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GAME PREVIEW: Edmonton Oilers @ Chicago Blackhawks

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Oilers take perfect record to Chicago, look to wrap up road trip at impressive 6-0-0

Edmonton Oilers v New York Rangers
Bear on the loose
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Edmonton Oilers (5-0-0) vs

Chicago Blackhawks (0-2-1)

14 October 2019

United Center

630 PM MST

TV: Sportsnet One

Radio: 630 CHED

SB Nation Opponent: Second City Hockey

FIVE ALIVE

The Oilers took care of the New York Rangers on Saturday, now they’re one of only two undefeated teams left in the NHL. Kaapo Kakko got the Rangers on the board first, but Henrik Lundqvist and crew could not contain Oscar Klefbom, Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. McDavid’s goal was a power play goal that banked off of Rangers defenceman Jacob Trouba midway through the second period. Leon Draisiatl helped seal the deal, he added an empty netter to put the game away at 4-1.

The Oilers are off to a killer start. Can they keep the good times rolling with another W in Chicago?

Let’s go to the tape.

The Oilers are saying

It’s not only that we’re winning games, it’s how we’re winning games. There are some minutes in the games that we’d like to have back, but we’re showing our true colours by fighting through those things.

Source

That’s Oilers winger Zack Kassian on the club’s impressive start.

The Oilers have come back in all five wins, which is pretty amazing when you think about it. If they want to go ahead and score first against Chicago, I don’t think you’ll find too many that object.

The Blackhawks are saying

When we’re in some pressure and things are not going our way, we just have to fall back, play simple (and) help each other out,...We have to support each other a little better. I thought it was two really good periods (with) the second, not so good. (We need to) clean up some details and we’ll be fine.

Source

That’s Blackhawks goaltender Robin Lehner on keeping it simple when the pressure is on.

Robin Lehner signed a one year deal with the Chicago Blackhawks after an incredible bounce-back season on Long Island. Lehner was the winner of the Bill Masterton trophy in 2018-19, he also finished third in Vezina voting.

HAVE SOME OF THIS

  • LINES: Expect more of the same as what you saw in NY.
  • BEAR COUNTRY - We’re only five games into the season, but Ethan Bear has looked very good. Bear has put in well over 20 shifts a game since the Vancouver opener, averaging just under 19 minutes a game, and he shows little sign of being a liability on the back end. Not bad for a fifth round selection in the 2015 Entry Draft.
  • SPECIAL TEAMS STILL CLICKING: The Oilers scored another power play goal on Saturday afternoon, helping to keep their PP% afloat. The PP hums along at a 41.2 success rate, which is fun as hell even though it’s completely unsustainable. The PK is still clocking in at a league second-best 94.1.
  • GOALTENDER CAROUSEL: It’s easy to pick ‘em when you’re winning all the time. Mike Smith performed quite well in Edmonton’s 4-1 win in NY on Saturday, turning 20 of 21 shots aside. Coach Tippett has said he’s going to keep the goalies fresh, so don’t be surprised to see Mikko Koskinen back in tonight. Smith gets the nod once again tonight (3-0-0, .907 SV% / 2.67 GAA). Corey Crawford (0-2-0, .867 SV% / 4.67 GAA) will get the green light for the Blackhawks.
  • JAMES NEAL: Saturday’s game was the first game of the season without a point for James Neal. Don’t fret too hard, he still leads the NHL in total goals scored (7). Wonder how Lucic is holding up in Calgary.
  • SICK BAY: Adam Larsson is out for the Oilers (fibula). For the Blackhawks, Kirby Dach is out with a concussion.