Edmonton Oilers Shuffle Lines, Ready for Buffalo
The Edmonton Oilers will finally see the second Connor McDavid-Jack Eichel face-off Tuesday, as they take on Buffalo.
With the Oilers falling to the Ducks in overtime Sunday, the team will look to make some changes to its starting lineup. Here’s projected lines, keys to victory and everything else to know.
Oil On Whyte 1 d
Edmonton Oilers: Though Unorthodox, Gustavsson Proving Worth
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Patrick Maroon-Ryan Nugent-Hopkins-Jordan Eberle
Milan Lucic-Connor McDavid-Leon Draisaitl
Zack Kassian-Drake Caggiula-Jesse Puljujarvi
Matt Hendricks-Mark Letestu-Tyler Pitlick
Extra: Benoit Pouliot, Anton Slepyshev
Andrej Sekera-Matthew Benning
Oscar Klefbom-Mark Fayne
Kris Russell-Adam Larsson
Cam Talbot will start between the pipes for the Oilers, with Jonas Gustavsson backing up.
Keys to Victory
Edmonton had a tough time against Buffalo after a wicked start to the season, falling 6-2 and putting up a poor all-around effort. One of the mistakes lied with the Oilers’ lack of attention to defense.
Buffalo has Kyle Okposo, Evander Kane, Matt Moulson and now, more importantly, Jack Eichel. The Oilers have to play a shutdown game and outwork these guys, as well as maintain possession of the puck. Also, avoiding turnovers and covering each man will be key for the Oilers in the win, as well as staying out of the penalty box.
By the same token, Edmonton needs to focus on improving its power-play and needs to get pucks to the net. No matter how ugly the game gets, the Oilers need to escape with the win. That means getting more pucks on net and avoiding the pretty-play mentality.
Players to Watch
Obviously, our showdown for Tuesday will highlight the two first picks in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. For the first time this season, McDavid and Eichel will square off. In their last match-up against each other, McDavid won the battle, escaping with two goals, including the overtime winner.
The puck drops at 5 p.m. MT from First Niagara Center in Buffalo, New York.
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