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GAME PREVIEW: Game 15/56 Edmonton Oilers @ Ottawa Senators

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Oilers look to complete the sweep in Ottawa tonight

Edmonton Oilers v Ottawa Senators
Ennis innit
Photo by Andre Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images

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

Ottawa Senators (2-10-1, 7th in North).

09 February 2021

Canadian Tire Centre

5 PM MST

TV: Sportsnet West

Radio: 630 CHED

SB Nation Opponent: Silver Seven

GETTING BACK INTO THE WIN COLUMN

Leon Draisaitl scored his eighth goal of the year and Tyler Ennis had the game winner en route to Edmonton’s 3-1 victory over the Ottawa Senators. Mike Smith turned aside 27 of 28 shots to pick up his first win of the season, Josh Archibald put one into a yawning net. The Oilers won their first of two games by a 3-1 margin over a Senators squad that didn’t go away easily. The Oilers will try to sweep the Senators with a repeat performance tonight. Can the Oilers take two in a row?

Let’s go to the tape.

THE OILERS ARE SAYING

“That’s how we want to play all the time...We want to be a hardworking team and we’ve done it in spurts, and then it feels like when we’re chasing the game, and any team’s like that, you get chasing the game, you get out of sync a little bit and you’re taking risks to get back in the game. But tonight was solid all the way through. We stayed with it shift to shift.”

Source

That’s Oilers head coach Dave Tippett on his club’s 3-1 victory last night in Ottawa.

The Senators got on the board first, but it was Leon Draisaitl who potted his eighth of the season, and Tyler Ennis scored a nifty curler on Matt Murray to go ahead for good. Mike Smith looked good in his first victory of the season. More, please.

THE SENATORS ARE SAYING

“We didn’t get to the goalie here enough...And when the goalie sees the puck in this league, they make the saves. We had a few opportunities, but we let their goalie see the puck for the majority of the game.”

Source

The Senators are showing to be a tougher opponent than they were the last time these two teams hooked up, but it hasn’t translated to the scoresheet yet.

HAVE SOME OF THIS

  • CAN’T WIN FOR LOSING: Yesterday, Zack Kassian got put on blast by what seemed like everyone in Edmonton. First, coach Tippett said that it was “an understatement” that he had hoped to get more out of Zack Kassian. Then, Kassian took it from the internet. Kassian responded in kind by dropping the gloves with Ottawa defenceman Erik Gudbranson 103 seconds into the game. He did not return due to an injury, and is listed week-to-week. The excuses I see out there like how he “can’t get up without a crowd” are embarrassing. This player is now in his eleventh year at the NHL level. His game is what it is, and that’s fine. I think there’s a bottom six player in Zack Kassian, and wishing you’re getting more out of the player isn’t a good bet at this stage of the game. Just because he signed a four year deal at beaucoup bucks doesn’t mean that his game changes, just like signing Ben Eager for three years and expecting something different from him wasn’t a good bet then.
  • MR JONES: Seriously, can we get Caleb Jones back in the lineup? Having Russell at the top of the crease looking like he’s attempting to hook onto Mike Smith like a 2021 Autobot isn’t doing it for me. Oilers could use a third goalie right now and Russell loves blocking shots. Maybe we can work something out.
  • Tyler Ennis looked good on the fourth line last night, things look even better when you’re scoring game winning goals. The fourth line has been a rotating gallery so far this season, if Neal is going to be up on 3, Ennis ought to have a home on 4. May as well have players who can score goals on all lines. I’m old fashioned like that.
  • STREAKING: McDavid picked up an assist on Josh Archibald’s empty netter late in the game to keep his point streak alive at ten straight games. Leon’s two point night (1-1-2) has him at a ten game scoring streak as well.
  • NET GAINS: Mikko Koskinen (5-7-0, .889 SV% / 3.55 GAA) gets the nod for Edmonton tonight after a night off. Marcus Hogberg (0-4-0, .844 SV% / 4.54 GAA) is likely to go for Ottawa on the second game of a back-to-back.
  • SCRATCHES: Zack Kassian is out week-to-week after a tussle with Ottawa’s Erik Gudbranson. Ethan Bear is also out for his fourth straight game. For the Senators, defenceman Erik Brannstrom is day-to-day