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GAME PREVIEW: Edmonton Oilers vs. Arizona Coyotes

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Oilers blanked out East, return home looking to get back into win column

NHL: Edmonton Oilers at Vancouver Canucks
It’s Sekera Time
Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Edmonton Oilers (24-29-5) (7th, Pacific)

Arizona Coyotes (26-28-5) (5th, Pacific)

7 PM MST

Rogers Place

TV: Sportsnet West

Radio: 630 CHED

SB Nation Opponent: Five For Howling

LOOKING FOR CLUES

The Oilers went a flat 0-3 on their Eastern roadie. The latest debacle is a 5-2 loss at the hands of the Islanders on Saturday night. The Oilers got goals from Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Leon Draisaitl, but five different goal scorers notched one for the Islanders. Matthew Barzal would score the eventual game winner early in the third period, while Robin Lehner would make 34 of 35 saves to pick up the W. The Islanders remain atop the Metropolitan Division, while the Oilers are three points from the league bottom.

The Oilers host the Coyotes to begin a three game homestand in Edmoton. Can the Oilers take two points tonight?

Let’s go to the tape.

The Oilers are saying

I thought the first period was the best we’ve played all year on the road. If we keep building on that, we’ve got some things to build on. We’ve just got to take positives right now from this, and hopefully we can continue to do it.

Source

That’s Oilers head coach Ken Hitchcock on the first period of his club’s 5-2 loss to the Islanders

My kingdom for a complete 60 minute effort.

The Coyotes are saying

It was one of those games we were playing hard, we were getting in there and we were trying to make stuff happen. … We were getting close and it seems like one little breakdown would turn into something big for them.

Source

That’s Coyotes forward Jordan Weal on his club’s 5-2 loss to the Calgary Flames last night.

The Coyotes remain three points out of a wild card position. The Oilers...have some catching up to catch the Coyotes.

HAVE SOME OF THIS

  • What a mess. Being on IR will keep this sort of thing from happening. Puljujarvi was placed on IR with an undisclosed injury retroactive to Saturday, which means he’ll be eligible to play on the 22nd against Anaheim.
  • The Coyotes are four points ahead of the Oilers in the Pacific right now. Oilers’ playoff hopes are all but vapourized, but two points against Arizona would keep the percentages alive for just a little longer. Oilers are one measly point ahead of the Pacific’s basement. They’re also precariously close to the Ottawa Senators, who have 49 points on the season.
  • Coyotes aren’t blowing the doors off of anything on the scoreboard. They’re 28th in goals scored (2.58 goals per game), they fare much better defensively at 11th overall (2.9 goals allowed per game).
  • Defenceman Andrej Sekera has been activated, and may be in the lineup tonight. Sekera had missed the entire season up to this point recovering from Achilles surgery.
  • The Oilers have recalled Josh Currie from the Bakersfield Condors. The 26-year old forward has 37 points (24-13-37) in Bakersfield this year. Should he get into the lineup, it would be his NHL debut.
  • NET GAINS: The Coyotes are going with Darcy Kuemper (14-14-5, .913 SV% / 2.68 GAA / 2 SO). Unless things get weird, look for the Oilers to counter with Mikko Koskinen (14-14-2, .905 SV% / 2.90 GAA / 3 SO)
  • SICK BAY: Jesse Puljujarvi (undisclosed), Jujhar Khaira (undisclosed) and Matthew Benning (upper body) are out for tonight. For the Coyotes, they’ll be without Michael Grabner (eye), goaltender Antti Raanta (lower body), defenceman Jason Demers (knee), defenceman Kyle Capobianco (lower body) and forward Richard Panik (illness).