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GAME PREVIEW: Edmonton Oilers vs. New Jersey Devils

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Oilers need to put Devils away if they’re going to keep hanging out in the Western wild card chase

NHL: New York Rangers at Edmonton Oilers Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

Edmonton Oilers (31-31-7) (5th, Pacific)

New Jersey Devils (25-36-9) (8th, Metro)

7:30 PM MST

Rogers Place

TV: Sportsnet One

Radio: 630 CHED

SB Nation Opponent: All About The Jersey

Leon Draisaitl’s 42nd goal was scored just 35 seconds in overtime to push the Oilers over the New York Rangers by a 3-2 score. Connor McDavid scored a power play goal in the first period to make it 1-0. Matt Benning scored a goal that was under review for interference just three minutes later, but it counted to make it 2-0. The Rangers would tie it up with a second period goal from Brendan Lemieux and an early third period goal from Brett Howden.

Leon would take care of things in OT.

With a win over St. Louis, the Arizona Coyotes are now the team to catch in the Western Conference. Can the Oilers keep pace with a victory over the Devils tonight?

Let’s go to the tape.

The Oilers are saying

It was a huge win for us. Obviously going down to five defensemen, those guys did a good job. People don’t give that Rangers team enough credit. They are a good team that is fast and competes hard.

Source

That’s Zack Kassian on his club’s 3-2 OT win over the Rangers on Monday night.

Kassian makes reference about ‘going down to five defencemen’, Oscar Klefbom took a puck to the midsection off a dump in from Brendan Smith. The Oilers need Oscar Klefbom in the lineup if they’re going to make a go of it. EDIT: He’s in tonight.

The Devils are saying

“It was unacceptable by everyone in this locker room...We cannot do that. It doesn’t matter who is in the lineup and who is out, we have to play as hard as we can for each other until the final whistle.”

Source

That’s Devils captain Andy Greene after his club’s 9-4 loss at the hands of Calgary last night.

Holy Toledo, nine goals is a lot of goals to be giving up. They’re playing Edmonton on the tail end of a back-to-back. Oilers have to have this one.

HAVE SOME OF THIS

  • Nine goals against? When’s the last time the Devils gave up nine goals? Holy cow.
  • The Devils are 23rd in the league in goals scored per game (2.77), they’re third worst in goals allowed per game at 3.39. They’ve been handed quite a list of injuries along the way, which no doubt aids in their futility.
  • ROAD TO 50: Leon Draisaitl’s 42nd goal came in overtime against the Rangers on Monday night. Eight to go, thirteen games to make it happen.
  • ROAD TO 100: Connor McDavid’s assist on Leon’s game winner puts him at 98 total points on the year. He could eclipse that tonight.
  • NET GAINS: Look for Mikko Koskinen to try for his 22nd win on the year (21-15-4, .913 SV% / 2.73 GAA / 4 SO). Corey Schneider is set to go for the Devils (4-10-3, .897 SV% / 3.20 GAA / 1 SO)
  • KEEPING IT CLOSE: The Oilers will have a dozen games remaining after tonight, they’ll need a win to keep within four points of Arizona. The Coyotes now hold the second wild card in the Western Conference, the OIlers need a win to keep up.
  • SICK BAY: Milan Lucic (illness) are day-to-day. The Devils are without Miles Wood (ankle), Nico hischier (upper body), Jesper Bratt (lower body), Sami Vatanen (ill), and Taylor Hall (knee).