Oilers

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After defeating the Los Angeles Kings in a better than expected game, the Oilers are back in action at Rogers Place tonight to take on the Anaheim Mighty Ducks of Anaheim.

The Ducks are fighting for a playof spot with the Kings, so the Oilers’ win last night was helpful for the Ducks and and an Oilers win tonight would help the Kings.

If Edmonton can’t be in the playoffs (and lets be real, they don’t have a good track record over the last decade), they might as well ruin other teams’ hopes.

Keys to the Game

Edmonton

  • Score first. Score often. Keep the puck with Connor or Leon or apparently Rattie because there’s not much else to hope for.
  • Stay out of the box and try not to force the Ducks to take penalties either. The penalty kill is still real bad, and the power play isn’t much better.

Anaheim

  • Force the Oilers to take penalties. It’s a strategy that has worked for most other teams in the league this season.
  • Honestly, keep the Oilers to the perimeter. They can’t seem to get too many pucks through from the outside, so it’s easy to defend.

Players to Watch

Edmonton

  • Connor McDavid is on another level, and despite his team being in the tank he is most certainly not. He passed Nikita Kucherov in the scoring race last night and doesn’t look to be slowing down. The bittersweet part of all this is, of course that we won’t get to see him in the playoffs.

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Anaheim

  • John Gibsom is going to be crucial for the Ducks down this stretch drive, so look for him to have a big night tonight.

Projected Lineups

Edmonton

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – Connor McDavid – Ty Rattie

Drake Caggiula – Leon Draisaitl – Pontus Aberg

Milan Lucic – Ryan Strome – Jesse Puljujarvi

Anton Slepyshev – Jujhar Khaira – Iiro Pakarinen

Darnell Nurse – Adam Larsson

Kris Russell – Ethan Bear

Yohann Auvitu – Matt Benning

Cam Talbot

Anaheim

Rickard Rakell – Ryan Getzlaf – Corey Perry

Andrew Cogliano – Ryan Kesler – Jakob Silfverberg

Nick Ritchie – Adam Henrique – Ondrej Kase

Jason Chimera – Derek Grant – Chris Kelly

Cam Fowler – Brandon Mountour

Marcus Pettersson – Hampus Lindholm

Francois Beauchemin – Korbinian Holzer

John Gibson

Notes

With 7 games left, the Oilers really only have the chance to play spoilers for other teams. It’s too bad they don’t have any games against Eastern Conference teams to wreak some real havoc.

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