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Blues @ Oilers - Yakupov Returns, Can Oilers Close Out Homestand Looking For W?

Oilers face stiff test as Blues waltz into town.

Kinda weeeeird.
Kinda weeeeird.
Billy Hurst-USA TODAY Sports

St. Louis


3-0-1, 7 points, 1.75 p/g Ranks 3-1-0, 6 points, 1.5 p/g
Central Division - 1st Pacific Division - 2nd
3rd P/G 7th
7th ST 14th
24th S/G 13th
5th Goal 22nd
TV - SN-Oilers
Radio - 630 CHED
Rogers Place
The opposing view:  St. Louis Game Time


Milan Lucic - Connor McDavid - Jordan Eberle
Benoit Pouliot - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - Zack Kassian
Patrick Maroon- Leon Draisaitl - Anton Slepyshev
Tyler Pitlick - Mark Letestu - Anton Lander

Oscar Klefbom - Adam Larsson
Andrej Sekera - Kris Russell
Darnell Nurse - Eric Gryba

Cam Talbot
Laurent Brossoit

Holding On

Two periods into Tuesday night, the Oilers had a 3-0 lead over a Hurricanes team looking for their first win of the season.  The Oilers entered the third period with goals from Anton Slepyshev, Jordan Eberle and Tyler Pitlick.  Carolina squeezed two early third period goals in less than a minute from forward Lee Stempniak, and we thought we knew where this one was going.

But, the Oilers (and Cam Talbot) held on.  After the two quick goals from Stempniak,  Cam Talbot turned aside everything in front of him, which is not only a relief for you and I, but for Talbot.  Getting to wash a game that saw you get pulled after allowing four goals only to be replaced after Gustavsson suffered an upper body injury is probably a good feeling.  Speaking of the feels, Congrats to Kelly and Cam Talbot on welcoming their twins into the world early Wednesday.

Expect Talbot to man the pipes again tonight, as the Oilers welcome Nail Yakupov and the rest of the St. Louis Blues to Rogers Place.

Let's go to the tape.

The Oilers are saying

"He's a very smart player, and though it took him a little while to get going, he had a terrific year this past year...He moves the puck, he defends well, he can log a lot of minutes - he can play 25, 27, 28 minutes - he can match up against all the top forwards, he can move the puck, he has more skill to show also."


That's Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli on getting the most out of his new defender Adam Larsson.

Larsson has performed admirably well on the top line in four games for the Oilers so far.  Only 78 more to go until the playoffs.

The opponents are saying

"I feel great...I'm really excited to be back because I was here for a long time and I'm looking forward to playing a game against my old team in this building.  I didn't expect to come to (the Blues), but it really turned out well for me because I enjoyed coming to this team and this organization.  I haven't been (with St. Louis for a long time, but I already feel comfortable and the guys have been really, really good to me.  I haven't felt any pressure or had any problems." Source

That's Blues forward Nail Yakupov on his recent transition to the Blues.  I've gone on at length discussing Nail Yakupov's time and departure from the Oilers, and wish him nothing but the best in St. Louis.  You'll remember how Nail Yakupov had some issues about getting onto the top two lines in Edmonton because he didn't deserve it or some other such nonsense.  Yakupov has two points (1-1-2) in four games so far this year, and he's getting top line duty with Robby Fabbri and Paul Stastny.

Yakupov was traded for a prospect and a conditional third round pick.  The pick becomes a second round pick if Yakupov scores fifteen or more goals this season in St. Louis.

Have some of this

  • D NOTES: Mark Fayne has been placed on injured reserve after just two minutes of ice time this season. He did pick up an assist in Edmonton's 3-2 victory over Carolina when he had a helper on Edmonton's second goal.  Ben Betker has been called up from Bakersfield, but I'd wager a couple of cold pops that you'll see Eric Gryba back in the lineup for Fayne.
  • Secondary scoring?  Yes.  In shovels, please.  Tyler Pitlick scoring a goal alongside Anton Slepyshev in Tuesday's 3-2 victory over the Hurricanes is good stuff, you guys.  We'd like McDavid to score 150 of them, but every one counts.
  • Connor McDavid was held without a goal or a point or anything last game, you guys.  Expect at least a half dozen points tonight.  I'm going with two goals, four assists.  I'm being conservative.
  • WINS OF CHANGE - Should the Oilers be able to pull this one out tonight, they'd be 4-1 for the first time since...I can't remember.  The Oilers did start out 9-3-2 in 2011 in an opening month that saw the absolute last of a good Nikolai Khabibulin.  Baby steps.
  • Cam Talbot (3-1-0, .886 SV% / 3.92 GAA) will likely start for the Oilers tonight. The Blues will likely counter with Jake Allen (2-0-1, .906 SV% / 1.98 GAA)
  • Iiro Pakarinen (knee), Drake Caggiula (hip), Mark Fayne (undisclosed) Jonas Gustavsson (upper body), Brandon Davidson (upper body) and Matt Hendricks (lower body) will not dress for the Oilers tonight.  For the Blues, Kyle Brodziak (upper body), Jori Lehtera (upper body), Jaden Schwartz (elbow) and defenceman Carl Gunnarson (upper body) will be out of action.