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GAME PREVIEW: Edmonton Oilers vs. Minnesota Wild

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Minnesota makes a visit after stumping the Canucks in a shootout.

Edmonton Oilers v Florida Panthers
Mikko Koskinen to get the nod tonight
Photo by Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images

Edmonton Oilers (32-21-7) 2nd, Pacific vs

Minnesota Wild (28-24-7) 6th, Central

21 February 2020

Rogers Place

7 PM MST

TV: Sportsnet West

Radio: 630 CHED

SB Nation Opponent: Hockey Wilderness

WELL EARNED

Down an entire line (and the club’s number one defenceman), the Oilers were up against the wall on Wednesday night when the Bruins were in town. Edmonton took the game all the way to overtime, but David Pastrnak scored the game winner just one minute into overtime. The Oilers deserve a heaping handful of credit for staying in this one, they pick up a point for their effort.

The Minnesota Wild are in town tonight after they knocked off the Vancouver Canucks in a shootout on Wednesday night. Can the Oilers get back into the win column tonight?

Let’s go to the tape.

THE OILERS ARE SAYING

“Our first period we didn’t play with much confidence, then we started to make a few more plays and created more offense for our team. We know we can play with these teams, we’ve just got to believe it.”

Source

That’s Darnell Nurse after his club’s 2-1 OTL to the Bruins on Wednesday night.

Nurse played 29:58 in Oscar Klefbom’s absence.

Edmonton getting a point out of a svelte Boston club with a depleted lineup is one you won’t hear anyone complain about.

THE WILD ARE SAYING

“I didn’t watch, I watched, didn’t watch the shootout, and then the last one, I knew where the kids were with all the dads and mentors and I just looked up at my three kids and watched their reaction and all three of them jumped up in the air so I knew we scored...”

Source

That’s Dean Evason who picked up his first win as Minnesota’s head coach.

Evason’s first win comes a week after the club released Bruce Boudreau, who was in his fourth year of coaching the Wild.

HAVE SOME OF THIS

  • The Oilers are 3-1-1 since Connor McDavid has been held out with a quad injury. He’ll be along with the club to LA as they embark on a road trip after tonight. He will not be in the lineup tonight.
  • Leon Draisaitl is holding steady at 95 points (34-61-95). He was held off the scoresheet in Edmonton’s 2-1 OTL to the Bruins. It was his first time being held scoreless in six games.

Let’s watch a goal.

  • I don’t know if Gagner finds his way if he doesn’t bump into Alex Chiasson, but Ethan Bear gets a shot off and Sam Gagner is in the right place to make it all happen. Gold stars around. It’s 1-1 early in the third after this tip. Good times.
  • The Wild are right in the middle of the league when it comes to scoring goals (3.02 GPG), but they rank 23rd overall when it comes to keeping them out of their own net (3.17 GA/G). Former Oilers puckstopper Devan Dubnyk has been struggling this year, he’s maintained a meagre .893 SV%. Alex Stalock has fared a bit better (909%).
  • Who’s scoring goals for the Wild? Eric Staal leads the club in points (17-24-41), while Zach Parise has 21 goals. They’re both atop Minnesota’s scoring line, with Kevin Fiala (15-24-39) rounding it out.
  • NET GAINS: Mikko Koskinen will get the nod for the Oilers tonight (16-12-2, .911 SV% / 2.85 GAA 1 SO). Expect old friend Devan Dubnyk to get the start for the Wild. (11-14-3, .893 SV% / 3.31`GAA / 1 SO).
  • SICK BAY: Connor McDavid is day-to-day (quad). Kris Russell (concussion), Joakim Nygard (hand), James Neal (foot) and Oscar Klefbom (shoulder) are out. For Minnesota, forward Mason Shaw (knee) is day-to-day.