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Red Wings at Oilers preview

Draisaitl seeks point in eighth straight for Edmonton; Detroit tries to avoid fourth loss in row

by Derek Van Diest / Independent Correspondent

RED WINGS (3-4-0) at OILERS (6-1-0)

9 p.m. ET; SN1, FS-D, NHL.TV 


The Game

Leon Draisaitl can extend his season-opening point streak to eight games when the Edmonton Oilers host the Detroit Red Wings at Rogers Place on Friday.

The forward has 15 points (six goals, nine assists) in seven games. He and center Connor McDavid (17 points; five goals, 12 assists) are the only Oilers other than Wayne Gretzky to reach 15 points through the first seven games of a season and the first teammates to do it since Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr of the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1995-96.

Goalie Mikko Koskinen will make his second straight start for the Oilers after making 49 saves in a 6-3 win against the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday. 

It will be the first time Edmonton plays Detroit since hiring Ken Holland as general manager May 7 after he spent nearly 22 years in the same position with the Red Wings and 12 as part of their front office before that. 

The Red Wings will try to avoid their fourth straight loss. They have been outscored 15-4 during a three-game losing streak after a 3-1-0 start to the season.


Players to watch

Red Wings center Dylan Larkin has seven points (two goals, five assists) in his first seven games this season. 

Oilers forward James Neal has eight goals in seven games. He had seven goals in 63 games with the Calgary Flames last season. 


They said it

"Everyone sees the things that he does every night, night in and night out. It's fun to watch, but tonight our focus is on matching it and trying to be the best we can be and try and come out with a win." -- Red Wings forward Andreas Athanasiou on Oilers center Connor McDavid 

"I'm sure it's an exciting night for him. He spent pretty much all of his life there, and it'll be a little weird for him to cheer for our team instead of the red and white. Hopefully, he will cheer for us." -- Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl on general manager Ken Holland going up against his former team 


Red Wings projected lineup 

Tyler Bertuzzi -- Dylan Larkin -- Anthony Mantha

Andreas Athanasiou -- Frans Nielsen -- Luke Glendening

Christoffer Ehn -- Valtteri Filppula -- Taro Hirose

Darren Helm -- Jacob de la Rose -- Justin Abdelkader

Danny DeKeyser -- Filip Hronek

Patrik Nemeth -- Mike Green

Dennis Cholowski -- Alex Biega

Jonathan Bernier

Jimmy Howard

Scratched: Trevor Daley, Madison Bowey

Injured: Jonathan Ericsson (upper body), Adam Erne (upper body)


Oilers projected lineup

Leon Draisaitl -- Connor McDavid -- Zack Kassian

James Neal -- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins -- Alex Chiasson

Jujhar Khaira -- Riley Sheahan -- Patrick Russell

Tomas Jurco -- Gaetan Haas -- Josh Archibald

Oscar Klefbom -- Kris Russell

Darnell Nurse -- Ethan Bear

Brandon Manning -- Matt Benning

Mikko Koskinen

Mike Smith

Scratched: Markus Granlund, William Lagesson

Injured: Adam Larsson (leg), Joakim Nygard (rib), Joel Persson (concussion)


Status report

Erne will be a game-time decision, Detroit coach Jeff Blashill said. … Edmonton recalled Lagesson from Bakersfield of the American Hockey League on Thursday.


Stat pack

Nugent-Hopkins has six points (one goal, five assists) during a four-game point streak … Klefbom has nine points (one goal, eight assists) in his past six games.

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