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GAME PREVIEW: Edmonton Oilers vs. St. Louis Blues

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Oilers will meet 2019 Cup Champs in Edmonton tonight.

NHL: Edmonton Oilers at St. Louis Blues
Ryan O’Reilly and the rest of the Blues are in town tonight.
Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Edmonton Oilers (10-4-2) vs

St. Louis Blues (10-3-3)

06 November 2019

Rogers Place

630 PM MST

TV: Sportsnet

Radio: 630 CHED

SB Nation Opponent: St. Louis Game Time

A POINT IS BETTER THAN NONE

The Coyotes took the reins to the Oilers midway through the game, but the Oilers were able to control the play as the third period carried on. Edmonton got an early one from Connor McDavid to go up 1-0, while Gaetan Haas (!) scored late in the third to tie it up at 2-all. The Coyotes scored with two minutes having elapsed in the overtime period when Derek Stepan scored his second of the season. Edmonton will take the point and try for two tonight.

The 2019 Cup Champs are in town to face off against the Oilers. Can Edmonton put forth a full sixty minutes in an attempt for two points tonight?

Let’s go to the tape.

THE OILERS ARE SAYING

It’s progress to be able to find that second goal in the third period to tie the game up. In the past, we probably would have opened the game up, and a tight checking team like that, they get the puck back and make you pay.

Source

That’s Oilers defenceman Darnell Nurse on Gaetan Haas’ third period tally.

SECONDARY SCORING

Don’t look now, but the Oilers bottom six are starting to score goals in small drips. The Arizona game had significant portions where the club was outplayed, but Haas’ late goal ensured that the Oilers would pick up at least a point in a game that turned into a 3-2 OTL. Haas’ goal was the third goal scored by a bottom six player in the last three games (Khaira, Cave, Haas). If the club could erase the second period of the Coyotes game and went right to the third, the final score may have been a little different.

THE BLUES ARE SAYING

They are a hard team to play against. They put you on your heels a little bit with their speed and their attack, and the defense is very involved. [Quinn] Hughes is a dynamic player, creates a lot of stuff in the offensive zone

Source

That’s Blues head coach Craig Berube on the Vancouver Canucks. St. Louis came back to win 2-1 in overtime on a hilarious goal where there were no Vancouver Canucks nearby. More on that in a second.

St. Louis will no doubt be a little tired having faced the Canucks last night in Vancouver. Can the Oilers take advantage early?

LINES

  • The bottom six are starting to score, and that’s not a moment too soon.
  • The Alex Chiasson Top Line Experience has been truncated until further notice. At least Tippett doesn’t continue to try and smash a square peg into a round hole for too long.
  • Sam Gagner gets top line duties with 29 and 97. Hey, it might work for a while.
  • Kris Russell on the second pair. Not loving it.

HAVE SOME OF THIS

  • There’s a lot going on here. Specifically, wow, Vancouver. It’s impressive to go from a scoring chance to letting St. Louis cruise in uncontested on a 3-on-0. Here’s tonight’s keys to the game for the Oilers: Don’t let this happen.
  • How are the 2019 Cup Champs holding up after their big victory? They’re doing just fine, though their record might indicate that they’re doing a little better than they show. They come into Edmonton with a 10-3-3 record, though statistically right in the middle of the league when it comes to goals per game (15th) and goals allowed (12th). Jordan Binnington is handling the lion’s share between the pipes, and he holds court with a .921 SV% so far on the year. The biggest tell? They’re holding onto a meagre +2 goal differential. The loss of Vladimir Tarasenko (shoulder) is no doubt a contributing factor to the lack of goals scored. This is a completely winnable game for the Oilers if they start off right.
  • STATS! Leon Draisaitl (27 points) and Connor McDavid (24 points) rank third and fourth in league scoring, which...well, it’s nice. You’ll no doubt find them near the scoresheet tonight.
  • NET GAINS: Mike Smith (5-3-1, .931 SV% / 2.12 GAA / 1 SO) could go for the Oilers tonight. Expect Jake Allen (2-1-0, .855 SV% / 3.71 GAA) on the tail end of a back-to-back.
  • SICK BAY: Adam Larsson (fibula), Josh Archibald (foot) and Joakim Nygard (ribs) are out for the Oilers. The Blues will be without Vladimir Tarasenko (shoulder), who is out indefinitely.