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GAME PREVIEW: Edmonton Oilers @ Arizona Coyotes

Oilers hit the road looking to make it four in a row

Arizona Coyotes Headshots Photo by Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images

Edmonton Oilers (3-0-0) @

Arizona Coyotes (0-2-1)

21 October 2021

Gila River Arena

8 PM MST

TV: Sportsnet 360, Sportsnet One

Radio: 630 CHED

SB Nation Opponent: Five For Howling

MAKE IT THREE

The Oilers emerged on top by a 6-5 margin in Tuesday’s tangle with the Ducks. Zack Kassian scored twice, Leon Draisaitl had a four point night, Connor McDavid had a goal and two assists and Jesse Puljujärvi had two helpers as the Oilers came back from a 4-3 deficit after two. Mikko Koskinen would end up picking up the W after Oilers goaltender Mike Smith left early due to injury. Plenty of in-game line juggling would occur, some of which will likely carry over into today’s matchup with the Coyotes.

Arizona is looking for their first win of the season, while the Oilers look to keep picking up points. Can the Oilers make it four in a row by picking up a win Arizona tonight?

Let’s go to the tape.

THE OILERS ARE SAYING

“I honestly still don’t know how it went in...But I will take it.”

Source

That’s Oilers defenceman Evan Bouchard on scoring his first of the season.

They all count, even the ones taken from behind the goal line. Bouchard had an assist to go with his goal to give him 2 points on six shots.

THE COYOTES ARE SAYING

It’s embarrassing … we were talking that when things get tough, we turned selfish. I liked our first period, and then we just totally got away from it. They’re a good team and that’s what happens.

Source

That’s Coyotes forward Clayton Keller on Arizona’s 7-4 loss to the St. Louis Blues on Monday night.

The Coyotes have struggled mightily so far this year. They gave up eight goals to the Blue Jackets to open the season. After hanging in with Buffalo (only gave up two in theat one), they surrendered seven to St. Louis on Monday, including five goals in a five minute portion of the second period.

In other words, things could get wild tonight.

HAVE SOME OF THIS

  • NETS, MINDED: Mike Smith has been placed on IR and will miss at least tonight’s game in Arizona and tomorrow’s game in Vegas. Stuart Skinner has been recalled from the Condors. Smith suffered a lower body injury after Oilers forward Devin Shore fell on him midway through the second period in Monday’s 6-5 win over the Ducks. Mikko Koskinen came in and turned aside 20 of 21 shots to pick up the W. After Friday’s matchup against the Golden Knights, Edmonton is off until Wednesday in Philadelphia. Smith would be eligible to return at that time if he is ready. Stuart Skinner has been recalled.
  • KASSIAN: It’s good to see Zack Kassian score some goals. Two of them, in fact. One of them was scored on the power play. Kassian’s two goals are a tall drink of water for a guy who hadn’t scored a regular season goal since March. Maybe these will start coming in bunches on a line with Warren Foegele and Derek Ryan.
  • THE BOUCH IS LOOSE: It’s been three games so far and Evan Bouchard has found himself on the Nurse pair for more than a couple of occurrences 5 on 5. It’s a trend, it’s a thing, and the sooner it becomes full time, the better it is for the Oilers. Barrie is fine on the power play, but it’s a full blown circus with calliope music blasting when he’s paired with Nurse at at evens.
  • PAGING NUMBER TWO: Let’s put Leon back on line two. The second line isn’t doing a whole lot, a 93-29-56 line or an 18-29-56 line would be a refreshing change.
  • DROP IT HERE: Arizona took several bad contracts from teams looking to shed salary this season, and their roster makeup is representative of that. While this year’s club might have trouble scoring and stopping goals, they’ve got three first round selections and five second round selections in next year’s entry draft. Here’s hoping they’ll be around long enough to enjoy it.
  • NET GAINS: Mikko Koskinen is scheduled to get the start tonight for the Oilers (1-0-0, .952 SV%). The Coyotes are set to start Karel Vejmelka (0-0-1, .956 SV%), a fifth round selection from the 2015 NHL Entry Draft.
  • SICK BAY: Mike Smith is out for at least a couple of games with a lower body injury.