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Preview: Oilers at Coyotes

Edmonton goes for fourth straight win, first regulation victory vs. Arizona in 24 games

by Jerry Brown / Correspondent

OILERS (12-8-1) at COYOTES (6-10-2)

TV: 9 p.m. ET; FS-A, SNOL, NHL.TV


Oilers team scope

The Edmonton Oilers lead the Pacific Division with 25 points and have won three straight games after a 2-7-1 slide. Connor McDavid leads the NHL in assists (18) and points (27); he has eight points, including four goals, in the past three games. Cam Talbot, who is tied for second in the League with 11 wins, didn't win his 11th game last season until Feb. 4. Edmonton has 64 goals through 21 games, 20 more than the Arizona Coyotes have scored in 18 games. However, the Coyotes were 4-0-1 against the Oilers last season and have not lost to Edmonton in regulation since Jan. 25, 2011. "In the past, this team has cleaned our clock," coach Todd McLellan said. "We haven't played well against them, we haven't found any type of success, in large part to us beating ourselves. Arizona never beats itself, the other team has to take the game from them and we've done a poor job of that."


Coyotes team scope

The Coyotes are 1-3-2 in their past six games and have scored two goals or fewer in five of the past six. Max Domi, Shane Doan and Anthony Duclair combined for 18 goals through 18 games last season. After 18 games this season, Domi has two goals, and Duclair and Doan have one each. Arizona is 24-2-4 against Edmonton under coach Dave Tippett, including 23 straight without a regulation loss (19-0-4), the longest in franchise history against any opponent. The Coyotes are 1-1-2 in a stretch of eight straight games within the Pacific Division, and their 14 total points are the fewest in the NHL. Goalie Mike Smith will start. He followed up his best game of the season, 43 saves in a 3-2 win against the San Jose Sharks, with his poorest, allowing four goals on 17 shots before being replaced in the second period of a 4-1 home loss to the Vancouver Canucks. Backup Louis Domingue finished that game but will not dress as the backup because of a lower-body injury.


Oilers projected lineup

Milan Lucic -- Connor McDavid -- Jesse Puljujarvi

Patrick Maroon -- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins -- Jordan Eberle

Drake Caggiula -- Leon Draisaitl -- Benoit Pouliot

Zack Kassian -- Mark Letestu -- Tyler Pitlick

Oscar Klefbom -- Adam Larsson

Andrej Sekera -- Kris Russell

Darnell Nurse -- Matthew Benning

Cam Talbot

Jonas Gustavsson

Scratched: Eric Gryba, Matt Hendricks, Anton Slepyshev

Injured: Brandon Davidson (upper body), Mark Fayne, (lower body), Iiro Pakarinen (knee)


Coyotes projected lineup

Max Domi -- Martin Hanzal -- Radim Vrbata

Tobias Rieder -- Jordan Martinook -- Shane Doan

Jamie McGinn -- Christian Dvorak -- Anthony Duclair

Lawson Crouse -- Laurent Dauphin -- Ryan White

Oliver Ekman-Larsson -- Connor Murphy

Alex Goligoski -- Anthony DeAngelo

Michael Stone -- Luke Schenn

Mike Smith

Justin Peters                                        

Scratched: Jakob Chychrun, Kevin Connauton

Injured: Louis Domingue (lower body), Brad Richardson (broken leg)


Status report

Letestu and Pouliot will each return to the lineup after missing three straight games as healthy scratches. Hendricks and Slepyshev will be scratched. ... Peters was been recalled from Tucson of the American Hockey League to will back up Smith.

Who's hot

McDavid has the most points of any Oilers player through 21 games since Craig Simpson had 27 in 1988-89. Draisaitl has four goals and four assists during a five-game point streak. Eberle, Lucic, and Nugent-Hopkins all have points in back-to-back games. ... DeAngelo has points in three straight games.

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