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Coyotes @ Oilers: It's Time For Goals

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After a dismal showing against Chicago, Oilers look to take on Coyotes club who shutout Calgary last night.

After a lengthy knee injury, Iiro Pakarinen could make his season debut tonight.
After a lengthy knee injury, Iiro Pakarinen could make his season debut tonight.
Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports



19-28-7, 45 points, .833 p/g Ranks 29-19-8, 66 points, 1.178 p/g
Pacific Division - 7th Pacific Division - 3rd
29th Points per Game 11th
26th Special Teams 16th
26th Shots on Goal 6th
27th Goals Against per Game 6th
TV - Sportsnet West
Radio - 630 CHED
Rogers Place

The opposing view


Patrick Maroon - Connor McDavid - Leon Draisaitl
Milan Lucic - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - Anton Slepyshev
Drake Caggiula - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - Zack Kassian
Iiro Pakarinen - Mark Letestu - Matt Hendricks


Oscar Klefbom - Adam Larsson
Andrej Sekera - Matthew Benning
Brandon Davidson - Jordan Oesterle


Cam Talbot
Laurent Brossoit

Now Seeking: More Than One Goal

After a completely lacklustre performance against the Blackhawks that saw the Oilers score just once, the Oilers will take on a Coyotes team that pinned a five-spot on the Flames last night.  Edmonton has averaged just under half a goal in their last four games, a number that's certainly not compatible with wins in the NHL.  Coach McLellan has put the lines in a blender over the past 48 hours looking for something that will stick.  Is tonight the night?

The Oilers are saying

That's Oilers forward Iiro Pakarinen, who recently finished up a five game conditioning stint with the Condors


"A lot of fun there" says Iiro.  If he gets into the lineup tonight, it will be his first action of the season after a knee injury took all of his season up until this point.  A bit more on that further down.

The opponents are saying

That's Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith.  Smith was between the pipes for Arizona en route to their 5-0 deboning of the Calgary Flames last night.

Have some of this

  • Tonight is You Can Play night at Rogers Place. You Can Play is dedicated to ensuring equality, respect and safety for all athletes, without regard to sexual orientation and/or gender identity.  It's a great cause, and I applaud the Oilers for working with YCP to help promote inclusivity.
  • LINE BLENDER:  Desperate times, desperate measures. Hey, I get it.  Practice lines have looked a little bit funky over the last couple of days, and that's likely warranted when your club can't score more than a half a goal on average.  Recent line combos suggest that Iiro Pakarinen is getting in for the first time this year after a season long injury, Matt Hendricks looks like he's a go, Caggiula is getting moved over for RNH, and Benoit Pouliot looks like he's catching the bench due to an injury.
  • NURSE PROGRESSING: Darnell Nurse has been practicing with the team for a couple of weeks now, and he's dying to get back into the lineup.  He's been out since the beginning of December with an ankle injury.  His recovery was suggested to be upwards of "twelve weeks", which would put him near a March return date.
  • Cam Talbot will likely go for the Oilers (27-16-7, .920 SV% / 2.37 GAA / 5 SO).  Mike Smith (14-16-6, .923 SV% / 2.57 GAA / 2 SO) earned his second shutout of the season last night in Calgary.  If he doesn't go today, look for Louis Domingue (5-12-1, .897 SV% / 3.19 GA)
  • Tyler Pitlick (knee), Kris Russell (undisclosed), Benoit Pouliot (undisclosed), Jujhar Khaira (wrist) and Darnell Nurse (ankle) will be out for the Oilers. Arizona will be without forward Lawson Crouse (lower body)
  • Sharks are pulling out of the drive and now lead the Oilers by 7.  Oilers are ahead of the Kings by 6.  You know what would be nice?   Any win will do, but one that doesn't go to a shootout would be the best.  Depending on Anaheim's success tonight in Minnesota, the Oilers could be camped with the Ducks in tomorrow morning's standings.  And, if the Ducks blow the doors off the Wild?  Well, the Kings play these Coyotes next.