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GAME PREVIEW: Edmonton Oilers @ Minnesota Wild

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Oilers look to pick up two points after a shootout loss to Jets

Minnesota Wild v Toronto Maple Leafs Photo by Kevin Sousa/NHLI via Getty Images

Edmonton Oilers (7-1-1) vs

Minnesota Wild (2-6-0)

22 October 2019

Xcel Energy Center

600 PM MST

TV: Sportsnet Oilers

Radio: 630 CHED

SB Nation Opponent: Hockey Wilderness

POINT

The Oilers went into Winnipeg looking to take two points. They scored zero goals, but were able to escape with a single OT point. There were no goals, so I’m unable to tell you about any goals. I can happily tell you that Mike Smith turned aside all 23 shots in 65 minutes of play, earning credit for a shutout. Kyle Connor and Patrik Laine would seal the deal for the Jets in a shootout, bringing Winnipeg to .500 on the season at 5-5.

The Oilers finish up their two game roadtrip with a stop in Minnesota to take on the 2-6 Wild. Can the Oilers pick up some goals tonight?

Let’s go to the tape.

The Oilers are saying

That’s an old-fashioned Western Conference muck fest. You get the point and get out of here.

Source

That’s Darnell Nurse on his club’s 1-0 shootout loss to the Winnipeg Jets on Sunday night.

The Oilers have points in eight of nine games this season. Can they make it 9 of 10 tonight?

The Wild are saying

It’s big. We have a lot of work left, but I think this stuff can help. A win like tonight and the way we did it can really kind of boost your spirits a bit. The guys are happy again. It’s good to see some smiles on guys faces. But we know it’s right back to practice tomorrow and we have to start playing more of a 60-minute effort like we did tonight.

Source

That’s Wild forward Marcus Foligno on his club’s 4-3 win over the Canadiens on Sunday.

Minnesota has had big trouble scoring goals and keeping them out of their net. They’re averaging just over two goals scored a game, but they’ve yielded an average of four per game so far. Don’t need a pocket calculator to figure this one out.

LINES:

HAVE SOME OF THIS

  • WILD AND BAD: The Wild have...not been good so far. They’re 28th in goals scored and they’re 29th in goals allowed. This has a familiar cadence to it. Brad Hunt and Ryan Suter lead the Wild in scoring with 5 points each. You will remember Brad Hunt from his 20 game stint with the Edmonton Oilers over three seasons. Jason Zucker is the leading scorer among the forwards with 4 points (3-1-4). There’s room for improvement here.
  • GASSED: If you had the chance to see the OT period on Sunday versus the Jets, you probably were licking your chops when you saw 97/29/77 on the ice. The problem? Both 97 and 29 sure looked pretty darn tired out there during OT. McDavid played 25 minutes, Draisaitl was out there for more than 25 and a half. You always want your best players on the ice during these situations, but it sure looked like 97/29 were less than 100% during OT.
  • SWITCH IT UP: If you score zero goals in a game, I’d expect some line tinkering. Right now the Oilers aren’t getting much from their bottom six, so I’d expect Sam Gagner to get plugged in for tonight’s contest. Gagner was called up over the weekend, and the Oilers could use some scoring help from somewhere other than the top two lines. The Oilers will not dress Gagner or Lagesson based on the morning skate. Can they get some production from the bottom six tonight?
  • D PLAN: I’m happy that Brandon Manning scored a goal against Philly on Wednesday. He played ten minutes in Edmonton’s 1-0 shootout loss to the Jets on Sunday, let’s see William Lagesson in the lineup. It’s a less than ideal situation having Kris Russell on the second pair right now, but it’s double-plus-less than ideal to have both Manning in and Russell up higher than he should be. though the Oilers look like they’re runnign with the same pairs tonight.
  • NET GAINS: 23 saves for Mike Smith against the Jets will probably keep him in the rotation tonight (3-1-1, .930 SV% / 1.98 GAA / 1 SO). Devan Dubnyk (1-5-0, .874 SV% / 4.18 GAA) has had a rocky start to this young season for the Wild, look for him to get the nod tonight.
  • SICK BAY: The Oilers are without Adam Larsson (fibula) and Joakim Nygard (ribs). Joel Persson (concussion) is day to day, as is Tomas Jurco (undisclosed). Mats Zuccarello, Joel Eriksson Ek, Victor Rask, Mason Shaw and Greg Pateryn are all day-to-day for the Wild.