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Edmonton Oilers @ Chicago Blackhawks Preview - Hitting The Road

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Oilers hit the road for six games starting in Chicago. The Hawks are coming off their 'bye week'. Can the Oilers catch a snoozing Chicago club?

Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports


Edmonton

@

Chicago
31-19-8, 70 points, 1.206 p/g Ranks 35-17-5, 75 points, 1.316 p/g
Pacific Division - 2nd Central Division - 2nd
8th Points per Game 5th
13th Special Teams 21st
6th Shots on Goal 16th
7th Goals Against per Game 9th
5 PM MDT
TV - Sportsnet
Radio - 630 CHED
United Center

The opposing view

PROJECTED
FORWARDS

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

DEFENCE

Oscar Klefbom - Adam Larsson
Andrej Sekera - Matthew Benning
Brandon Davidson - Eric Gryba

GOAL

Cam Talbot
Laurent Brossoit


Six Goals, Six Different Oilers

Edmonton doubled up the Flyers by a 6-3 score on Thursday night.  The Oilers got goals from six different players, and hopefully the story of Brandon Manning can be put to rest after his meet and greet with Patrick Maroon.

While a significant amount of press ink was no doubt given to the Brandon Manning storyline, I'm twice as ecstatic that the Oilers were able to score six goals.  That's eleven goals over their last two games, which, for lack of a better word, is huge.  The Oilers are going to need to continue that sort of thing in Chicago tonight, where they'll face a Blackhawks team that held the Oilers to just one goal in their matchup last week.

The Oilers are saying

That's Oilers defenceman Kris Russell, who has been out with an injury for the past two weeks.

Russell has joined the Oilers for the road trip, which is a good indicator that he'll play sometime during the next six games.  That is, unless he's moved somewhere out east for a sweet draft pick.

The opponents are saying

That's Blackhawks defenceman Duncan Keith on getting back into the swing of things after the 'bye week'.

READY TO LEAP

To say that the Oilers were a little sluggish for the first game after their 'bye week' is an understatement.  If Chicago feels any after-effects from their week off, the Oilers could do some damage early on.

Have some of this

  • BLUE SWEDE: One of the six players who scored in Tuesday's 6-3 victory over the Flyers was Oscar Klefbom. It was his second goal in as many games.  Let's make it three in three, hey?  Klefbom scored a goal and had 22:10 of ice time, second only to Adam Larsson's 22:40. Do it again tonight.
  • ONE MORE TIME: Oilers have scored eleven goals in the last two games, I think it's a fair guess that they're going to roll with the same lines as they did against Philadelphia.
  • GIMME THREE STEPS:  Three more points for Connor McDavid (1-2-3) put him back on top of the NHL's scoring race.  McDavid (66) leads Crosby by two (64), who leads Sharks defenceman Brent Burns by three (61).  .
  • PAK-MAN FEVER - Iiro Pakarinen has two assists in two games on a line with Mark Letestu and Matt Hendricks.  Speaking of Hendricks, he's got two goals in two games.  I've been somewhat critical of how much gas Hendricks has left in the tank, but if you score a goal, I can't grieve too much.
  • HOUSE OF FUN? - Chicago's PK is a woeful 76.8% on the year.  That's good (bad?) for 27th overall.
  • Cam Talbot will likely go for the Oilers (29-16-7, .920 SV% / 2.37 GAA / 5 SO).  The Blackhawks will roll with Corey Crawford (22-12-3, .918 SV% / 2.57 GAA / 2 SO).
  • Tyler Pitlick (knee), Kris Russell (undisclosed), Jujhar Khaira (wrist) and Darnell Nurse (ankle) will be out for the Oilers. Benoit Pouliot is also a likely scratch. Michal Rozsival is out for the Blackhawks.
  • Second place.  The Panthers dropped the Ducks by a score of 4-1 last night.  The Oilers are in sole possession of second place, and can bring themselves to within two points of the top of the Pacific with a win tonight.  Not bad.
  • #GOILERS