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Preview: Game 73 Edmonton Oilers vs. St. Louis Blues

Oilers look to avoid season sweep vs. Blues, Darnell Nurse expected to return after suspension

Darnell Nurse's three game suspension is over, and he's expected to be in the lineup tonight.
Darnell Nurse's three game suspension is over, and he's expected to be in the lineup tonight.
Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

St. Louis


41-21-9, 91 points,  1.21 p/g- Ranks 27-38-7, 61 points, .847 p/g
Central Division - 2nd Pacific Division - 7th
4th P/G 30th (we're back!)
4th ST 23rd
14th S/G 20th
10th Goal 25th
7:30 PM MDT
TV - Sportsnet Oilers
Radio - 630 CHED
Rexall Place
The opposing view:  St. Louis Game Time

James Neal 3, Oilers 2

Edmonton scored a couple of goals against Nashville, but James Neal scored three for the Predators as the Oilers found themselves on the short end of the stick once again.  Jordan Eberle opened the scoring for the Oilers with six minutes gone in the first from Connor McDavid.  McDavid picked off an errant pass in Nashville's zone, and it was behind Pekka Rinne less than two seconds later. Iiro Pakarinen would score Edmonton's second goal in the first minute of the second period, but it would be James Neal who scored his third of the night early in the third period on a shot from the right of Laurent Brossoit by the faceoff dot.

The Oilers scored two goals, an improvement over the goose egg they scored against the Coyotes.  Fun fact:  people from Arizona pronounce "coyotes" as "CUY-yoahts", which always makes me giggle.

The Blues are a powerhouse.  They're second in a very strong Central Division, they've got 91 points with a bunch of games left in the season, and they're cruising to a playoff berth.  The Oilers shoot the puck a lot tonight if they want to have a chance.  Let's go to the tape!

The Oilers are saying

"You never want to be in that position but at the same time, you want to use your time wisely."


That's Darnell Nurse on his three game suspension.  Nurse is eligible to return tonight.

Nurse earned a three game unpaid vacation when he gave Roman Polak the what-for with 100 seconds remaining during last week's 3-0 defeat at the hands of San Jose.  Love his physical play, just gotta be a tad smarter about it. He'll learn from this.

The opponents are saying

"If we're not prepared (against Edmonton), it's going to be every worse."   Source

That's Blues goaltender Jake Allen after a substandard performance against the Flames on Monday.

Allen was relieved after yielding four goals on seventeen shots against Calgary.  Yeesh.

Have some of this

  • In case you were wondering where the club stands on Darnell Nurse, there it is.  He's played too many minutes in a role I don't think anyone thinks he's ready for yet, but club still high on him.
  • BLOW WHAT UP? Some talk on the tweetbox that the Oilers are ready to go full scorched earth, which would've been a grand plan for management three or four years ago.  They're not trading Hall.  Will they trade Eberle?  Maybe.  Will they trade RNH?  Maybe, though I wouldn't bet the farm on it.
  • Oilers looking to avoid the season sweep versus St. Louis.  Blues are 2-0 in two matchups against Oilers, both took place way back in October when we all had hope.  Paul Stastny scored the GWG in game 2, while a guy with both members of Milli Vanilli in his name scored the GWG on opening night.
  • Laurent Brossoit suffered a loss last game versus the Predators.  The Oilers are expected to switch back to Cam Talbot (17-24-4, .918 SV% / 2.52 GAA / 2 SO) while the Blues are expected to fire back with Jake Allen (24-13-3, .920 SV% / 5 SO) after his dismal performance Monday versus Calgary. Maybe we'll see Anders Nilsson in his new digs.
  • The Blues have 91 points. 91!  Think about that.  91 points!  The Oilers would have to add up parts of six seasons get 91 points.  The Blues also have some more games to play!  When's the last time the Oilers had 90+ points?  You already know the answer.
  • Connor McDavid, you guys.  Connor. McDavid.  Another assist last game puts McDavid to 36 points (14-22-36) in 35 games.  Not bad, you know, for a rookie who missed half the season with a shoulder injury.
  • Andrew Ference (hip), Brandon Davidson (knee), Eric Gryba (knee), Benoit Pouliot (shoulder)  and Oscar Klefbom (leg), are out for the Oilers, The Blues are without the services of goaltender Brian Elliott (lower body), Alexander Steen (upper body), and Steve Ott (hamstring),  Carl Gunnarsson (lower body) is quesitonable.