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GAME PREVIEW: Edmonton Oilers vs. New York Rangers

Kailer Yamamoto to make his 2019-20 debut

Detroit Red Wings v Edmonton Oilers Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images

Edmonton Oilers (20-17-4) 5th, Pacific vs

New York Rangers (19-15-4) 6th, Metro

31 December 2019

Rogers Place

700 PM MST

TV: Sportsnet Oilers (SNP, SN1, SNE)

Radio: 630 CHED

SB Nation Opponent: Blueshirt Banter


The Oilers have had four days to forget about the monstrosity that occurred on Friday when the Flames were in town. Andrew Mangiapane scored a goal and two assists (including the first goal eleven seconds into the game) and the Flames benefitted from five different goal scorers en route to a 5-1 routing of the Oilers. Connor McDavid scored the Oilers’ lone goal, but it was far from what was needed to get the W.

The Oilers have had a December to forget. They’ve fallen from a playoff spot, and now must play catch-up to get back. Can they start with a win over the Rangers tonight?

Let’s go to the tape.


He’s not a big guy but he plays hard and he’s got the skill to make plays... That’s what we’ll give him an opportunity to do


That’s Oilers head coach Dave Tippett on Kailer Yamamoto.

Put him in the top six already. The club isn’t scoring goals 5 on 5 and it’s high time they got an injection of youth.

Yamamoto has 16 points in 23 games played (8-8-16) this season with Bakersfield


I don’t think anyone was panicking when we gave up the lead. They had a lot of good chances and Georgiev played real well, but just like we got our goals, they got theirs, and sometimes that’s how the game goes, but we stuck with it and found a way to pick up the extra point


That’s Rangers defenceman Tony DeAngelo after his club’s 5-4 OT win over the Maple Leafs on Saturday.

The Rangers’ victory snapped Toronto’s six game winning streak.


  • Not a moment too soon. Kailer Yamamoto and William Lagesson are on the big club and they’ll try to move the needle towards a W. Winger Kailer Yamamoto is a sure thing tonight, D-man William Lagesson is a maybe. Yamamoto hasn’t crushed it in the AHL so far, but work him in the top six and let ‘er rip. It can’t be worse than shuffling the same deck chairs in and out every night. To make room for Yamamoto and Lagesson, Markus Granlund and Brandon Manning were waived.
  • If you’ve seen the lines at practice recently, you will have noticed that Leon Draisaitl was relegated to the third line along with Joakim Nygard and Alex Chiasson. I’m not sure that this is the remedy to snap Leon out of his funk.
  • This brings me to another point. There’s at least one piece out there that’s giving the gears to both Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl about their defensive play. I don’t have time for this, and neither should you. You’ve got two major scorers on this club right now who are one-two in the points race, it’s silly to attack them for the rest of the team’s weakness right now. The Oilers are 27th in the league in 5 on 5 scoring, your top two players are leading the league. Instead of wondering why this is, maybe just don’t go after the defensive play of your two best players?
  • The Rangers are coming in on a high note having scrapped Toronto’s six game win streak. To their credit, they’re scoring at a decent pace (3.26 goals per game). The problem is that they’re allowing almost as much as they’re scoring (3.24 GA/G), which has them stifled at sixth place in the Metro.
  • THE BREAD MAN DELIVERS: Artemi Panarin has 51 points, which is good enough to lead the Rangers in scoring (21-30-51). Ryan Strome (remember him?) is second with 35 points (10-25-35). At least the Oilers got Ryan Spooner.
  • NET GAINS: It wasn’t a great night for Mikko Koskinen, who was replaced by Mike Smith after Calgary’s fourth goal on Friday night. I’ve still got Koskinen going in tonight (13-8-2, .914 SV% / 1 SO / 2.76 GAA) (and Mike Smith in Buffalo on Thursday). The Rangers are countering with Alexander Georgiev (10-7-1, .915 SV% / 2 SO / 2.99 GAA)
  • SICK BAY: Matthew Benning is on the ice skating (head), but has not yet been cleared to play. For the Rangers, Brendan Lemieux and Libor Hajek are day-to-day.