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Pacific Leading Oilers Visit Last Place Coyotes

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Hot Oilers™ look to make it four in a row with victory over Coyotes

I'll give you three guesses as to who's leading the NHL in scoring right now.  No, it's not Matt Martin.
I'll give you three guesses as to who's leading the NHL in scoring right now. No, it's not Matt Martin.
Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports


Edmonton

@

Phoenix
12-8-1, 25 points, 1.19 p/g Ranks 6-10-2, 14 points, .778 p/g
Pacific Division - 1st Pacific Division, 7th
11th P/G 30th
9th ST 26th
6th S/G 26th
16th Goal 29th
7 PM MDT
TV -  Sportsnet Oilers
Radio - 630 CHED
Gila River Arena

The opposing view

PROJECTED LINES
FORWARDS

Milan Lucic - Connor McDavid - Jesse Puljujarvi
Patrick Maroon - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - Jordan Eberle
Benoit Pouliot - Leon Draisaitl - Drake Caggiula
Tyler Pitlick - Mark Letestu - Zack Kassian

DEFENCE
Oscar Klefbom - Adam Larsson
Andrej Sekera - Kris Russell
Darnell Nurse - Matthew Benning

GOAL
Cam Talbot
Jonas Gustavsson

Oilers Come From Behind To Double Up Avalanche

Milan Lucic had a four point night, Connor McDavid had three, and Jordan Eberle scored twice en route to Edmonton's come-from-behind 6-3 victory in Denver.

Alright, so Eberle had an empty netter.  He needed it.  The Oilers came from behind three times to take two points from a .500 team in Denver.  That's not as impressive as a playoff series victory, but it' s a small step in the right direction.   You've seen a lot of Oiler teams over the past decade collapse like a badly damaged card table, or wither like when you burn a milk jug in a campfire.  What do you mean, "I'm not supposed to burn plastic"?  Whatever.  It smells delicious.

Let's go to the tape.

The Oilers are saying

"Our goal is to try to continue to momentum from this little streak we're on...I think out starts are starting to improve a little bit.  At the beginning of games, we have a little bit more energy coming into them.  We're finding the back of the net early and not allowing teams to get one-two goal leads on us."

Source

That's Oilers forward Matt Hendricks on Edmonton's recent success, and not folding like a badly damaged card table after going down a goal.

Oilers head back to Rogers Place after tonight's game in Arizona.  Not to get ahead of ourselves, but that's a big potential four points.

The opponents are saying

"I was awful...I was sleeping right from the first goal and right through on.  It's not even close...It was obvious that I wasn't feeling it tonight but it's no excuse.  You have to get the job done.  I think we worked hard for a couple days in practice this week and worked on a lot of good things.  I thought we did a lot of those good things tonight.  It's one of those nights where we did a lot of good things in front of me, and tonight I dropped the ball."  Source

That's Coyotes' goaltender Mike Smith after a recent unimpressive performance against Vancouver

Remember three years ago when Devan Dubnyk didn't have a good start to the season in Edmonton?  No? Remember three out of the four years where Nikolai Khabibulin started off terrible?  Seriously, I just threw up in my mouth.  A four year guaranteed deal for Nikolai Khabibulin.  He had that hot October in 2011, we'll always have that.

Ahem.  Mike Smith's been limited to five games (2-1-1, .904 SV%) after missing a month with a lower body injury. Replacement Louis Domingue (4-8-1, .904 SV%) hasn't been having much fun between the pipes either.

Coyotes are tied for 29th overall in goals allowed this season per game.  (3.33)  Only Dallas (3.38) is yielding more per game.

Have some of this

  • DADS ON BOARD II - I have a DADS stat for you.  Oilers are 1-0 on the road trip with the DADS along.  Coincidence?  I think not.
  • McDAVID - DID YOU SEE THE GOAL THAT CONNOR MCDAVID SCORED BY BOUNCING IT OFF OF SEMYON VARLAMOV?  HO-LEE CRAP.  Go watch it.  Now.  It might not be Gretzky's office, but he's putting in some OT behind the goal line.  Wow.  McDavid's leading the league in points by 3 over Nikita Kucherov.
  • POULIOT: He sat against Dallas and Chicago and now Colorado on Wednesday. The Oilers are winning right now, and the fourth line didn't get their teeth kicked in like they did against Chicago the other night.  I'm fine with getting this guy back in the lineup, but I'm not sure how McLellan feels.
  • LUCIC: Milan Lucic is most effective when he's scoring four points a game.  It took him a while to get going against the Avalanche, but once you start popping off with three points a period (1-2-3 in the third) things tend to work themselves out.
  • THAT'S KLEF-TASTIC:  Oscar Klefbom with three goals in three games.  Oscar Klefbom with three goals in three games.  Oscar Klefbom with three goals in three games.  Oscar Klefbom will score again tonight to make it four in four.  Just pay attention, look right here at this watch.  Concentrate on the watch, as it moves left, to right, back and forth.  Paging Mr. Herman.  Mr. Herman.  You have a telephone call at the front desk.
  • LETESTU:  When the hell does this guy get back in the lineup?  See:  Pouliot.  I'm not sure how long they're going to run a Hendricks-Caggiula-Pitlick lineup (actually, I think I do:  it's until they lose a game), but you'd think Letestu finds his way back sooner rather than later.
  • RUSSELL:  *Another* good game by the Sekera/Russell tandem.  I could get used to this pretty quickly, but I don't want to sit down.
  • FAYNE ON SKATES:  Fayne on Skates.  Sung to the tune of Duran Duran's "Girls On Film"
  • THE POWER PLAY GARDENS ARE FERTILE AGAIN: Oilers had six opportunities to cash, and they made good on two of them.  Jordan Eberle scored on the man advantage late in the first period, while Leon Draisaitl had one for himself early on in the third.  Scoring goals is grand.  Doing it while up a body seems like a pretty good time to do it.
  • FASHION,  TURN TO THE LEFT - Arizona will be sporting the 1996 look tonight as they will be wearing their original jerseys that they debuted in the desert.  Maybe Nikolai Khabibulin will be in net again.
  • Cam Talbot (11-7-1, .919 SV% / 2.50 GAA / 3 SO) will likely go for the Oilers. Mike Smith (2-1-1, .904 SV% / 3.24 GAA) is projected to start for the Coyotes.
  • Iiro Pakarinen (knee) and Brandon Davidson (upper body) will be out for the Oilers. The Coyotes will be without Brad Richardson (leg).
  • #GOILERS