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GAME PREVIEW: Edmonton Oilers vs. Vegas Golden Knights

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Oilers look to close out three game homestand with three wins

NHL: Vegas Golden Knights at Edmonton Oilers Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

Edmonton Oilers (12-11-2) (5th, Pacific)

Vegas Golden Knights (14-12-1) (4th, Pacific)

8 PM MST

Rogers Place

TV: CBC / Sportsnet West

Radio: 630 CHED

SB Nation Opponent: Knights On Ice

Kings’ goaltender Jonathan Quick yielded two goals to the Oilers in his first period returning from injury. It looked like it might be smooth sailing for Edmonton, but the Kings would answer with two goals of their own in the first. A scoreless second period would ensue before Oscar Klefbom would put it over the top on a power play goal late in the third period. The Oilers defeated the Kings by a 3-2 score, a game they absolutely had to have.

I don’t like to speak in absolutes on the first day of December in an NHL season, but tonight’s game against the Golden Knights is another game they absolutely need to have if they’d like to keep pace with the Pacific. A win tonight will also cap a perfect three game homestand at 3-0. Can the Oilers bury the Knights?

Let’s go to the tape

The Oilers are saying

...This city, to me, has an incredible soul and vibrant fibre about it that is second to none. In saying that, if you’re going to work in this city, in this type of business where there’s the Oilers or the Eskimos, you better be prepared to listen because people got strong opinions. You better be prepared to listen to the opinions because in most cases, quite frankly, they’re right. That’s what I learned. There’s a knowledge here that you don’t find anywhere else, especially in the CFL knowledge and in the NHL knowledge. You just don’t find it

Source

That’s Oilers head coach Ken Hitchcock on asked about the joys of being in Edmonton

If there was a manual to give the absolute best answer to Oilers media and the fanbase, it wouldn’t have a better answer than this one. To shorten it: City might be a big city, but there’s a great sense of community. Love the fans, love the area, smart fans that you can’t find anywhere else. Hitchcock hasn’t been coach for two weeks, but he’s got everyone by the heartstrings. A few more wins wouldn’t hurt either.

The Golden Knights are saying

“It’s no secret that we’ve had a really hard schedule. But I think we’ve kind of flipped that and used it as a positive...Being able to build off that and be on the road so much and be able to spend so much time with your teammates, it was a good time to get hot. And now, we’ve got to build off that and try and create even more momentum.”

Source

That’s Golden Knights forward Max Pacioretty on Vegas’ tough road schedule, and how it’s helped the Knights bond with each other.

Pacioretty has been killing it as of late. He’s got 13 points (8-5-13) in his last eight games. Probably one to keep an eye on tonight.

HAVE SOME OF THIS

  • That’s Jesse Puljujarvi getting his second goal of the season. Put the guy in the top six, let him fly. Two shots, one goal. Can’t argue with those results.
  • The Oilers put in a claim for RW Valentin Zykov yesterday. Zykov might not be a household name yet, but he scored 34 points (16-18-34) in 66 games as a 21 year old in Carolina’s AHL affiliate Charlotte in 2016-17. He’s got three assists in 13 games with Carolina this year, there’s a fair shot we could see him in action tonight.
  • Alex Chiasson’s train keeps moving. Another goal in Thursday’s 3-2 win over the Kings, his shooting percentages sits at a buoyant 35.5%. I don’t know when the lights turn out on that, but maybe they’re on for another two weeks.
  • TWO GAMES, TWO GAME WINNING GOALS: There’s no hotter Oiler right now than Oscar Klefbom. Klefbom has the last two game-winners for the Oilers in the last two games. Make it three and watch Northern Alberta lose their minds tonight.
  • NET GAINS: With each win, it’s getting harder and harder to turn back to Cam Talbot, so it’s Mikko Koskinen going for the Oilers tonight (7-2-1, .924 SV% / 2.26 GAA / 2 SO). Expect Marc-Andre Fleury (14-8-1, .911 SV% / 2.39 GAA / 5 SO) to go for the Golden Knights.
  • SICK BAY: Andrej Sekera (ankle) and Tobias Rieder (face) are out for the Oilers tonight. Vegas will be without Erik Haula and Paul Stastny (lower back). -