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GAME PREVIEW: Edmonton Oilers vs. Tampa Bay Lightning

The Oilers can catch Vegas in the standings with a win tonight.

NHL: Edmonton Oilers at New York Islanders Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

Edmonton Oilers (31-23-4, 4th, Pacific)

Tampa Bay Lightning (37-14-6), 2nd, Atlantic)

12 March 2022

Rogers Place

8 PM MT

TV: CBC

Radio: 630 CHED

SB Nation Opponent: Raw Charge

The Edmonton Oilers picked up two big points in their 4-3 overtime win over the Washington Capitals on Wednesday night. Brad Malone emerged as a major player in the win, scoring his first NHL goal in over six years. Malone added an assist to his night, putting him at 1-1-2 for the evening. Connor McDavid handled business as usual with an OT winner, while Mikko Koskinen picked up his 20th win of the season. The Oilers have to keep putting points in the bank right now, as they’re still trying to climb into that third spot in the Pacific. Can they gain some ground tonight?

Let’s go to the tape.

THE OILERS ARE SAYING

“The effort was just excellent, we came out and tried to assert ourselves in the first period, we did that...Their goaltender played a heck of a game. We talked between the first and second period about outworking a goaltender and not hanging our heads just because he was making a few saves. I thought our group was resilient tonight and found a way to get it done against a really good hockey team.”

Source

That’s Oilers head coach Jay Woodcroft on his club’s 4-3 OT victory on Wednesday.

The Oilers allowed a goal with under two seconds remaining in regulation when T.J. Oshie’s slapshot found twine. The Oilers held on and secured that second point when Connor McDavid scored his 30th of the year.

THE LIGHTNING ARE SAYING

“We’re going through a little bit of a bump right now. We’ll correct it, but it’s process over outcome at this point.”

Source

That’s Lightning captain Steven Stamkos after the Lightning’s 4-1 loss to the Calgary Flames on Thursday night.

Tampa fell victim to a Johnny Gaudreau hat trick on Thursday night. They have lost three of their last five.

HAVE SOME OF THIS

  • Tyson Barrie has been activated off of injured reserve. Barrie has been out for nine days after suffering an upper body injury against the Chicago Blackhawks.
  • Josh Archibald has been activated, and he’s expected to be on the fourth line with Zack Kassian and Brad Malone. This will be Archibald’s first game since Game 3 of Edmonton’s first round playoff series against the Winnipeg Jets last year. Due to his vaccination status, he is currently only eligible to play games in Alberta (he can drive to Calgary). How much will Archibald be able to contribute to the club if he’s only eligble to play games in one province? Enough, at least, for Ken Holland to activate him. We’ll get a look tonight.
  • THE HITS KEEP COMING: Stuart Skinner has been returned to Bakersfield. Edmonton could have opted to make his callup a regular callup instead of an emergency one, but Ken Holland is sticking to his guns regarding Mike Smith. Smith practiced yesterday, and is eligible to play. I’d expect the Oilers to run him against the Red Wings on Tuesday night.
  • Mikko Koskinen (20-9-3, .904 SV% / 3.04 GAA / 1 SO) secured his 20th win of the season in Edmonton’s 4-3 OT win over Washington on Tuesday, and he’ll get the start tonight. The Lightning are expeted to run with Brian Elliott (6-2-2, .907 SV% / 2.46 GAA)
  • GOOD FORTUNE: The Oilers would love nothing more than to win tonight and catch the Vegas Golden Knights in the standings. Vegas lost in Buffalo on Thursday, and they lost in Pittsburgh last night. Helping things along include the Predators dropping a 7-4 contest to the St. Louis Blues this afternoon. The Oilers can catch Vegas in the standings with a win tonight. The LA Kings are making a serious stake for second place in the division, and third might be the best Edmonton can do. I’d really love to see an Edmonton / LA first round, I don’t want anything to do with Calgary right now.
  • Jesse Puljujärvi is coming soon.