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GAME PREVIEW: Edmonton Oilers vs. Toronto Maple Leafs

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Drive for Five is on as Oilers try to claw closer to a wild card bid.

NHL: Edmonton Oilers at Toronto Maple Leafs
Connor McDavid and crew look to keep their win streak going as the Leafs are in town
Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Edmonton Oilers (30-30-7) (5th, Pacific)

Toronto Maple Leafs (41-21-5) (3rd, Atlantic)

5 PM MST

Rogers Place

TV: CBC, Sportsnet

Radio: 630 CHED

SB Nation Opponent: Pension Plan Puppets

Winners of four straight, the Oilers look to keep the good times going as an Atlantic Division force pays a visit to Edmonton. Fresh off a 3-2 victory over Vancouver, the Oilers will need to be ready if they would like to keep pace in the Western Conference Wild Card. The Leafs recently took care of the Oilers by a 6-2 margin in Toronto, can the Oilers flip the script tonight?

Let’s go to the tape.

The Oilers are saying

“He made some big saves for us tonight. I’m sure he would have liked to have that first one back, but I’m sure that’s what being a team is all about. You pick him up when he’silis down, and he picks us up when we make a mistake.”

Source

That’s Oilers captain Connor McDavid on goaltender Mikko Koskinen.

Koskinen turned aside 35 of 37 Canuck shots to pick up his 20th win of the season. Edmonton has relied heavily upon Koskinen since moving Cam Talbot in a trade to Philadelphia, they’ll continue to do so as long as the Oilers are mathematically able to chase a playoff spot.

The Maple Leafs are saying

“Just little mistakes that we’ve got to fix...Going forward, we’re going to look at it and be better at it. We’ve been pretty good all year at holding those leads, so we can’t get frustrated about this one.”

Source

That’s Mitch Marner after his club’s 3-2 OT loss to the Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday.

At this point, the Leafs are all but in the playoffs this year. A loss to the Oilers would probably shake their confidence quite a bit. Meanwhile, the Oilers are in a must-win scenario from here til the end of the season.

HAVE SOME OF THIS

  • John Tavares gets quite a bit of ink in Toronto. So does Auston Matthews, and rightly so. You know who’s leading the Maple Leafs in scoring right now? It’s Mitch Marner (24-58-82). Marner’s in a contract year, and there’s a chance he could hit the 100 point mark. Not too shabby.
  • The Leafs are third overall in goals scored per game (3.60 GPG), they’re eleventh in goals allowed (2.85 GA/G). Though the Oilers are riding a four game win streak, they rank 22nd and 24th respectively.
  • HEATERS: Zack Kassian has a goal in his last four games. It’s a perfect time to get on a roll. Can he make it five in a row?
  • Jujhar Khaira got back into the lineup versus Vancouver after being out since mid-February. He had a couple of shots in 8:40 icetime. Look to see him a bit more soon.
  • NET GAINS: Mikko Koskinen looks to pick up his 21st win of the season (20-15-4, .912 SV% / 2.75 GAA / 4 SO). is sick tonight. Anthony Stolarz will make his first start since joining the team after the Cam Talbot trade. He’ll face off against Frederik Anderson (32-13-4, .923 SV% / 2.57 GAA / 1 SO).
  • SICK BAY: Jesse Puljujarvi is out for the season as he recovers from double hip surgery. Both Mikko Koskinen and Milan Lucic are ill. For the Maple Leafs, they’ll be without Nazem Kadri (concussion), Travis Dermott (shoulder) and Jake Gardiner (back)