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Game Thread: Wild @ Oilers

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Let the stretch run begin!

Darcy Kuemper, not Devan Dubnyk will man the pipes tonight for Minnesota.
Darcy Kuemper, not Devan Dubnyk will man the pipes tonight for Minnesota.
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Oilers begin their stretch run with a visit from the Minnesota Wild.  There's some good, and some bad.

The bad:  Minnesota's a top team in every statistical category that counts.  Second in goals allowed.  Fourth in goals per game.  They're a top ten team on the power play.  Oilers will definitely have their work cut out for them.

The good?  Oilers catch a break tonight in net.  Devan Dubnyk will start tomorrow in Calgary and the Oilers will draw Darcy Kuemper

How To Tune In

7 PM on Sportsnet West

What To Watch For From The Oilers

Can the Oilers take advantage of a good situation?  Darcy Kuemper and his .901 SV% start tonight in net for the Wild, while the Oilers will counter with Cam Talbot.  After a long weekend, can the Oilers score a quick one (or two) and rattle the Wild early?

What To Watch For From The Wild

From Hockey Wilderness

"The Wild's superb play through 48 games has changed nearly everyone's expectations from the beginning of the year.  Most Wild fans only expected moderate success and multiple pundits even expected the Wild to be out of the playoff race by now.  With great goaltending, great defense, and a rising offense, it's realistic to expect the Wild to win the Western Conference and at least, win several award nominations.  It's still a little early to make playoff predictions, but it's also realistic to expect the Wild to find more success in the playoffs than previous years."

The Wild are doin' just fine.  Leading the Central Division, they've got three games in hand over the Chicago Blackhawks.  They've had great success on defence, they're fourth in goals scored, and Devan Dubnyk is hitting it out of the park.

Final Thought

Minnesota looks good in all the right places.  After a long weekend, Oilers get a shot at the backup netminder in the hunt for a W.