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PLAY-IN GAME 2: Edmonton Oilers vs. Chicago Blackhawks

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Oilers must bounce back after coming out flat early in Game 1

NHL: Vegas Golden Knights at Edmonton Oilers
Oilers must start Mikko Koskinen after the wheels fell off for Mike Smith on Saturday
Walter Tychnowicz-USA TODAY Sports

Edmonton Oilers vs

Chicago Blackhawks

03 August 2020

Rogers Place

830 PM MST

TV: Sportsnet

Radio: 630 CHED

SB Nation Opponent: Second City Hockey

LOOKING FOR A REBOUND

It started out so nice, but paradise turned into a nightmare. Edmonton scored a power play goal early to take a 1-0 lead, but the Blackhawks would serve up five goals on the next 23 shots before Oilers netminder Mike Smith got the hook. To Smith’s defence, the defence was less than stellar. The final score? 6-4 Hawks. The Blackhawks cruised through Edmonton like a hot knife through a chocolate fountain. The Oilers would draw to within two goals late in the third, but the game was never really in danger after Chicago put up their third goal of the day.

The Oilers will likely make a change in goal; hopefully there’s a change in the final score as both teams get ready for game 2 tonight. The Oilers desperately need this to bring the series to a 1-1 tie. Can the Oilers tighten up?

Lets go to the tape.

THE OILERS ARES SAYING

“We made far too many mistakes and lost too many battles, simple as that”

Source

That’s Oilers coach Dave Tippett after Edmonton’s 6-4 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday afternoon.

The defence was lacklustre, players were getting beat to the puck, Dominik Kubalik ran wild over Zack Kassian and had himself a day on the powerplay. If you can just subtract those things from the game, it wasn’t so bad.

‘The goaltending wasn’t any good either.

THE BLACKHAWKS ARE SAYING

“Feel bad for ‘Jules’...Kind of a bang-bang play. He went hard and he definitely wasn’t trying to catch him in the head, but he did.”

Source

That’s Blackhawks head coach Jeremy Colliton on Hawks forward Drake Caggiula’s one-game suspension.

Caggiula made contact with Tyler Ennis with a check to the head and will sit out game 2 as a result. Tyler Ennis was assessed a two minute delay-of-game penalty for flipping the puck over the glass. Caggiula went unpenalized at the time.

PROJECTED LINES

EDMONTON

RYAN NUGENT-HOPKINS - CONNOR MCDAVID - ZACK KASSIAN

TYLER ENNIS - LEON DRAISAITL - KAILER YAMAMOTO

ANDREAS ATHANASIOU - RILEY SHEAHAN - JOSH ARCHIBALD

JAMES NEAL - JUJHAR KHAIRA - ALEX CHIASSON

OSCAR KLEFBOM - ADAM LARSSON

DARNELL NURSE - ETHAN BEAR

KRIS RUSSELL - MATTHEW BENNING

MIKKO KOSKINEN

MIKE SMITH

CHICAGO

DOMINIK KUBALIK - JONATHAN TOEWS - BRANDON SAAD

ALEX NYLANDER - DYLAN STROME - PATRICK KANE

ALEX DEBRINCAT - KIRBY DACH - DYLAN SIKURA

MATTHEW HIGHMORE - DAVID KAMPF - RYAN CARPENTER

DUNCAN KEITH - ADAM BOQVIST

CALVIN DE HAAN - CONNOR MURPHY

OLLI MAATTA - SLATER KOEKKOEK

COREY CRAWFORD

MALCOLM SUBBAN

HAVE SOME OF THIS

I mean, goaltending was at least a little bit of the problem.

  • THE POWER PLAY IS GOOD - If you score three goals on the power play, you’ve had a good day. The Oilers went 3/4 with an extra body on Saturday afternoon. Just leave that alone, all is good there.
  • THE PK WAS NOT GOOD: Blackhawks PK was hideous, but the Oilers PK wasn’t much better (3/6). That’s got to change if they’re serious about a win.
  • LINE BLENDER?: From the sounds of yesterday’s media availability, I’m not sure that Tippett is going to make any major changes to the lineup, save for the goaltender. Consider that the Oilers did most of their lifting while on the power play, a tweak to the top line and reuniting the Ryan Nugent-Hopkins / Leon Draisaitl / Kailer Yamamoto line could go a long way.
  • CAGGIULA SITS: For Chicago, I’ve got Dylan Sikura replacing Drake Caggiula. Caggiula is out serving a suspension, Sikura compiled 33 points (14-19-33) in 45 games with Rockford (AHL) and three points in nine games with the Blackhawks this year.
  • ENNIS THE MENACE: Tyler Ennis was a full participant in yesterday’s practice and is expected to be in the lineup. If we’re reuniting the 93/29/56 line (I don’t think Coach is), Ennis ought to go up with 97.
  • SOMEONE GET A BODY ON DOMINIK KUBALIK: Kubalik was our opposition player to watch for game 1 Kubalik talled two goals on the power play for Chicago and finished with five points overall (2-3-5). He outmatched Zack Kassian on the top line at every opportunity. Someone throw a tarp on this guy.
  • NET GAINS:It was not a great night for Corey Crawford, but he got the win for Chicago (1-0-0, .862 SV% / 4.00 GAA). The Oilers must turn to Mikko Koskinen tonight (0-0-0, .947 SV% / 1.95 GAA) after Mike Smith (0-1-0, .783 SV% / 11.31) yielded five goals on 23 total shots.
  • ONE TO WATCH: Dominik Kubalik just ran roughshod over the Oilers on Saturday. Today, the Oilers should be wary of a bounce-back performance for Corey Crawford. Crawford allowed four goals on 29 shots in his club’s win on Saturday. As touch-and-go as the Oilers were on Saturday, betting on them yielding a six pack in multiple games is risky business.
  • Can’t go down 2-0. Let’s go Oilers.