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GAME PREVIEW: Game 35/56 Edmonton Oilers @ Montréal Canadiens

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Oilers head east for first of three in Montréal

Montreal Canadiens v Winnipeg Jets Photo by Jonathan Kozub/NHLI via Getty Images

Edmonton Oilers (21-13-0, 2nd in North) vs

Montréal Canadiens (14-13-9, 4th in North)

22 March 2021

Centre Bell

5 PM MST

TV: Sportsnet West

Radio: 630 CHED

SB Nation Opponent: Eyes On The Prize

THEY KEEP ON COMING

The Jets got out ahead of the Oilers by two goals on Saturday night, but it didn’t see to bother Edmonton much. The Oilers responded by scoring the next four goals en route to picking up the win, sweeping the Jets in a two game series in the process. Mike Smith picked up his eleventh win on the year, while the Oilers picked up goals from four different players (including an empty netter from Devin Shore at the end). The Oilers are winning games, they’re having fun, and they look to keep those good times rolling tonight with a trip to Québec. Equipped with a three game win streak, can they make it four tonight?

Let’s go to the tape.

THE OILERS ARE SAYING

“I thought it was a really competitive game...We got down; the first power-play goal is one that bounced off two or three shin pads and goes in, and the second one is a double deflection. We’re down 2-0, but I thought it was a fairly even period, and the goal by Connor to get it back to 2-1 was a huge goal for us just to give us some momentum.”

Source

That’s Oilers head coach Dave Tippett on his club’s 4-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday.

Saturday’s game might have been the best game we’ve seen all year. Everyone’s gut hit the floor when Pierre-Luc Dubois scored his sixth of the season with four and change remaining in the first. Connor McDavid scored his 59th point of the season when he answered back less than two minutes later. The Jets didn’t score after that, and the Oilers picked up two in regulation.

THE CANADIENS ARE SAYING

“We didn’t give up many opportunities and we really paid a price for our mistakes”

Source

That’s Canadiens head coach Dominique Ducharme after his club’s 5-4 shootout victory over the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday night.

The Canucks put up just eighteen shots to Montréal’s 40, but were able to take it to the shootout in part to Braden Holtby’s 36 save performance. It is Montréal’s first victory of the season when going to overtime or a shootout (1-9-0).

HAVE SOME OF THIS

An early game tonight. I’m in.

Let’s watch a goal. Let’s watch a goal from Darnell Nurse.

Darnell Nurse tore the rubber off the puck on this goal for his tenth of the season. Jesse Puljujärvi tried to get it to Leon, but the puck took a nice bounce to Nurse who just ripped that one to shreds. This goal made it 2-2 on Saturday night. Ten goals for Darnell Nurse is a career high with over 20 games to go on the season.

  • That’s a high octane first line. Would hate to see it in and around your defence.
  • Looks like Kailer Yamamoto will miss his third game in a row due to injury.
  • Gaetan Haas has rightfully assumed his place at 3C and ought to remain there for the time.
  • 60: Connor McDavid’s goal and assist on Saturday has put him at sixty on the year. He’s got 22 more games to grab 40 points to make 100. The race is on.
  • STREAKING: While we’re talking about Connor McDavid, he’s on a nine game scoring streak dating back to earlier this month. Can he make it ten in a row tonight?
  • SIGNED: The Oilers have signed 2018 sixth round selection Michael Kesselring to an entry level contract. A defenceman from South Carolina, Kesselring has spent his last two years at Northeastern. He’ll join the Condors immediately. Turns out Peter Chiarelli was good at something other than dealing first overall selections.
  • The Canadiens are scoring at a decent clip (3.19 G/G, 10th overall) and they’re 11th at goals against (2.71 GA/G). Goaltending has been a mixed bag for the Canadiens this season, with Carey Price holding a .903 SV%. Jake Allen has fared much better with a .920SV%, but has just four wins in eleven opportunities for the Habs.
  • NET GAINS: Mikko Koskinen ought to get the nod tonight looking for his tenth win of the season (9-10-0, .903 SV% / 3.11 GAA), but it looks like Tippett is running with Mike Smith (11-3-0, .920 SV% / 2.34 GAA / 2 SO). The Canadiens are likely to run with Carey Price (10-5-5, .903 SV% / 2.71 GAA) but may go with Jake Allen (4-3-4, .920 SV% / 2.34 GAA) if the mood strikes.
  • A win tonight will put the Oilers on top of the North Division over the idle Leafs. Let’s do it.