The Oilers are finishing up a brief four game road trip today against the Carolina Hurricanes. They come in to this afternoon affair with a 1-1-1 record on the roadie and a win tonight would secure this trip as a successful one. The Last meeting between the Oilers and the Canes saw the Oilers squeak out 5-4 win in overtime at Rexall Place.
The Oilers had the day off on Saturday after losing in a shootout the night before in Detroit. That game was a sleeper of a hockey game as neither team was able to amount much offense and both goalies played well when they needed to.
The Hurricanes currently find themselves out of the playoff with a record of 29-29-9 and are 8 points back of the final wild card spot held in the Eastern Conference held by Montreal. Their recent play hasn’t been helping lately as they are 3-7 in their last 10 capped off by a lopsided loss at the hands of the Boston Bruins.
We’ll get another look at Ben Scrivens between the pipes today for the Oilers and it is very likely that the Canes give the start in goal to back up Anton Khudobin.
Keys To The Game:
Edmonton: Like all games the Oilers play a real 60 minute effort is required today. But what really needs to happen is some good play from the second line. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Nail Yakupov and Jordan Eberle really need to get it going. It will be interesting how Nail reacts to all the harsh criticism that’s been tossed his way the last few days.
Carolina: The Key for the he tanes is to be patient with the puck. The Oilers have a weaker defensive core and waiting for the mistakes to be made by the opposition and choosing when to strike will be a big advantage for the more mature Hurricanes.
Players To Watch:
Edmonton: Like I mentioned above, it’s time RNH, Ebs and Yak got going. I’ll also be keeping my eye on newly called up Oscar Klefbom to continue his improvement, he’s been reasonably steady so far.
Carolina: Jordan Staal and Alex Semin have been on fire as of late. Staal has 8 points in his last 5 games and Semin’s got 9 in 7. There is some offensive fire power on this team, and if the Oilers, like they are apt to do, make too many mistakes the Canes are a team that can light them up.
The Oilers should come into this game motivated, they’re looking to have a successful roadie and this afternoon could seal that success for them. That being said I have a feeling Carolina goalie Anton Khudobin is up to today’s test and back stops the Canes to a 4-2 win over the Oil.
Edmonton Oilers Lines:
Taylor Hall – Sam Gagner (GTD) – Nail Yakupov
David Perron – Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – Jordan Eberle
Matt Hendricks – Boyd Gordon – Anton Lander
Luke Gazdic – Ryan Smyth – Ryan Jones
Martin Marincin – Jeff Petry
Oscar Klefbom – Andrew Ference
Mark Fraser – Justin Schultz
Carolina Hurricanes Lines:
Jeff Skinner – Eric Staal – Elias Lindholm
Jiri Tlusty –Jordan Staal – Alex Semin
Nathan Gerbe – Riley Nash – Pat Dwyer
Andrei Loktionov – Manny Malholtra – Radek Dvorak
Andrej Sekera – Justin Faulk
Ron Hainsey – Brett Bellemore
Jay Harrison – Ryan Murphy