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Edmonton Oilers Game Day: Oilers look to bounce back against Las Vegas Golden Knights

Edmonton Oilers at Vegas Golden Nights

8 pm. TV: Hockey Night in Canada. Radio 630 CHED

Keys to the game

1. Second-line scoring

In the 5-1 loss in L.A. , the Connor McDavid-Leon Draisaitl-Zack Kassian axis had a rare rough night (nine shots but only a McDavid goal) and they needed Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, playing through an injury, and his wingers James Neal and Jujhar Khaira to take over, but they only had three shots against Jonathan Quick. The left-wing slot continues to be a revolving door. RNH has seven even-strength points and Neal six in 24 games. That has to improve, although Nugent-Hopkins is hamstrung because he can’t handle the puck as well as normal.

2.Offence from defence

Neither team’s scoring from the back end is carrying the day. The Oilers only have five goals from their D even-strength and the Golden Knights just six. Oscar Klefbom leads the Oilers with 17 points (10 on the PP) and Shea Theodore leads Vegas with 10 (five on the PP). Klefbom has one goal on 55 shots, Theodore one in 60 shots. The Golden Knights would be more dangerous but Nate Schmidt has only played 12 games (eight points).

Oil Spills podcast: Taylor Hall back to the Oilers, the trade rumour that won’t die

The rumour has been persistent since early in this NHL season, that Taylor Hall — former Edmonton Oilers star — would welcome a trade away from the New Jersey Devils, who have faltered on the ice thus far. And his rumoured preferred destination? The Oilers.

Host Craig Ellingson talks to hockey beat writer Derek Van Diest about the rumours and what a Taylor Hall trade to Edmonton would mean for the team.

3. What’s happened to Alex Chiasson?

The right-winger was last season’s feel-good story with his 22 goals , scoring night after night in the early going, but he has one goal in 20 games. After he scored against New Jersey Nov. 8 it looked like he might have his mojo back but he hasn’t scored in the five games he’s played since. On the season he has 29 shots and just the goal on Cory Schneider. He’s had some power-play time along with Neal, but his play is really out of sync.

4 Finding his Swedish scoring touch

Joakim Nygard had three glorious chances to score on Quick in L.A., including two breakaways and a 10-footer that Alec Martinez got his stick on with Quick beaten. He’s got one goal in his medically impaired season, with only 10 games. The goals that came easily back home, when he had 21 with Farjestads, aren’t there in the NHL. He’s got excellent speed but he’s in that learning-on-the-fly mode right now.

5. Get the Game to OT

The Knights have lost four times in the 3-on-3 this season, the latest to San Jose Thursday. They haven’t scored in their past 11 games that have gone to OT, including six this season. They’re 2-0 in shootouts, so keep it to the overtime, not the skills contest. The last time Vegas scored in OT was last Jan. 12 on Theodore’s goal in Chicago.

Big Matchup: McDavid and Draisaitl vs. Marc-Andre Fleury

The Oilers big guns have identical stats right now (16 goals, 44 points) and are seven points clear of Brad Marchand in the scoring race, but Vegas goalie Fleury keeps rolling along. He won his 450th career game the other day, which puts him seventh on the all-time list, four back of Curtis Joseph and Henrik Lundqvist. Fleury, who turns 35 on Nov. 28, is going to the Hall of Fame with his three Cup rings with the Penguins along with all those W’s in net.

Special Teams

Oilers: PP 22-70, 31.4 per cent, first. PK 71-8, 87.6 per cent, second.

Golden Knights: PP 18-79, 22.8 per cent, ninth. PK 71-82 86.6 per cent, fourth.

Sick Bay

Oilers : Matt Benning

Golden Knights : None

Game day lines: Oilers (projected)

Leon Draisaitl-Connor McDavid-Zack Kassian
Jujhar Khaira-Ryan Nugent-Hopkins-James Neal
Joakim Nygard-Riley Sheahan-Josh Archibald
Markus Granlund-Gaetan Haas-Alex Chiasson


Darnell Nurse-Ethan Bear
Oscar Klefbom-Caleb Jones
Kris Russell-Adam Larsson


Mikko Koskinen
Mike Smith

Game day lines: Golden Nights (projected)

Max Pacioretty-William Karlsson-Rielly Smith
Jonathan Marchessault-Cody Eakin-Mark Stone
Alex Tuch-Paul Stastny-Cody Glass
William Carrier-Tomas Nosek-Ryan Reaves


Brayden McNabb-Nate Schmidt
Nik Hague-Shea Theodore
Jon Merrill-Deryk Engelland


Marc-Andre Fleury
Malcolm Subban

Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2019

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