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GDB 68.0: Playoff Picture (7pm MT, SNW)

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Photo credit:Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports
Jason Gregor
11 months ago
The Pacific Division playoff race is all but over, but the race for playoff positioning will be hotly contested over the final 15 games. Vegas, Los Angeles, Seattle, and Edmonton will make the playoffs in the Pacific, but where they finish is undetermined.
Welcome to our Oilers game day content presented by NHL odds site Betway!
Vegas has 88 points, followed by LA (85), Seattle (81), and Edmonton (80). All have 15 games remaining. LA has nine home games, the Oilers have eight, Seattle has seven and Vegas has six.
Edmonton plays LA and Vegas twice and Seattle once.
Vegas plays Seattle and EDM twice and LA once.
LA plays EDM twice and LA and Seattle once.
Seattle plays Vegas twice and LA and EDM once.
The remaining schedules for all four are as follows:
MARCHLVKLASEAEDM
14th@PHINYIOTT
16thCGYCBJ@SJDAL
18thVANEDM@SEA
19thCBJ
20thCGYSJ
21st@VAN@DAL
22ndARI
23rd@CGY@NSH
25th@EDMWPG@NSHVGK
26thSTL
27th@MIN@ARI
28thEDM@CGY@VGK
30th@SJ@EDMANALA
APRIL
1stMIN@SEALAANA
2nd@VAN
3rd@MINARI
4th@NSHEDM@VAN@LA
5th@ANA
6thLA@VGKARI
8th@DALCOLCHI@SJ
10thVAN@ARI
11thSEA@VGK@COL
13th@SEA@ANAVGKSJ
Vegas has one set of back-to-back games while the other three each have two.
Edmonton has seven games v. bottom-10 (BT)teams, seven v. playoff teams and one v. teams who are close, but are unlikely to make the playoffs (Ottawa).
Vegas plays four games v. BT teams, eight v. playoff teams and three v. the close, but no cigar club (CGY2x, NSH).
LA has six v. BT teams, seven v. playoff teams and two v. “no playoffs for you,” (CGY2x).
Seatte plays seven BT teams, six v. playoff teams and two (NSH 2x) v. those unlikely to reach the postseason.
Nashville and Calgary should be extremely desperate when Vegas, LA and Seattle face them this month, similar to Ottawa tonight, so those games won’t be easy.
LA is 13-5-2 (.700 points%) v. the teams they play the rest of the season.
Seattle is 11-7-3 (.595P%), Vegas is 10-8-1 (.552) and Edmonton is 9-5-2 (.625 pts%).
By that measure, Vegas has the most difficult remaining schedule, however, they enter the final 15 games playing the best hockey. Vegas is 12-2-2 in their last 16 games. Their next five games are against teams currently out of a playoff spot. Vegas would really need to struggle to avoid finishing first.
LA has a five-point lead on the Oilers and if the Kings go 9-6, then Edmonton would need to go 11-4-1 (Oilers own the tiebreaker) to catch them for second place, while Seattle would need to go 11-5 to catch the Kings.
If the Oilers have aspirations of finishing second they have to win their head-to-head games v. the Kings, and they have to defeat a struggling Ottawa team tonight.

PRESENTED BY BETWAY

LINEUP…

Oilers

Kane – McDavid – Hyman
RNH – Draisaitl – Yamamoto
Foegele – Bjugstad – Janmark
Shore – McLeod – Ryan
Nurse – Ceci
Ekholm – Bouchard
Kulak – Desharnais
Skinner
Klim Kostin might draw in. Philip Broberg and Jack Campbell were out late after the morning skate, so they won’t play. Kostin was the last forward on the ice, but he left right after Derek Ryan. So we won’t know until warmup which forward is out, and that could impact the line combinations.

Senators…

Tkachuk – Stutzle – Batherson
Debrincat – Pinto – Giroux
Brassard – Gambrell – Gauthier
Kastelic – Brown – Watson
Chychrun – Zub
Sanderson – Hamonic
Brannstrom – Holden
Sogaard
Thomas Chabot is doubtful to play. He left the game in Calgary in the third period after blocking a shot on his left leg. He took a brief twirl this morning, but left the ice early. Former Oiler Cam Talbot is still out day-to-day with a lower body injury, so former Medicine Hat Tiger, Mads Sogaard will make his first start v. the Oilers. Sogaard played 5:23 v. the Oilers on February 11th, when Anton Forsberg tore both his MCLs late in the game when Zach Hyman fell on him.
Since Forsberg was injured, Sogaard has started eight of the Senators 15 games and is 5-2-1, but he has a .893Sv% and 3.11 GAA. He’s allowed 13 goals in his last three starts, and that could be due to teams having more of a scouting report on him now. Teams figure out young goalies’ tendencies quickly.

TONIGHT…

Photoshop: Tom Kostiuk
GAME DAY PREDICTION: Oilers score five goals for the 26th time this season (Buff 21, Bos 20 are other teams 20+) and win 6-2.
OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Each team has at least three power plays. Ottawa leads the NHL in PP chances/game and the Oilers are fifth.
NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION:  Cody Ceci scores his first goal in 66 games and first career marker against the team who drafted him.

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