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Preview: Game 54 Oilers @ Islanders

Anders NIlsson is likely to get the start in relief of Cam Talbot.
Anders NIlsson is likely to get the start in relief of Cam Talbot.
Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports



islanders logo
21-27-5, 47 points, .887 p/g Ranks 26-18-6, 58 points, 1.115 p/g
Pacific Division - 7th Metropolitan Division - 5th
29th P/G 14th
13th ST 11th
20th S/G 11th
26th Goal 11th
12:30 MDT
TV - Sportsnet West
Radio - 630 CHED
Barclays Center
The opposing view:  Lighthouse Hockey

Absolutely No Success In Montréal

Aside from a late shorthanded goal for Benoit Pouliot, the Edmnoton Oilers got absolutely slaughtered on Hockey Day in Canada by a score of 5-1.  Less than eight minutes into the first, Brendan Gallagher got the Habs on the board.  Lars Eller made it 2-0 with four minutes remaining in the first frame, and the Canadiens never looked back.  By the time Pouliot scored a shorthanded goal, the Habs had made it 4-0.  Former Oiler Tom Gilbert made it 5-1 midway through the final frame, and goaltender Ben Scrivens won his first game since being dealt to the Canadiens back in late December.

The Oilers have got to flush this game from the bowels of their memory as they look to gain some ground in the Pacific Division.  Let's go to the tape.

The Oilers are saying

"We'll get some rest, we'll get on the plane.  We've got to look at some of the things we obviously want to fix...We're going to play a different opponent.  This is another learning opportunity for us.  We played two real good games, got maybe a little comfortable and didn't put in the work to be successful.  Maybe we learn and get into New York and try and repair a few things."


That's Oilers head coach Todd McLellan after his team dropped a 5-1 contest in Montréal


What an ugly game for the Oilers.  After all of t't hose good feelings from Thursday's game against Ottawa, they were just crushed by Ben Scrivens and the output of one lonely shorthanded goal from Benoit Pouliot.  Oilers continue to search for road wins.  After yesterday's loss, the club has seven wins in 29 road contests so far this year. (7-17-4)

The opponents are saying

"I can't fault the guys for their effort...You run into a goalie like (Petr Mrazek), that's what happens.  You give up 20, 21 shots.  I don't know how many scoring chances we gave up.  But (the Oilers) are a quick, fast team. They're a young team, so they're going to have their legs on (a) back-to-back.  We're going to have to be ready to skate. "    Source
That's Islanders head coach Jack Capuano after his team's 5-1 loss to Detroit yesterday.  The Islanders dug themselves into a 5-0 hole before John Tavares scored the game's final goal.

Have some of this

Is this bad?  Is this somehow not good?

  • Is there any way that Justin Schultz remains an Oiler after the trade deadline in a few weeks?  Is there any way he doesn't get shipped off to a team looking for depth as the playoffs approach?  Is there any way he fetches more than Jeff Petry did a year ago?  (No.)
  • Anders Nilsson (10-11-2, .903 SV% / 3.04 GAA) came on in relief for Cam Talbot yesterday and will likely get the start tonight.  Thomas Greiss (13-6-2. .927 SV% / 2.32 GAA / 1 SO) is likely for the Islanders.  Islanders starter Jaroslav Halak was rellieved after allowing four goals on 13 shots.
  • LONG SHOTS, INC. / SHOOTING FOR SIXTH:  A crushing loss at Montréal didn't do very many wonders for an Oilers club desperate for points.  They're still ten out of third in the Pacific, where the Ducks currently occupy.
  • Andrew Ference (undisclosed), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (hand)  and Oscar Klefbom (hand), are out for the Oilers.  For the Islanders, forward Eric Boulton (undisclosed) and defenceman Adam Pelech (upper body) are unavailable.