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GAME PREVIEW 8/56 - Edmonton Oilers @ Winnipeg Jets

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Oilers look to climb back to .500 with another win in the Peg

Edmonton Oilers v Winnipeg Jets
Leon Draisaitl scored Sunday’s game winner with .7 seconds remaining.
Photo by Darcy Finley/NHLI via Getty Images

Edmonton Oilers (3-4-0, 4th in North) vs.

Winnipeg Jets (4-2-0, 3rd in North)

26 January 2021

Bell MTS Centre

6 PM MST

TV: Sportsnet West

Radio: 630 CHED

SB Nation Opponent: Arctic Ice Hockey

SAVING THE BEST FOR LAST

Leon Draisaitl scored the game winning goal with under one second to play in Sunday’s 4-3 win over the Winnipeg Jets. A seesaw battle between Edmonton and Winnipeg ended with four different Oilers scoring goals, Connor McDavid had three assists, Mikko Koskinen turning aside 35 shots, and the Oilers avoiding a 3-point game in the standings. Edmonton looks to keep the good times rolling with their final game of this four game roadie with another matchup against the Jets in Winnipeg.

Can the Oilers finish this trip 3-1?

Let’s go to the tape.

THE OILERS ARE SAYING

“His forechecking has been unbelievable. He’s moving great. I really liked his game; it was probably one of the best games I’ve ever seen him play. I really liked what he was doing out there, hopefully he can grow on that”

Source

That’s Oilers captain Connor McDavid on Jesse Puljujärvi’s game against the Jets. Puljujarvi had an assist on a goal scored by Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.

To the surprise of absolutely no one who’s watched any of the games this season, Jesse Puljujärvi played a complete game from start to finish. It sure sounds like Connor McDavid is happy with what he saw on Sunday night as well. More of this.

THE JETS ARE SAYING

“McDavid obviously had it, had full control. He passed out front...I didn’t think [Draisaitl] could go five-hole considering [Andrew Copp] was on the ground. I was just trying to track any puck up high, and it went, obviously, under me.”

Source

That’s Jets goaltender Laurent Brossoit on allowing the game winner with less than a second left.

McDavid got a pass to an open Leon from behind the goal line. Leon let it rip and the rest was history. That’s how it was drawn up, I’m sure of it.

LINES

HAVE SOME OF THIS

  • GOOD LINES: Sunday was the first night that Jesse Puljujärvi started on the first line and Zack Kassian lined up with Kyle Turris on the third line. How’d it go? Pretty well, actually. Zack Kassian had a nice assist on Kyle Turris’ first goal as an Oiler, and Puljujärvi picked up an assist of his own on the first line. Go with this for now.
  • 63 PROBLEMS: Tyler Ennis was waived yesterday, and I’d be somewhat surprised if a team like Toronto didn’t pick him up. Ennis has no points in four games. He played only 6:15 on Sunday, lowest of the club. I probably would have waived Alex Chiasson first.
  • DEEP STAR SIX: It’s been tough slogging as of late for Adam Larsson. Larsson had the least amount of ice time among Oiler defencemen last game, and it wasn’t particularly close. Kris Russell had three and a half more minutes than Larsson, Slater Koekkoek had nearly two more minutes than Larsson. I realize that sitting your alternate captain down for a game doesn’t have the best optics to it, but Larsson has been struggling mightily as of late. There have been some rumblings about whether or not Evan Bouchard would make his season debut tonight. If he does, it may come at the cost of Larsson’s spot in the lineup.
  • DRIVING ME UP A WALL: I thought this would stop angering me by the fourth year I kept seeing it, but it still riles me up every time. Russell is trying to get low to stop the puck from going cross ice, he inadvertently scores on his own net as Wheeler’s pass ricochets off Russel’s sprawl. This was a powerplay goal that gave the Jets a 3-2 lead in the third.
  • POWER OUTAGE: The game winning goal was closer to being on the power play, but another O-fer now has the Oilers with a pretty deflating 3/26 on the season, or a success rate of about 11.5%.
  • BOTTOM SIX FIX? Kyle Turris scored a five on five goal for the Oilers on Sunday night. That might not sound like too much, but the Oilers have had trouble scoring five on five on any line, not just the bottom six. It was Turris’ first goal as an Oiler, and might it be a step in the right direction on a line with Zack Kassian? Our own Sunil Agnihotri did a deeper dive into the Oilers’ bottom six and how they compare to other North Division teams.
  • POWERED BY YAMAMOTO: Kailer Yamamoto’s tying goal with just about three minutes remaining in the third period gave a giant breath of fresh air to the club. Yamamoto is cruising along on the second line with six points (3-3-6) in seven games.
  • CASUAL MCDAVID APPRECIATION DAY: A three point day for McDavid has him atop the NHL scoring leaderboard with three others at 10 points total (Bo Horvat, Mitch Marner, Anze Kopitar). McDavid is now just 21 points away from 500 career points, something he very well might have locked up in a week or two from now.
  • NET GAINS: Mikko Koskinen will get the nod once again tonight (3-4-0, .907 SV% / 3.04 GAA) while Connor Hellebuyck is expected to go for the Jets (3-1-0, .920 SV% / 2.25 GAA)
  • SCRATCHES: Gaetan Haas is day to day for the Oilers. For the Jets, centre Nate Thompson is day-to-day with a lower body injury and defenceman Tucker Poolman is in Covid-19 protocol.