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Edmonton Oilers @ Washington Capitals Game Preview

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Road trip wraps up in US Capital

NHL: Pittsburgh Penguins at Washington Capitals
19 points (13-6-19) in 17 games for Alex Ovechkin
Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Edmonton Oilers (6-9-1) @

Washington Capitals (9-7-1)

Verizon Center - Washington DC

5 PM MDT

TV: Sportsnet (NHL Network in USA)

Radio: 630 CHED

SB Nation Opponent: Japers’ Rink

BREAKDOWN

Jesse Puljujarvi would score a goal in his first regular season game of 2017-18, but costly errors were the difference maker in yesterday’s 4-2 loss to the New York Rangers. Rick Nash would end up having a pair of goals, while the Oilers PK unit again showed why it’s the worst in the league. Oscar Klefbom had a day to forget, and the entire Oilers team will get a chance to do that this evening in Washington.

Can the Oilers forget about yesterday’s loss and get back on the right side of things? Let’s go to the tape.

The Oilers are saying

”He had a lot of pep in his stride, he looked quicker to me...He was shooting the puck and some of the things we asked him to work on in Bakersfield showed up in the game. On an individual side, we’re happy for him. He had a good game and should leave the rink confident.”

Source

That’s Oilers head coach Todd McLellan on Jesse Puljujarvi’s game.

A good way to get the attention of coaches and fans is to score a goal in your first game of the season. Puljujarvi did that, he had five shots on goal and about fifteen and a half minutes of ice time. You’ll see him again this afternoon.

The Capitals are saying

“I’m going a little crazy and want to get back in the lineup… i’s a long year and there’s still 60-whatever games left, so I’m looking to come in right away and have a good game. My start to the year has been okay, and like I said, there’s a lot of year of left. I just kind of want to go in there, have some good vibes about my game and get going right away. Hopefully, I can do that tomorrow.”

Source

That’s Capitals forward Brett Connolly. Connolly is ready to come back into the lineup after missing seven games due to a concussion. Connolly has two points (1-1-2) in ten games so far this season.

Have some of this

  • “AND WHO WOULD PLAY RW WITH MCDAVID? STROME?” I love it when Jim Matheson gets incredulous. In this instance, he’s channeling a lot o where I’m at with this team. With very few exceptions, the only real good thing this team has going for it is 97-29. In an ideal world you should be able to break up 97 and 29, but you’re taking a big risk by doing so at such a critical point of the season. I could be on board with putting Nugent-Hopkins with 97 if you want to get fancy.
  • A SPECIAL TEAMS UPDATE: *cough*. The PK stunk yesterday. There’s a reason they’re 72% on the year, and that’s got to improve else the Caps’ power play is going to run wild on the Oilers today.
  • A LINE TO WATCH: Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov will be with Devante Smith-Pelley today. Ovechkin and Kuznetsov are tied for first on the Capitals in team scoring with 19 points each.
  • NET GAINS: Laurent Brossoit will look for his first win of the season (0-1-0, .854 SV% / 3.66 GAA) for the Oilers. Look for Braden Holtby (9-3-0, .924 SV% / 2.48 GAA) to get the nod for the Capitals.
  • The Oilers will be missing defenceman Andrej Sekera (out til December/January) as he recovers from ACL surgery. Anton Slepyshev is out with a groin injury, while Drake Caggiula blocked a shot and is out with a foot ailment. The Capitals are missing defenceman Matt Niskanen (hand) and forwards Tyler Graovac (upper body) and Andre Burakosky (thumb)

A win will give the Oilers three wins on a four game road trip before heading back to Alberta to face Vegas on Tuesday night.