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Time: 9:00 PM EST
Place: Rogers Place
TV: FS-D, SN1
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Oilers Blog: Copper and Blue
The Wings will wrap up their three-game Western road trip to Canada with their last pit stop in Edmonton tonight. It’s been anything but pretty to this point, dropping the first two games to the Canucks and Flames, while being outscored 10-2 overall. Last night’s loss in Calgary marked three straight and it will be no easy task against an Oilers squad (6-1-0) currently at the top of the Pacific Division standings.
The big story line heading into this one is Ken Holland squaring off against his former team — the Oilers GM spent 36 years in the Wings organization — hoping for a little bragging rights to carry with him the rest of the campaign.
DeKeyser and Nemeth were able to play against the Flames, but Adam Erne sat. We’ll see if Helm will be allowed in the lineup after last night’s game misconduct.
Jimmy Howard got the nod last night, but it remains to be seen if Jeff Blashill will go back to Jonathan Bernier between the pipes after a poor showing in the 5-1 loss to the Canucks on Tuesday.
One of the biggest concerns this week has been the lack of secondary scoring up front for the Wings. Tyler Bertuzzi, Dylan Larkin and Anthony Mantha have accounted for 11 of the team’s 18 goals this season. Blashill mentioned he wanted to switch up the lines in an effort to get more of an offensive spark out of Andreas Athanasiou and Taro Hirose — the two swapped positions on the power play units ahead of last night’s matchup.
The biggest hurdle facing the Wings on the opposite end of the rink will be trying to slow down Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid — the two have combined for 32 points through seven games this year. Obviously, that’s been no easy task for anyone, but one thing going in the Wings’ favor is that both AA and Larkin have the ability to match the speed of McDavid up and down the ice.
A couple of injury notes for the Oilers as defenseman Joel Persson is currently in the concussion protocol after missing practice yesterday. And, left wing Joakim Nygard has been sent to injured reserve with a rib injury. Defenseman William Lagesson has been called up from AHL Bakersfield.