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GAME PREVIEW: Edmonton Oilers vs. New Jersey Devils

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Oilers, Devils kick off 2018-19 season in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Edmonton Oilers v New Jersey Devils
IT’S TIME.
Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Edmonton Oilers (0-0-0) vs.

New Jersey Devils (0-0-0)

11 AM MST

The Scandinavium

TV: Sportsnet (NHL-Network in USA)

Radio: 630 CHED

IT’S FINALLY HERE

It’s been 182 days since the Oilers played a game with any value in the standings. The 3-2 victory over Vancouver didn’t count for much, but it was the last time the Oilers got two points in the regular season. The Oilers will look for two points today (and for many days in the near future) as they face off against the New Jersey Devils in Gothenburg, Sweden. The 2018-19 regular season begins today for both teams, and they’ll no doubt want to start the season out on the right foot. The Devils will need to do it without their number one goaltender in Cory Schneider. Can the Oilers take advantage New Jersey’s situation in goal in order to start the season off right?

Let’s go to the tape.

The Oilers are saying

“There’s some excitement in him. We want him to settle down, get his nerves out early and play his game. He just has to be Evan Bouchard...”

Source

That’s Oilers head coach Todd McLellan on Evan Bouchard getting into his first NHL regular season game tonight.

The tenth overall selection in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft, Bouchard will beat out Ethan Bear at 3RD to open the season. He’ll likely be alongside Kris Russell on the third pair.

The Devils are saying

“You feel so bad for him. It’s a once in a lifetime thing to play an NHL game in Sweden and you have all your family and friends here...It’s just really bad luck. I feel for him.”

Source

That’s Devils winger Marcus Johansson on winger Jesper Bratt. Bratt will be forced to miss today’s game (and a couple weeks after that) after suffering a fractured jaw in practice.

Bratt had a fine rookie campaign in 2017-18 finishing with 35 points (13-22-35) in 76 games, good for fifth on the Devils in scoring.

HAVE SOME OF THIS

  • A few surprises, though nothing too dramatic to start the season off for the Oilers. Evan Bouchard is set to make his NHL debut today. Tobias Rieder begins the season off on the fourth line with Kyle Brodziak and Zack Kassian, and Jujhar Khaira gets the bump to the third line with Ryan Strome and Jesse Puljujarvi. Kailer Yamamoto is with Milan Lucic and Leon Draisaitl on the second line to open the season.
  • It’s the beginning of Connor McDavid’s fourth NHL season. He’s set the league on fire with 100 and 108 point finishes over his last two. Is it possible for him to eclipse that in 2018-19?
  • IN NET: How much are the Oilers depending on Cam Talbot to have a bounce-back season? Take whatever amount you’re thinking of. Now triple it. Along with Connor McDavid and the offence, the Oilers are going to need Cam Talbot to turn aside everything and more for the Oilers to entertain thoughts of hockey in mid-April. Talbot is expected to get the nod today for the Oilers, while Keith Kinkaid is expected to go for the Devils. Cory Schneider will not make the start as he continues to recover from hip surgery that took place in April.
  • INJURY REPORT: The Oilers are without Andrej Sekera (ankle), who is out indefinitely. The Devils are missing Cory Schneider (hip) and Jesper Bratt (jaw) to begin the season.