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GAME THREAD: Edmonton Oilers vs. Arizona Coyotes

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Heading into a break, the Oilers face off against a Coyotes team that’s just two points away.

NHL: Arizona Coyotes at Tampa Bay Lightning
6-8-14 in 15 games with the Coyotes
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Edmonton Oilers (24-17-5) 5th, Pacific vs

Arizona Coyotes (26-19-5) 2nd, Pacific

18 January 2020

Rogers Place

1 PM MST

TV: Sportsnet One (SNE, SNW, SNO)

Radio: 630 CHED

SB Nation Opponent: Five For Howling

LAST ONE FOR A WHILE

This is the last game until January 29th. You may have heard something about the game on January 29th between the Oilers and the Flames, but we’ve got an entire week and a half to build up to that one. The Oilers are hosting the Coyotes this afternoon, and a regulation win would be just sublime.

Can the Oilers help close the gap in the standings a little more?

Let’s go to the tape.

THE OILERS ARE SAYING

I thought as the game went on we started to simplify things a little bit. It was a good game all around for us. That’s a good team over there so we’re definitely happy to get those two points.

Source

That’s Ryan Nugent-Hopkins after his club’s 4-2 victory over the Nashville Predators on Tueday night.

Nugent-Hopkins scored the game’s first goal nine minutes in, it’s his 13th of the season. Leon Draisaitl would go on to pick up two goals and an assist in the Oilers win.

THE COYOTES ARE SAYING

We’ve got to get some guys that ramp it up here, we got to get some guys to produce. It can’t be just [Hall’s] line and [Dvorak]

Source

That’s Coyotes head coach Rick Tocchet after his club’s 3-1 loss to the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday night.

The Canucks are winners of seven straight. The Coyotes are one point behind Calgary, who is atop the Pacific. Edmonton can tie Calgary with a win tonight.

LINES

HAVE SOME OF THIS

  • I’m not sure how long the second line of 93-29-56 will stay together, but they’ve done just fine so far.
  • This is Zack Kassian’s second game of his two game suspension. I’d expect Josh Archibald to see some more top line time. Archibald scored a goal in Edmonton’s 4-2 win over the Predators in Kassian’s absence, can he score one more?
  • The Oilers will have to keep an eye on their old friend Taylor Hall. Hall has fourteen points (6-8-14) in 15 games with the Coyotes.
  • As for the rest of the Coyotes? They’re still having some trouble putting the puck in the net on a regular basis (19th in goals for). The top line of Hall, (6-8-14 in 15 GP) Christian Dvorak 12-17-29) and Conor Garland (16-10-26) does most of the heavy lifting for the Coyotes. Phil Kessell has 30 points (11-19-30), he’ll likely be on the second line today.
  • Mike Smith (10-9-3, .900 SV% / 3.00 GAA / 1 SO) is 4-0-1 in his last five games, I wouldn’t be too surprised to see him go against his former club. Annti Raanta looks to get the start after dropping his last decision eight days ago to Carolina. Raanta is coming off a lower body injury that kept him out of the lineup for a week. (9-8-2, .921 SV% 2.65 GAA / 1 SO)
  • SICK BAY: The Oilers will be without Matt Benning (concussion) and Zack Kassian (suspension). The Coyotes will be without goaltender Darcy Kuemper (lower body) and forward Barrett Hayton (shoulder). Brad Richardson is listed day to day (lower body).