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GAME PREVIEW: Game 14/56 Edmonton Oilers @ Ottawa Senators

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Oilers turn to Ottawa for a pair after a disappointing finish in Calgary

Edmonton Oilers v Calgary Flames Photo by Gerry Thomas/NHLI via Getty Images

Edmonton Oilers (6-7-0, 4th in North) vs.

Ottawa Senators (2-9-1, 7th in North).

08 February 2021

Canadian Tire Centre

5 PM MST

TV: Sportsnet West

Radio: 630 CHED

SB Nation Opponent: Silver Seven

LOSING THE BATTLE

The Oilers dropped the first installment of this year’s Battle of Alberta by a 6-4 margin on Saturday night. It was a forgettable night for Oilers goaltender Mikko Koskinen, Koskinen yielded a goal on Calgary’s first shot, it didn’t get much easier for him as the night went on. The Oilers picked up goals from Jujhar Khaira, Connor McDavid, Jesse Puljujärvi and Darnell Nurse, but it was Calgary’s Johnny Gaudreau who would score the game winner. Sam Bennett iced it with Calgary’s sixth goal midway through the third. The Oilers win streak stops at three.

Edmonton will look to get back in the win column with a visit to Ottawa tonight. Can they flip the script from Saturday’s disappointing loss?

Let’s go to the tape.

THE OILERS ARE SAYING

“We had a good start...It’s two good hockey teams going at it and I think you’re going to see those turns in the game, and we just have to learn how to play under pressure. Those are times you have to bear down and play really good structured hockey.”

Source

That’s Oilers defenceman Adam Larsson on his club’s 6-4 loss to the Calgary Flames on Saturday night.

Adam Larsson is saying all of the right things when you get beat by your rival. Four goals is a good night for your offence, but Calgary scored early, they scored a power play goal, they got a goal from Milan Lucic, they came back from being behind, they gave up the lead, they got the lead again, and the guy who requested a trade scored a goal midway through the third.

Other than that, it went great.

THE SENATORS ARE SAYING

“I can’t even say [Murray has] been off this year; we’ve let in a lot of shots from inside the dots in those games that we got blown out...The last two games, we’ve helped him out a lot and he’s been unbelievable”

Source

That’s Senators forward Colin White talking about Senators goaltender Matt Murray’s performance after a 2-1 loss to the Canadiens on Saturday.

Matt Murray has had a rocky start to his season, but he’s turned aside a combined 66 of 70 shots against the Canadiens over the past two games (1-1-0). Prior to that, his last action was a week ago when he was chased from the net after the Oilers scored three goals in nine shots.

HAVE SOME OF THIS

  • LOOKING FOR A GOAL? I’m sorry, this made me laugh out loud. Need a goal or two, go on and put your top two guys out on the ice for the last six minutes of the game. It’s gotta work!
  • WELLS, NOW: I was concerned when the Oilers shipped Troy Grosenick to the taxi squad on Friday (he was claimed by the Kings). Stuart Skinner has been shipped back to Bakersfield, and Dylan Wells is now the number 3 goaltender on the depth chart in Edmonton. The club had to wait two weeks to get Grosenick on the roster, he was actually on the roster for a total of five days. So it goes.
  • NOT ROCKET SCIENCE: Defenceman Caleb Jones ought to be in the lineup every night. Especially if you’re going 11/7. Especially if Ethan Bear is still out. I hope Ethan Bear isn’t out tonight.
  • Don’t think there was another guy that needed a goal more than Jujhar Khaira did on Saturday. Normally when you score a goal (or two), you get rewarded. Let’s see what happens with Jujhar Khaira tonight.
  • THREE IN TWO: The Jesse Puljujärvi experiment at top line RW seems to be paying off. Puljujärvi scored a goal in Saturday’s game to tie it up at 3-all. Add that to the two goal output against Ottawa on Tuesday, and he’s got three in his last two. Let’s do it again tonight.
  • The Senators are increasing their goal scoring (2.33 per game), though not by nearly enough to make it matter long term. They’re averaging less goals allowed per game (4.33), though that number’s got to come down by at least an entire goal for them to be able to make any serious noise in the division.
  • NET GAINS: The Senators feel like they’ve gained some ground over the past two games against Montréal. Ottawa hasn’t started scoring in bunches, but their goaltending has shown well over the past two. Matt Murray finding his groove could spell trouble for an Oilers club that chased him early last week. Murray (2-5-1, .875 GAA / 4.10 GAA) is likely for the Senators tonight, while I wouldn’t be surprised to see Mike Smith make his season debut after coming off LTIR over the weekend. Mikko Koskinen (5-7-0, .889 SV% / 3.55 GAA) has started all but one of Edmonton’s games so far this year.
  • SCRATCHES: The Oilers need Ethan Bear back in the lineup, he’s been held out for the past three games (head). For the Senators, defenceman Christian Wolanin (lower body) is day-to-day.