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GAME PREVIEW: Edmonton Oilers vs. Tampa Bay Lightning

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Oilers begin critical roadie with a couple of stops in the Sunshine State

Tampa Bay Lightning v Pittsburgh Penguins Photo by Joe Sargent/NHLI via Getty Images

Edmonton Oilers (30-20-6) 2nd, Pacific vs

Tampa Bay Lightning (37-15-5) 2nd Atlantic

13 February 2020

Amalie Arena

5 PM MST

TV: Sportsnet West

Radio: 630 CHED

SB Nation Opponent: Raw Charge

The Edmonton Oilers took care of the Chicago Blackhawks by a 5-3 margin at home on Tuesday night, and they did it without their captain Connor McDavid. McDavid is expected to miss at least a couple of weeks with a quad injury, but it didn’t matter on Tuesday. Leon Draisaitl had four points (1-3-4), while Kailer Yamamoto had a pair of goals en route to the W. Mike Smith picked up his 15th victory of the season, and the Oilers are firmly in second place in the Pacific Division after picking up two points.

The Lightning are winners of eight straight. They (along with the Bruins) are in the driver’s seat in the Atlantic Division. Can the Oilers knock them off their perch tonight?

Let’s go to the tape.

THE OILERS ARE SAYING

I think a lot of guys stepped up to the challenge and I thought we played really good tonight. Anytime you can win without the best player in the world, it’s a huge confidence boost for the team. Hopefully we can keep it up, and hopefully he has a quick recovery and we can get him back.

Source

That’s Edmonton Oilers forward Kailer Yamamoto on his club’s 5-3 win over Chicago. Yamamoto had a pair of goals in his club’s victory, which helps when the best player in the world has been sidelined with an injury. Just keep scoring five goals a game and everything is going to work out just fine.

THE LIGHTNING ARE SAYING

“As good as we felt, I’m pretty sure he felt much better. I actually didn’t know the number was 35 [games] until after they said it after the game.”

Source

That’s Lightning coach Jon Cooper on Lightning forward Yanni Gourde. Gourde snapped a 35 game goal-less drought with the game winner against the Penguins. The goal was Gourde’s seventh of the year, it gave Tampa Bay their eighth victory in a row.

HAVE SOME OF THIS

  • BENSON IS BACK: Tyler Benson is back, which is nice. Perhaps we’ll get to see him play more than the combined eleven minutes over two games on the seventh line. In all seriousness, there’s question as to whether or not he’ll even play at this point. We wait.
  • 89! Leon Draisaitl is only eleven points from 100. A couple more four point efforts will see him there sooner than later.
  • Remember that cool second line with 93-29-56 just tearing it up out there? While McDavid is on the sideline, you can go ahead and call that your top line. A line of Sam Gagner - Gaetan Haas and Alex Chiasson is probably your next line of scorers.
  • BANGED UP: The Lightning will be without several key scorers due to lower body injuries. They include Steven Stamkos (2nd in team scoring), Nikita Kucherov (1st in team scoring) and Anthony Cirelli (6th in team scoring).
  • NET GAINS: Believe that the pendulum has swung back to Mike Smith (15-9-4, .902 SV% / 2.96 GAA / 1 SO) as the starter, though Mikko Koskinen will no doubt be putting in some work on this road trip. Expect Andrei Vasilevskiy (30-9-4, .920 SV% / 2.44 GAA / 2 SO) to get the start for Tampa Bay tonight.
  • SICK BAY: James Neal (foot), Kris Russell (concussion), Joakim Nygard (hand) and Connor McDavid (quad) are sidelined. For the Lightning, all of Steven Stamkos, Anthony Cirelli and Nikita Kucherov are day-to-day. Defenceman Ryan McDonough is week-to-week with a lower body injury.