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GAME PREVIEW: Edmonton Oilers vs. Montréal Canadiens

Oilers look to keep pace in the Pacific with a visit from the Habs

Vancouver Canucks v Edmonton Oilers Photo by Codie McLachlan/Getty Images

Edmonton Oilers (30-21-4, 4th, Pacific)

Montréal Canadiens (14-34-7), 8th, Atlantic)

05 March 2022

Rogers Place

5 PM MT

TV: CBC

Radio: 630 CHED

SQUEEZING A POINT OUT OF CHICAGO

The Oilers picked up a single point in their 4-3 overtime loss to the Blackhawks on Thursday. Evander Kane had a pair for the Oilers, while Leon Draisaitl picked up his 38th goal of the season on the power play. Alex DeBrincat scored his 30th of the season on the power play in overtime to spoil Edmonton’s chances at two points, the Oilers head back to Rogers Place with a 2-2-1 record over the five games away from home.

Back at Rogers Place for one game, the Oilers look for two points against the Canadiens tonight. Can the Oilers get back on track?

Let’s go to the tape.

THE OILERS ARE SAYING

It’s always nice when you’re down by [a] goal late in the game to find a way to send it to overtime...I think it speaks to our players’ character to push in that fashion. In the end, we found a way to get a point out of a tough game here tonight.

Source

That’s Oilers head coach Jay Woodcroft on getting a late goal in regulation to help push the game into overtime.

Evander Kane scored his second of the game with just 50 seconds remaining in regulation -to help secure a point for the Oilers in Chicago. Since joining the Oilers, Kane has put up 13 points (7-6-13) in sixteen games.

THE CANADIENS ARE SAYING

“We knew it was going to be a big challenge...You understand what their record is in this building lately, and just overall too. Anytime you see the highlights they look as advertised. I just thought that we kind of stuck with it, didn’t worry about the score, and just kept playing our game. Just kept chipping away and got the result we were hoping for.”

Source

That’s Canadiens goaltender Andrew Hammond on his club’s 5-4 win over the Calgary Flames on Thursday.

It’s been a wild ride for Andrew Hammond to get back to the NHL. He’s four games into his Canadiens tenure and he’s already on injured reserve. He was acquired by the Canadiens in a trade with the Wild last month, and suffered a lower body injury while picking up the win for the Canadiens on Thursday night. He’s 3-0-0 and pulling a .920 in four games, which is great.

HAVE SOME OF THIS

  • Goaltender Mike Smith is getting the nod tonight for the Oilers. (5-7-1, .893 SV% / 3.53 GAA). Samuel Montembeault will go for Montréal (5-11-4, .896 SV% / 3.74 GAA / 1 SO). Koskinen allowed one he’d probably like to forget in Edmonton’s loss to the Blackhawks on Thursday, and Smith would love to gain some ground on the goalie carousel with a solid performance today. Smith is looking for his sixth win after a good enough performance in Edmonton’s 2-1 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes on Sunday.
  • Philip Broberg is back after a short trip to Bakersfield. Broberg will fill in for Tyson Barrie, who is out for at least a week with an upper body injury sustained on Thursday against Chicago. Broberg had a goal versus the AHL’s Barracuda on Wednesday.
  • The Canadiens have caught some lightning in recent days after hiring Martin St. Louis to replace Dominique Ducharme as head coach. Montréal is 6-1 in their last seven games, they’re 6-3-1 since Ducharme was replaced. Early looks suggest that the Canadiens are hanging in these games, and they’re not simply benefitting from luck and good goaltending. That might not last forever, but they’re showing well under a new bench boss.
  • The Canadiens have had some success in recent games because they’re finally scoring some goals. Over their 6-1 run, they’re averaging 3.71 goals scored per game, which is nearly a goal and a half higher than their season average of 2.36. Scoring goals masks a lot of problems, or so I’m told.
  • With so many Oilers out of the lineup due to injury, I’d be interested in taking another look at Brendan Perlini up top. He scored the game winner in Bakersfield last night, and it’s looking like the Warren Foegele Experience™ isn’t selling on the top line. Perlini has spent about a quarter of the time with McDavid 5-on-5, and I think Perlini might be able to help up top with the lineup missing so many pieces at this time.
  • The Oilers will need a win to keep pace with the Golden Knights, who are in third place. A win will tie the two clubs. A loss to the Habs? Let’s not go there right now.