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GAME PREVIEW: Edmonton Oilers @ Washington Capitals

Oilers in DC for their final game before the All-Star Break

Washington Capitals v Carolina Hurricanes Photo by Gregg Forwerck/NHLI via Getty Images

Edmonton Oilers (22-16-3), 6th, Pacific)

Washington Capitals (25-12-9, 4th, Metro)

02 February 2022

Verizon Center

5 PM MT

TV: Sportsnet

Radio: 630 CHED

SB Nation Opponent: Japers’ Rink

HALTED AT FOUR

Matt Murray turned aside 37 shots, while Tim Stützle scored the overtime winner in Ottawa’s 3-2 win over the Oilers on Monday. Edmonton got goals from Connor McDavid and Darnell Nurse, but it was Matt Murray who stood tall in net helping to pick up the win for Ottawa. The Senators are looking to climb up in the Atlantic standings, they now have points in five of their last six games. The Oilers look to start another winning streak tonight; they’ll have a tall ask against a Capitals club that’s looking to make Edmonton their third win in a row. Can the Oilers get back in the win column?

Let’s go to the tape.

THE OILERS ARE SAYING

“I think we could’ve probably had another step up in our effort, especially in the middle of that game...But with that said, we found a way to get a point. We haven’t been doing that much lately.”

Source

That’s Oilers forward Darnell Nurse after Edmonton’s 3-2 OT loss to the Senators on Monday.

Monday’s 3-2 overtime loss wasn’t a good sixty minutes for the Oilers. They went 0/3 on the power play and just looked out of sorts at times. Nurse is right, picking up a point is better than no points at all. Still, good teams should beat the Ottawa Senators.

THE CAPITALS ARE SAYING

“There were lots of good things...Just the fight back in the game. We were fighting back the whole night. There were a lot of things against us, a lot of adversity. I give the guys a lot of credit for just staying with it.”

Source

That’s Capitals coach Peter Laviolette after his club’s 4-3 OT win over the Pittsburgh Penguins last night.

Caps goaltender Ilya Samsonov turned aside 44 saves in Washington’s OT win. Dmitri Orlov was the hero in OT, scoring with just 43 ticks remaining on the clock.

HAVE SOME OF THIS

  • Slater Koekkoek has been placed on waivers, which leads me to believe that Tyson Barrie might be ready a little sooner than planned. Barrie has been out with upper and lower body issues since January 22nd, I’d expect to see him soon.
  • Evan Bouchard has had what I’d call a successful tour on the power play in Barrie’s absence. Bouchard picked up two goals on January 22nd versus Calgary, and hasn’t looked out of place since Barrie’s been out. I think we know Dave Tippett by now, and it would be a small surprise not to see Barrie back in this position when he returns.
  • TIME ON MY SIDE? Concerned about how much ice time the defencemen are getting. Nurse played 28+ minutes on Monday, Keith 22+. William Lagesson? 8 minutes. Russell? 10 minutes. There are plenty of games right in a row after the All-Star break, including 3 in 4 from next Tuesday to Friday. What good is it to have a third pair if they’re never on the ice?
  • OV8: Alexander Ovechkin is a force to be reckoned with on the ice, and I note this because It’s been four straight games since Alex Ovechkin has scored a point. I don’t know if he’s going to go five straight without scoring a point. Alex Ovechkin has 58 points this season, he’s one point behind Connor McDavid and three behind Leon Draisaitl in the scoring race. Ovechkin needs just one goal to hit 30 on the season, he’s just 145 behind Wayne Gretzky’s career total of 894 NHL goals. If Ovechkin casually rips 50 goals this year, he’ll need four years to hover around that 30 goal mark to make the all-time goal scoring record his and his alone. He’s out of the lineup tonight due to Covid protocol.
  • Mikko Koskinen gets the nod for the Oilers tonight in net (15-8-1, /.900 SV% / 3.16 GAA). Ilya Samsonov was called to duty after Vitek Vanecek suffered a head injury. Samsonov (145-3, .906 SV% / 2.76 GAA / 3 SO) will go if Vanecek is unable.
  • Oilers have taken 9 out of a possible 10 points in their last five games, but still remain on the outside looking in the Pacific playoff picture. A win tonight will vault them over the Sharks into fifth place.