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GAME PREVIEW: Game 7/56 Edmonton Oilers @ Winnipeg Jets

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Jesse Puljujärvi looks like he’s going to get some time on the first line as the Oilers face the Jets for their first of two.

Edmonton Oilers v Toronto Maple Leafs
It took six games, but Jesse Puljujärvi looks like he’s going to get a shot on the first line tonight.
Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images

Edmonton Oilers (2-4-0, 5th in North) @

Winnipeg Jets (4-1-0, 2nd in North)

24 January 2021

Bell MTS Place

7 PM MST

TV: Sportsnet West

Radio: 630 CHED

SB Nation Opponent: Arctic Ice Hockey

IT’S NOT ENOUGH

The Oilers dropped a 4-2 decision to the Maple Leafs on Friday night to split the season series at 1-all. Some good things: the Oilers scored a 5 on 5 goal from Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl opened it up with a shorty midway through the second. The bad? The Oilers are still going to need another goal or two most games. The Oilers looked more engaged this game compared to their 3-1 win over the Leafs on Wednesday, though their power play still doesn’t have very much juice in it yet.

The Oilers begin a two game set with the Jets with game 1 tonight. The Oilers would do themselves a favour to win in regulation and keep up with the rest of the North. Will we see some goals tonight?

Let’s go to the tape.

THE OILERS ARE SAYING

“We just made one or two more mistakes and they capitalized...They’re a good offensive team, if you give them a little sniff they’re going to figure it out. I liked our first period and I like our third period. Our second period wasn’t our best and they found a way to get a couple. We tied the game early in the third and they pushed all the way through. They get a [power play] and they score and that’s the game.”

Source

That’s Oilers captain Connor McDavid on his club’s 4-2 loss to the Maple Leafs

McDavid scored in the first minute of the third period to bring the Oilers back to a 2-2 tie. Devin Shore took a hooking penalty midway through the third and the Leafs took advantage. An empty netter with half a second remaining in the game put a bow on it for the Leafs.

THE JETS ARE SAYING

“Different guys are stepping up every night so that’s kind of helped out a little bit, taking pressure off certain guys when other guys are scoring...It’s always tough playing the same team three times in a row, any team, even playing teams two times in a row, but that’s what it’s going to be like all year. They came out hungry early on.”

Source

That’s Jets forward Paul Stastny on Winnipeg’s 6-3 win over the Ottawa Senators yesterday.

The Jets swept the Senators in a three game series, pushing their overall record to 4-1. Winnipeg will now face an Oilers club that is no doubt looking for some goals, and they’ll do it on zero days rest.

LINES

HAVE SOME OF THIS

  • Happy Birthday, Zack Kassian. It’s been tough slogging for you so far this year. He’s played 95% of his 5v5 time on the top line, and he’s got one assist to show for it in six games. Now in the first of a four year deal valued at 3.2MM a season, he’s got to start producing in order for that deal to pay off. Can he change his luck tonight?
  • “WE’LL SEE”: Asked yesterday about Jesse Puljujärvi’s chances of getting on the first line, Coach Tippett said “we’ll see”. Puljujärvi played with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Connor McDavid for two shifts in Friday’s game and looked good. Jack Michaels has Puljujärvi on the top line today. Let’s kick some tires and light some fires.
  • WINNIPEG TRADEWINDS: The Jets will be without Patrick Laine and Jack Roslovic because both of those players have been traded in a blockbuster to Columbus yesterday. The Jets will also be without newly acquired Pierre-Luc Dubois as he has just entered the quarantine part of the deal. I think the Jackets won this deal, but losing a top six roster position for two weeks is quite the gamble from the Jets.
  • POWER OUTAGE: Another doughnut for the Oilers with the advantage (0/2) puts them at 3/23 on the season, or 13%. Tonight’s a good night for that to freshen up.
  • NET GAINS: Mikko Koskinen will start his seventh straight game for the Oilers (2-4-0, .905 SV% / 3.21 GAA). Winnipeg ran with Connor Hellebuyck (3-1-0, .920 SV% / 2.25 GAA) in yesterday’s 6-3 win over the Senators, they may counter with former Oiler Laurent Brossoit (1-0-0, .927 SV% / 2.94 GAA)
  • SCRATCHES: The Oilers are without Mike Smith (LTIR) and Gaëtan Haas is day-to-day. Jets’ centre Nate Thompson is day-to-day with a lower body injury while defenceman Tucker Poolman is currently in Covid-19 protocol.