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GDB 69.0: Oilers look to salvage back-to-back weekend in a very nice matchup with the Senators (4pm MT, SNW)

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Photo credit:Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
baggedmilk
3 months ago
The Oilers wrap up their back-to-back weekend in Ontario this afternoon with a chance to sweep the season series against the Ottawa Senators. Ladies and gentlemen, let’s get ready for game day.
Be sure to check out the latest NHL odds with online sportsbook Betway.
The Ottawa Senators confuse me. Looking at the talent on their roster, I just don’t understand how we’re winding down the 2023-24 season, and the Sens are 16 points back of a wildcard spot. It’s not just that they’re outside of a playoff spot, but they’re not even within a five-dollar cab ride of getting there.
Then again, maybe I should understand where Ottawa is at, given that their misses almost mirror the hope we had here in Edmonton back in the Hall, Eberle, Paajarvi days. A lot of people picked the Oilers to make the playoffs back then, but our boys could never seem to put it all together until Connor McDavid showed up. Are the Sens simply working through their own version of that same hellish existence full of hope and heartbreak?
Either way, I picked the Senators to make the playoffs this year, and seeing them this far on the outside looking in is wild considering the young talent on their roster. Yet, even though they’re riding out the schedule until it’s time for summer vacay, there’s no way the Oilers should be taking them lightly. With the amount of skill they have available, the Oilers will need to give a full 60 minutes or risk having our Sunday Fundays ruined by a team playing spoiler.
One interesting wrinkle for tonight’s contest is that both sides are playing in the second half of a back-to-back set — our side lost round one, the Sens beat the Devils 5-2 — and it will be interesting to see who gets their legs going first. Often in these situations, it takes a minute for everyone to get up to full speed, and we’ll have to see if that leads to some early opportunities at either end of the rink. From an Oilers perspective, I hope they learned their lesson.
I’m hoping the Oilers come into tonight’s rematch against the Senators feeling pissed off about the way they played in Toronto. No one wants to get dummied on Hockey Night in Canada, and I’m thinking that loss may serve as a hard reset for an Oilers team who had too many things going their way lately. This trend of taking a period or so to get themselves going blew up in their faces yesterday, and the boys need to up their urgency levels by a factor of 10 or more.
The Oilers were able to overcome tough starts against Montreal and Buffalo, but they couldn’t get the job done against a much better Toronto team after falling behind early, and maybe that loss will serve as a tough lesson and reminder for why it takes a full 60 minutes to win games in this league. Even the bad teams in this league are good enough to burn you, and that means we need our side to be ready to go right from the opening draw. Dare to dream, my friends.
Let’s see what the numbers say…

THE NUMBERS

OILERSSENATORS
RECORD42-22-429-36-4
WIN/LOSS STREAKL1W1
LAST 10 GAMES6-2-24-5-1
GOALS FOR245220
GOALS AGAINST196246
POWER PLAY%27.016.7
PENALTY KILL%80.373.5
AVG. SHOTS/FOR33.732.3
AVG. SHOTS/AGAINST28.629.9
TEAM SAVE%.914.898
CORSI FOR%55.0250.19
PDO1.0020.987
TEAM SHOOTING%8.768.87
EXPECTED GOALS FOR%56.7649.34
Numbers courtesy of Natural Stat Trick (Sv%, CF%, PDO, Shooting%, xGF% all at 5×5)
  • Corey Perry leads all active Oilers in career games (35) while Connor McDavid leads in career points (40) against the Senators.
  • Yesterday in Toronto, Evan Bouchard notched his 69th point of the season and moved past Paul Coffey for the 6th most points by an Oilers defenceman in a single season. It is worth noting, however, that Coffey has the other top five scoring seasons by an Oilers d-man in franchise history.
  • The Oilers have outscored their opponents 92-60 in third periods this season, which gives them a +32 goal differential that is good for second best in the NHL (WPG, +34). Their 92 3rd period goals rank second in the league, only two behind the Tampa Bay Lightning who have the most.

GAME DAY ARTICLE PRESENTED BY BETWAY

LINEUPS…

Oilers ***UPDATED***

RNH – McDavid – Hyman
Henrique – Draisaitl – Foegele
Janmark – McLeod – Perry
Brown – Carrick – Ryan
Ekholm – Bouchard
Nurse – Desharnais
Kulak – Ceci
Skinner
With no morning skate to tell us if Kris Knoblauch will be making any changes to the lineup, we’ll have to wait and see who gets moved around ahead of this afternoon’s game at Canadian Tire Centre in Kanata. The biggest question I want to know is who will be starting in net after Calvin Pickard replaced Skinner in the third period of last night’s game against the Leafs. Will Knobby go back to Stu? Will Pickard start as planned? I’ll be sure to jump back in and edit the line combos/goaltending as news becomes available.
UPDATE: The blender is out! With Evander Kane taking a maintenance day, there was no choice for Knobby but to switch up his lines and he did exactly that. Nuge is back up on McDavid’s line, Henrique is beside Draisaitl, and Ryan McLeod is back down the middle with Janmark and Perry. Simple put: The blender was out. 

Senators

Tkachuk – Pinto – Batherson
Crookshank- Stutzle – Giroux
Kubalik- Greig – Joseph
Katchouk – Kastelic – Kelly
Sanderson – Zub
Chabot – Brannstrom
Chychrun – Bernard-Docker
Korpisalo
When you see the names above, don’t you think the Senators should be better than they are? It almost feels like like a trap to think about how Ottawa will be playing out the string and will miss the playoffs for a seventh straight season.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING…

From the Ottawa Senators:
The Senators are back home after a big win in New Jersey last night and set to host the Edmonton Oilers in their final meeting this season. Fans in attendance today will see the Senators induct the third member of the Ottawa Senators Ring of Honour, Dr. Donald Chow. Get your tickets here.
After getting the proverbial monkey off their backs last night getting back in the win column after three tough losses the Senators will look to carry that momentum into another tough task at hand today. The Senators were clicking across the board last night with five different goal scorers and a strong performance from Joonas Korpisalo that saw him stop 18 of the 20 shots he faced.
Most notable of all last night was the performance of their penalty kill which stopped all four Devils advantages and even potted a goal of their own courtesy of Mathieu Joseph’s short handed goal. Playing against the second best power play unit in the NHL the Senators will need the penalty kill to stand tall again here if they want to stymy the Oilers.

TONIGHT…

Photoshop: Tom Kostiuk
GAME DAY PREDICTION: Not only do I predict, but I demand a 4-2 win.
OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Connor McDavid will add two more assists to his pile, moving one step closer to 100 assists in the season.
NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Oilers will get two goals from their blue line, including blasts from Mattias Ekholm at even strength and one from Evan Bouchard on the power play.

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