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Edmonton Oilers @ Washington Capitals Game Preview

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Oilers look to take down league's number one team in DC

Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports



33-20-8, 72 points, 1.214 p/g Ranks 40-12-7, 87 points, 1.474 p/g
Pacific Division - 2nd Metropolitan Division - 1st
8th Points per Game 1st
14th Special Teams 6th
7th Shots on Goal 17th
7th Goals Against per Game 1st
TV - Sportsnet, TVAS, NHL-Network (USA)
Radio - 630 CHED
Verizon Center

The opposing view


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




Cam Talbot
Laurent Brossoit

An Unlikely Game Winner

The Oilers were able to bounce back from a lacklustre performance in Tampa Bay with a win in Sunrise against the Panthers.  Oscar Klefbom, Zack Kassian and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins each had a goal for the Oilers, when Kris Russell put the game winner behind James Reimer midway through the third.  It was Russell's first goal in over a calendar year, but it couldn't have come at a better time for the Oilers.

Tonight, the Oilers face off against Nicklas Backstrom, Alex Ovechkin, and the rest of the  NHL's number one team in Washington, DC.

Let's go to the tape.

The Oilers are saying

That's Oilers' coach Todd McLellan on Andrej Sekera, who left early during Wednesday's win against the Panthers after taking a shot from Panthers defenceman Aaron Ekblad.

If Andrej Sekera is out for any length of time, it will immediately hit the Oilers hard.  'Soft-tissue muscle thing' doesn't sound like fun, but I'll take it over a broken bone any day of the week.

The opponents are saying

That's Capitals General Manager Brian MacLellan on his organizational depth.

Caps are in cruise control mode.  When your trading deadline wish is to re-acquire Caps-era Byron DaFoe, you're doin' alright.

Have some of this

  • Hey, goals. Oilers figure out the scoresheet and tally four goals in Florida against the Panthers.  Good to see 93 hit the scoresheet again.
  • Jordan Eberle has four points in his last four games.  With 21 games remaining in the season, he looks to be on pace for about 50 points.
  • Cam Talbot has all the team's wins this season, except for two.  He'll no doubt get the start tonight (31-16-7, .921 SV% / 2.36 GAA / 5 SO) while the Capitals will likely counter with Braden Holtby (30-8-5, .927 SV% / 1.99 GAA / 7 SO)
  • Ryan Rishaug reported that both Andrej Sekera and Adam Larsson won't be out for long with their injuries.  That's the entire fanbase you hear collectively exhaling.  Larsson might make it back into the lineup tonight.  I've yet to hear a timetable for Andrej Sekera.  I also believe that we're hearing Darnell Nurse's music down the hall.
  • Tyler Pitlick (knee),  Jujhar Khaira (wrist) and Darnell Nurse (ankle) will be out for the Oilers. Benoit Pouliot (undisclosed) is unlikely.  Adam Larsson is...maybe a little less likely to sit than Sekera.  For the Capitals, they'll miss defencemen Brooks Orpik (lower body), Matt Niskanen (lower body) and forward Andre Burakovsky (hand)
  • Oilers stand at 2-1 on their six game road trip so far.  A win in Washington would be a pretty big feather in Edmonton's cap.
  • Sometimes, it works out for the better.