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GAME PREVIEW: Game 45/56 Edmonton Oilers vs. Montréal Canadiens

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Oilers look to build off of Monday’s big win

Montreal Canadiens v Edmonton Oilers
Ethan Bear’s first goal of the season was one to remember.
Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images

Edmonton Oilers (27-15-2, 3rd in North) vs

Montréal Canadiens (19-15-9, 4th in North)

21 April 2021

Rogers Place

8 PM MST

TV: Sportsnet West

Radio: 630 CHED

SB Nation Opponent: Eyes On The Prize

GO WITH THOSE PAIRS

Edmonton might have finally cracked the Canadiens’ code when they erupted in a four goal third period in Monday’s 4-1 victory. The defence pairs got a shake up enterring the third, and Ethan Bear scored his first of the season in the middle of the period. Connor McDavid scored his 24th of the season with less than five minutes remaining in the third period to take the lead, while Jesse Puljujärvi put his 11th of the season behind Jake Allen on a breakaway. Devin Shore would add an empty-netter just for fun at the end. Mike Smith picked up his sixteenth win of the season, and it looked like the Edmonton Oilers were running at full speed at the end. The Oilers will take on the very same Canadiens tonight, can they do it again?

Let’s go to the tape.

THE OILERS ARE SAYING

“It felt amazing, it had been a long time for me...Connor just laid it on a platter, and I just wanted to shoot as hard as I can. To contribute and to bring some energy, and go to the bench and see all the smiles on everyone’s faces and everyone is fired up, that’s a play in the game that I haven’t felt in a long time and it feels really good.”

Source

That’s Ethan Bear on scoring his first goal of the season.

What a goal it was. Bear’s goal was the reward of a nearly perfect game played. Bear got a promotion going to the top pair as the third period started. Keep him there for the next dozen games, let me know how it turns out.

THE CANADIENS ARE SAYING

It’s unfortunate for Carey, but that’s what I’m here for...I’m here to step up when guys go down. That’s my job. So I’ve got to always be ready.

Source

That’s Canadiens goaltender Jake Allen on coming in for an injured Carey Price.

Jake Allen was called into relief after one period of play. Carey Price left the game with an upper body injury, and will likely be held from action tonight. The Oilers were able to solve Jake Allen in the third period, they’ll look to keep at it tonight.

HAVE SOME OF THIS

  • That’s Jesse Puljujarvi’s eleventh goal of the year. Sure looks like his stick length is good from here.
  • NUMBER 97’s NUMBERS: A goal and two assists for the best player on Planet Earth on Monday gives him 74 points on the year. I say he hits 100, needing just 26 points in 12 games to do so.
  • Jujhar Khaira was on the receiving end of a big hit upstairs from Montréal’s Alexander Romanov and immediately had trouble skating to the bench. You’ll read in other places that Khaira was doing better yesterday. While that’s good to read, it can’t be stressed enough that Khaira is going to probably need a few days off after getting his bell rung. There’s no reason to rush back, especially now that this is his second incident in a little more than a month.
  • Ryan Nugent-Hopkins might be back tonight, and I couldn’t be more excited. Nugent-Hopkins has been off for the last two weeks with an undisclosed injury, and was placed on IR eleven days ago. Wouldn’t be surprised to see Gaetan Haas remain in the lineup after Haas plugged the 2C hole recently.
  • Newly acquired Dmitry Kulikov is on the ice at today’s optional skate. Today is the seventh day since he was acquired by the Oilers in a trade with the Devils, expect to see him inserted into the lineup sooner than later.
  • NET GAINS: I think Mike Smith will get a shot for number 17 today (16-4-2, .923 SV% / 2.30 GAA / 3 SO). Jake Allen will try to get back to .500 for Montréal tonight. (7-8-4, .914 SV% / 2.52 GAA).
  • Canucks have beaten the Leafs twice in two games since coming back from their Covid related work stoppage. A win tonight could bring the Oilers to within 3 points of the Maple Leafs. Just sayin’.

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