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GAME PREVIEW: Edmonton Oilers @ Carolina Hurricanes

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Oilers try to make up ground in Western Conference before it’s too late.

Carolina Hurricanes v New York Rangers Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Edmonton Oilers (24-27-5) (6th, Pacific)

Carolina Hurricanes (29-22-6) (5th, Metro)

530 PM MST

PNC Arena

TV: Sportsnet West

Radio: 630 CHED

SB Nation Opponent: Canes Country

NOT ENOUGH

The Oilers were able to muster one goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday night. Like Johnny Thunders wrote in 1977, it’s not enough. Leon Draisaitl’s 33rd goal of the season was all the Oilers were able to put up on the board. The Oilers took a 1-0 lead to the dressing room after one, but Bryan Rust scored a shorty for Pittsburgh, followed by a goal from none other than Teddy Blueger. Always Teddy Blueger. Blueger’s goal would prove to be the difference maker, but Jared McCann added his eleventh of the year in an empty net to seal the deal.

The Oilers are now six points out of the second wild card position in the Western Conference, and the lights are getting dim. Can the Oilers keep their season alive with a win in Carolina today?

Let’s go to the tape.

The Oilers are saying

This is the first time since I’ve been here that we’ve played an A-game and have not got points. We’ve gotten points before. We did an awful lot of things really well tonight. The stuff about playing for each other on the five-man shift, we did exactly that. Neutral zone play was excellent. ... There wasn’t one guy that didn’t give you everything he had.

Source

That’s Oilers coach Ken Hitchcock after his club’s 3-1 loss to the Penguins on Wednesday night.

Everything looked rosy after the first period. A two goal second for the Penguins was soon to come, and the Oilers couldn’t solve Matt Murray.

The Hurricanes are saying

It’s big. We’re trying to scratch and claw and get ourselves in the [playoff] mix here. We don’t ever really look in the past. It’s nice that we’re (4-1-0 on the road trip). We just won one game, and now that one is behind us and we’re moving on trying to get that next one.

Source

That’s Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour on his club’s 4-1 victory over the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday night.

The Hurricanes are three points away from the second wild card spot in the Eastern Conference. They are chasing Pittsburgh, who defeated the Oilers on Wednesday night.

HAVE SOME OF THIS

  • This is an uncomfortable position to be in. The Oilers are six points out of the dance, and they’ve got to slash cap between now and Sunday. Do they trade Cam Talbot, or do they waive Peter Chiarelli’s last two acquisitions? The easiest (and probably most hilarious) one to pull off would be to waive Alex Petrovic and Brandon Manning. Zee optics! Zey are poor!
  • The Hurricanes have nothing between themselves and the second wild card position in the Eastern Conference except three points. They’re eighteenth in the league in goals per game (2.91), and they’re tied for 7th in goals against, just 2.84 goals allowed per game. A little run and they might push over Pittsburgh.
  • THE CHASE: Connor McDavid tallied an assist in Wednesday’s 3-1 loss to Pittsburgh, giving him 82 points on the year. Nikita Kucherov has been blowing the doors off in Tampa. Kucherov has eleven points in his last three games, he’s now at 92 on the season.
  • NET GAINS: The Oilers are going back to Mikko Koskinen (14-12-2, .908 SV% / 2.86 GAA / 3 SO) between the pipes. The Hurricanes are likely to roll with Curtis McElhinney (14-6-1, .917 SV% / 2.43 GAA / 1 SO).
  • SICK BAY: Defenceman Matthew Benning (upper body) is day-to-day for the Oilers. The Hurricanes will be without goaltender Scott Darling (personal) and Jordan Staal (concussion).