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GAME PREVIEW: Game 16/56 Edmonton Oilers @ Montréal Canadiens

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Oilers catch Canadiens on the second game in two nights

NHL: FEB 06 Canadiens at Senators
I know that guy!
Photo by Richard A. Whittaker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Edmonton Oilers (8-7-0, 3rd in North) vs.

Montréal Canadiens (8-3-2, 2nd in North).

11 February 2021

Centre Bell

5 PM MST

TV: Sportsnet West

Radio: 630 CHED

SB Nation Opponent: Eyes On The Prize

TWO POINTS IS TWO POINTS

Three goals from three different Oiler defencemen coupled with a 40-save performance from Edmonton’s Mikko Koskinen helped cement two points in the standings for the Oilers. Darnell Nurse, Evan Bouchard and Tyson Barrie each scored one for the Oilers, while Senators goaltender Marcus Hogberg would be relieved after yielding three goals in 13 shots. A visibly gassed Oilers club would amount only 22 shots on the Senators as Mikko Koskinen stood tall at the other end. The Oilers will take two more points from Ottawa en route to la belle province. Winners of five in their last six, can the Oilers keep the points coming?

Let’s go to the tape.

THE OILERS ARE SAYING

“Obviously, Connor and Leon take a big chunk of [the offense]...But we can have secondary scoring, whether it’s the other two [forward] lines or our [defensemen]. That’s a huge help.”

Source

That’s Oilers head coach Dave Tippett after his club’s 3-2 win over the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday night.

Getting three goals from three different defencemen is huge. Add the fact that the Oilers didn’t get a point from either Leon Draisaitl or Connor McDavid in the win, and it’s really huge.

THE CANADIENS ARE SAYING

I think today it was a disappointing loss because I don’t think we were that bad...There’s some areas we have to be better, and things like winning battles and staying strong on the puck, but I don’t know what the reason is for that.

Source

That’s Canadiens forward Joel Armia after yesterday’s 4-2 loss to the Maple Leafs.

The Canadiens have been held to just two goals in each of their last three games.

HAVE SOME OF THIS

Darnell Nurse scores his fifth goal of the season on this shot. Not sure if they come much easier than that. Marcus Hogberg began the night with a .844 SV% and it actually went down.

  • SNAPPED: Both Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl failed to register a point for the first time in what seems like forever, snapping ten game point streaks for both players. You’ve got to turn the clock back to 2017 to find a win where both players didn’t get even one. It’s all good, the point streaks hopefully start over at one tonight.
  • TIRED: Montréal is vulnerable after playing to a 4-2 loss last night versus Toronto. The Oilers’ winning streak is on the line against a Habs club that could have tired legs.
  • Caleb Jones is a better option than Slater Koekkoek (who has done the job at 3LD) and is as much better option than Kris Russell. What’s it going to take to get the second best left defenceman on this roster back in?
  • NET GAINS: With a healthy Mike Smith having a solid season debut (1-0-0, .964 SV% / 1.00 GAA), I see the Oilers getting Smith into more game action. I think that starts tonight against Montréal’s Jake Allen (4-1-0, .940 SV% / 1.81 GAA) who has played well alongside Carey Price.
  • Jesse Puljujärvi was held out of morning reps and is questionable for tonight. Probably has something to do with an ugly hit that Nikita Zaitsev laid on him last game.
  • SCRATCHES: Zack Kassian is week to week with a hand injury. Ethan Bear was eligible to play against Ottawa on Tuesday (puck to head) but was held out. Gaetan Haas is still listed as day-to-day (undisclosed). The Canadiens do not have any injuries of note at this time.