, there’s nothing better than coming back from the bench after blocking a shot. The guys on the bench are patting you on the back and saying, ‘great job.’ It’s about sacrifice. Other guys do it in different ways. Blocking shots is one of the ways that I help.

That's Matt Hendricks talking about blocking shots in a piece on the Oilers website. I give full credit to the man willing to lay down in front of a shot, but I can't think about shot blocking any more without also thinking about killing rats.

What the Hurricanes Are Saying

I feel like our compete level was there. It was just one of those nights where it could go either way, and we came up short, unfortunately.

Eddie Lack on the Hurricanes overtime loss to the Predators on Saturday. I'd be a happy man if we could all stop talking about compete level.

Parting Thoughts

  • With Finland's semi-final win over Sweden at the World Junior Hockey Championships this morning, William Lagesson's tournament has come to an end won't be ending with a gold medal, but he could still win bronze. The lone Oilers prospect to play in the tournament has a goal and an assist and a +5 rating in six games played for Sweden.
  • Cam Talbot will start in net tonight for the Oilers. This will be his fourth straight start.
  • The Miami Dolphins named Chris Grier their new General Manger today. Chris' brother Mike spent a few season playing for the Oilers.