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GAME PREVIEW: Game 12/56 - Edmonton Oilers vs. Ottawa Senators

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Oilers can get back to .500 with a win against Ottawa tonight

NHL: JAN 31 Senators at Oilers Photo by Curtis Comeau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Edmonton Oilers (5-6-0, 5th in North) vs.

Ottawa Senators (1-7-1, 7th in North).

02 February 2021

Rogers Place

8 PM MST

TV: Sportsnet Oilers

Radio: 630 CHED

SB Nation Opponent: Silver Seven

TOO MUCH POWER

I’d be lying if I told you that I didn’t enjoy watching Edmonton’s power play unit connect four times in their 8-5 win over Ottawa on Sunday night. Leon Draisaitl finished with six points, Connor McDavid finished with five, and Stuart Skinner picked up a win in his first start even though it was a rocky one. Edmonton’s power play finished 4/5 on the game, which was critical to the club picking up two points. The team struggled at evens against an Ottawa club that yielded a goal in the first eight seconds, and it will be important to see the Oilers do quite a bit better at 5 on 5 tonight.

A win tonight will make it three in a row while bringing the club back to .500. Can the Oilers take care of Ottawa again?

Let’s go to the tape.

THE OILERS ARE SAYING

“Ultimately you want the two points; that’s what you came for. There’s other things that you’re trying to get your team up and going. Good for young Skinner, he got his first win in the NHL, we got [Koskinen] a night off. We’ll regroup tomorrow and get ready for Tuesday.”

Source

That’s Oilers heada coach Dave Tippett on his club’s 8-5 win over the Ottawa Senators on Sunday night.

You never scoff at two points, the Oilers need a bunch more wins to make up some lost ground early in the season. Tippett’s Oilers will need a better effort 5 on 5, and they’ll need a solid night from MIkko Koskinen. Koskinen got the night off on Sunday for the first time all season.

THE SENATORS ARE SAYING

“It’s a fragile group, there is definitely no doubt about it...I’ve been through this before, no one is feeling bad for us. We have a lot of guys learning things, we have some veterans finding their way here in a new group too. We have a lot of moving parts and I look at our third period, and say what you want, in an 8-3 game, we pushed a little bit, and that’s a start, and I think we have to start just chipping away at little victories”

Source

That’s Senators forward Derek Stepan after his club’s 8-5 loss to the Oilers on Sunday

I don’t have the original question here but anytime your response opens with “It’s a fragile group”, look out. The Senators were down early on Sunday, but they hung around long enough to make it interesting. Goaltender Matt Murray was chased after yielding his third goal in seven minutes, the Oilers power play ran wild, and the Senators are still holding just one win in nine games so far.

HAVE SOME OF THIS

  • THE JUICE IS LOOSE: The power play has officially been woken. A few games ago, we all saw how the power play was sub-15%. A quick glance now shows that the Oilers are now hanging out tied for 7th in the league with Colorado at a more palatable 28.6%. Playing Ottawa on Sunday (4/5) surely helped, it may be helped again tonight.
  • STARMEN: Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl have been named second and third stars of the week after combining for 24 points in four games. Normal stuff, really.
  • EVEN STRENGTH: The Oilers did well on special teams against Ottawa, but holy cow they got dominated while 5 on 5. Once Edmonton scored at eight seconds of the first, Ottawa poured it on 5 on 5. Gaetan Haas looked good in his season debut. The fourth line showed well, the second line wasn’t good, while lines 1 and 3 had their show ran. Good thing Murray or Hogberg had trouble stopping anything
  • GETTING ON THE BOARD: Dominik Kahun has scored a goal in each of his last two games. Jesse Puljujärvi, you’re up next. The first line is expected to burst out even more than they already have in recent games. That’s a good thing to have in your pocket.
  • BACK ON BLUE: If Ethan Bear is out for tonight (and even if he’s in), now might be a good time to get Evan Bouchard in for a game. Tippett suggested yesterday that we might see Bouchard sooner than later, and I can’t think of a better time than tonight. Maybe this week when the Oilers play Ottawa on the road? The sooner, the better. I don’t want to see William Lagesson with Kris Russell on his off side again.
  • NET GAINS: Senators goaltender Matt Murray is straight up not having a good time out there right now. Chased on Sunday’s game after allowing three goals in seven minutes, he brings career low numbers into tonight’s game. (1-4-1, .849 SV% / 4.82 GAA). Marcus Hogberg (0-3-0, .845 SV% / 4.71 GAA) isn’t having a much better experience. Peter Sidorkewicz (8-46-3, .856 SV% / 4.43) fared slightly better for the expansion Senators. Expect Edmonton to counter with Mikko Koskinen (4-6-0, .895 SV% / 3.45 GAA)
  • SCRATCHES: Ethan Bear was held out of Sunday’s game, and we’ll know more later this afternoon. Goaltender Mike Smith has been skating with the team. For Ottawa, Thomas Chabot (upper body) didn’t practice for the Senators yesterday and is questionable for today’s game. Defenceman Christian Wolanin is day-to-day with a lower body injury.