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GAME PREVIEW: Game 44/56 Edmonton Oilers vs. Montréal Canadiens

Can Oilers crack Canadiens’ code?

Edmonton Oilers v Winnipeg Jets Photo by Darcy Finley/NHLI via Getty Images

Edmonton Oilers (26-15-2, 3rd in North) vs

Montréal Canadiens (19-14-9, 4th in North)

19 April 2021

Rogers Place

7 PM MST

TV: Sportsnet West

Radio: 630 CHED

SB Nation Opponent: Eyes On The Prize

The Oilers played a complete game on Saturday night when they took care of the Winnipeg Jets. Mike Smith picked up his third shutout of the year while the Oilers got goals from Tyson Barrie, Jesse Puljujärvi and Alex Chiasson en route to a 3-0 victory. The played well for being a team that was off for an entire week, and they’ll look to carry that momentum into tonight’s game against the Canadiens. Montréal is a club that’s had Edmonton’s number this season so far, can the Oilers flip the script on the Habs tonight?

Let’s go to the tape.

THE OILERS ARE SAYING

It’s a massive win...Any time you’re coming down the stretch and you’re playing teams ahead of you, you want to beat them and tighten the gap. Tonight was a big win for that.

Source

That’s Oilers captain Connor McDavid after his club’s 3-0 win over the Jets on Saturday night.

McDavid picked up two assists in the Oilers’ win, bringing his season total to 71 points. Another day at the office for this guy.

THE CANADIENS ARE SAYING

We just need to find some consistency...I think everybody in the League wants to find that. You know everybody in this league wants to win and everybody’s playing hard, so we just have to find that on a nightly basis.

Source

That’s Canadiens goaltender Carey Price after getting shutout by the Senators on Saturday night.

Fifteen shots - that’s all Ottawa would need to take care of the Habs on Saturday night. The Canadiens are looking like a good bet to finish fourth in the North Division, though Saturday’s loss to the Senators has got to raise a couple of eyebrows. Though the Canadiens have two games in hand, Calgary is just six points back with a couple of Habs games coming up on the schedule.

HAVE SOME OF THIS

  • That’s number ten for Jesse Puljujärvi this season. He’d have about five more if he were a little bit more lucky. Kyle Connor got himself ind a world of trouble when he went in for the double team on Connor McDavid and Puljujärvi did the deed. Puljujärvi has been found money for this Oilers club this season. Wait til he plays a full 82.
  • LUCKY NUMBER: What is it about the Canadiens and the Oilers this year? Montréal has been fair to middling recently, but the Habs seem to have Edmonton’s number. Edmonton has just one win in five meetings this season, scoring a total of only seven goals. They can make it 2 with 2 points tonight.
  • Forward Ryan McLeod got the call last night from Bakersfield. I’m not sure if Ryan Nugent-Hopkins being off for nearly two weeks played into this call-up (wink, wink), but McLeod is having a bang-up season in the Bake averaging a point per game. He’s currently fifth in AHL scoring. We could see him in the lineup this week.
  • ONE TO WATCH: The entire club. The Canadiens aren’t scoring goals right now, and this feels like a trap. They’ve scored three or more just once in their last seven games. They scored 0 in Ottawa. 0 is a very low number.
  • NET GAINS: Is tonight a Koskinen night? I think it is. Mikko Koskinen (10-11-0, .903 SV% / 3.09 GAA) is due for a start, though it might be tempting for Tippett to go with Mike Smith (15-4-2, .922 SV% / 2.36 GAA / 3 SO). The Canadiens need a bounce back game from Carey Price (12-7-5, .900 SV% / 2.67 GAA / 1 SO), Jake Allen (7-7-4, .915 SV% / 2.44 GAA) could see the start.
  • Two points tonight brings the Oilers to within one point of the Jets. Let’s get at ‘er.