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GAME PREVIEW: Game 46/56 Edmonton Oilers @ Winnipeg Jets

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Oilers hit the road after four days off

NHL: Player Headshots 2021 Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

Edmonton Oilers (27-16-2, 3rd in North) vs

Winnipeg Jets (27-17-3, 2nd in North)

26 April 2021

Bell MTS Place7 PM MST

TV: Sportsnet West, Sportsnet Oilers

Radio: 630 CHED

SB Nation Opponent: Arctic Ice Hockey

CRIME OF THE CENTURY

The Oilers made it interesting in the last two minutes of Wednesday’s game, but they fell a little short against the Canadiens on Wednesday. The officials kept their whistles guarded (well, except for the time when Connor McDavid’s elbow got somewhere near Corey Perry) and the Habs escaped Edmonton with a 4-3 win. Connor McDavid picked up a goal, so did Jesse Puljujärvi and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins in the loss. Edmonton finds themselves in Winnipeg for tonight’s mash-up in what is likely to be a first round playoff preview for both clubs. With the Jets just one point behind the Oilers (and with the Oilers holding two games in hand), can the Oilers get back to second place with a regulation win tonight?

Let’s go to the tape.

THE OILERS ARE SAYING

“I was just going down there and having a good mindset to try and grow my game and create confidence. Luckily enough, I was able to get a call-up and now I’m really excited to get started.”

Source

That’s Oilers forward Ryan McLeod on getting the callup from Bakersfield.

Ryan McLeod is having a bang up year in Bakersfield, and he’ll get a chance to keep it going as he’s expected to make his season debut tonight. McLeod’s 28 points in 28 games (14-14-28) has him ranked third on the Condors behind Tyler Benson and Cooper Marody. McLeod was drafted in the second round at 40th overall in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft.

THE JETS ARE SAYING

We have some things that we value as a group...Mark (Scheifele)’s a real competitive guy. Sometimes that gets the best of him I think. We just need to adhere to our core values.

Source

That’s Jets head coach Paul Maurice after his club’s 4-1 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday.

The wheels came off for the Jets on Saturday. Coach Paul Maurice benched Mark Scheifele for nearly 17 minutes in the second period while the Jets scored four unanswered goals. Nikolaj Ehlers scored in the first minute of the game, but it was all downhill from there.

HAVE SOME OF THIS

  • Speaking of Ehlers, the Jets received a huge blow to their offence now that Ehlers is out for at least the rest of the regular season after a hit from Toronto’s Jake Muzzin. Ehlers is averaging nearly a point per game with 46 points (21-25-46) in 47 games this season. Ehlers is second on the club in points scored, only Mark Scheifele (55 points) has more for the Jets this season. Adam Lowry is also expected to miss tonight’s game, his second in a row after taking a high hit from Toronto’s Alex Galcheyuk on Thursday.
  • BANK ‘EM: Connor McDavid’s three point night against the Canadiens gives him 77 points on the season. 90 points almost seems like a foregone conclusion at this point, but he’s got 11 more games to get to 100.
  • WEEK TO WEEK: Zack Kassian is expected to miss some time after suffering a lower body injury in last week’s 4-3 loss to the Canadiens. Kassian crashed awkwardly into Montréal’s Shea Weber as he was attempting to lay a check behind the net. He’s listed as week-to-week.
  • Mike Smith had a scare in practice on Saturday when it looked like he tweaked something and had to be helped off the ice. According to Coach Tippett, he’s fine, and he’ll be back in action soon.
  • Dmitry Kulikov is expected to make his Oilers debut tonight after being acquired on the trade deadline. Because Kulikov is a low event defenceman (and he fared well in NJ playing with P.K. Subban), have him with Barrie tonight, but Coach might put him with Larsson just because.
  • NET GAINS: It’s been nineteen days since Mikko Koskinen’s last start (10-11-0, .903 SV% / 3.09 GAA), and I’m looking for him to get in for one sooner than later. Mike Smith (16-5-2, .921 SV% / 2.37 GAA / 3 SO) is said to be OK to go per Coach during yesterday’s media availability. The Jets are going with Connor Hellebuyck tonight (23-13-3, .917 SV% / 2.58 GAA / 2 SO).
  • ONE MORE POINT: The Oilers will jump into second place with a regulation win tonight. Let’s get at ‘er.