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Preview: Game 53 Oilers @ Canadiens

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Winners of two in a row, Oilers take on struggling Habs

Zack Kassian returns to the city where he was dealt last offseason.
Zack Kassian returns to the city where he was dealt last offseason.
Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports


Edmonton

@

canadiens
21-26-5, 47 points, .904 p/g Ranks 24-24-4, 52 points, 1 p/g
Pacific Division - 7th Atlantic Division - 5th
29th P/G 23rd
13th ST 14th
20th S/G 4th
26th Goal 23rd
12:00 MDT
TV - CBC, Sportsnet
Radio - 630 CHED
Centre Bell
The opposing view:  Eyes On The Prize

Rollin' Through The Capital

The Oilers rocketed to seven goals in the nation's Capital en route to a 7-2 trouncing of the Ottawa Senators.  Jordan Eberle had a pair of goals and an assist, while Connor McDavid had two more assists to record his fifth point (1-4-5) in two games since returning from his clavicle injury.  Cam Talbot turned aside 36 shots out of 38, and the Senators were never really in this one from the beginning.

The Oilers take on the Canadiens, a team who has been struggling mightily over the past two months.  Can the Oilers make it three in a row?

The Oilers are saying

"I think we'll face a growly team that's going to come out very prepared."

Source

That's Oilers head coach Todd McLellan on the prospect of a growly Canadiens team.

The Habs...have been rather poor as of late.  Since winning their first nine straight, they've only won fifteen games since then.  In nearly three months, they've won fifteen games.  That's pretty good, hey?

The opponents are saying

"When he's going to come to the next stage of his rehab, I will let you know and I will be more than happy to let you know...But right now, it's about the same."    Source
That's Canadiens coach Michel Therien on the status of Habs goaltender Carey Price.  Price has missed significant time since November with a knee injury.  Arpon Basu of the NHL Network reports that Price is still a ways off.

Have some of this

  • Adam Clendening was skating with Darnell Nurse on Friday.  After Darnell Nurse's performance against Ottawa, I don't think Nurse will be sitting.  Meanwhile, Griffin Reinhart was skating with Justin Schultz.  Forwards remain unchanged.
  • KASS IS BACK - Zack Kassian returns to the city he was traded to in the offseason.  The Oilers dealt Ben Scrivens to Montréal for Kassian in late December.  Since becoming an Oiler, Kassian has four points (2-2-4) in eight games.
  • Connor McDavid, you guys.  Five points (1-4-5) in two games since returning from injury.  Go-go Gadget Copter.
  • Red hot Cam Talbot (11-15-2, .918 SV% / 2.52 GAA) should get the start this afternoon.  Nilsson could surprise and start today and Talbot tomorrow, but Talbot's on a roll.  Old friend Ben Scrivens (0-4-0, 873 SV% / 3.84 GAA) will go for Montréal.  Come on, you Oilers.
  • LONG SHOTS, INC. / SHOOTING FOR SIXTH:  Two more points help lock the Oilers in a bajillion way tie for last.  Winnipeg, Calgary, Toronto, Buffalo, Columbus and the Oilers all have 47 points. The Ducks hold down the third spot in the Pacific, ten points away from Edmonton.  Nashville holds the last wild card in the Western Conference, nine points up on the Oilers.
  • Andrew Ference (undisclosed), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (hand)  and Oscar Klefbom (hand), are out for the Oilers.  For the Canadiens, goaltender Carey Price (lower body) Paul Byron (lower body), Lucas Lessio (lower body) and Daniel Carr (knee) are unavailable.