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Preview: Oilers at Bruins

Boston forward David Backes still sidelined; goalie Cam Talbot starts for Edmonton

by Matt Kalman / NHL.com Correspondent

OILERS (19-13-7) at BRUINS (20-16-4)

7 p.m. ET; SN, TVA Sports, NESN, NHL.TV

 

Oilers team scope

The Edmonton Oilers opened their four-game road trip with a 3-1 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday, but the Oilers are 2-1-2 in their past five away from Rogers Place and have a 10-6-5 road record. Forward Anton Lander, who was recalled from Bakersfield of the American Hockey League on Monday, will get back in the lineup. Lander had 10 goals and 11 assists in 13 games for the Condors after he started the season with one goal and two assists in 16 games for the Oilers. "I would never get the points I do in the AHL up here," said Lander, who'll play on the fourth line. "But my most important thing playing here is faceoffs and penalty kill. And now I've got to bring that confidence I gained in Bakersfield the last couple weeks."

 

Bruins team scope

The Boston Bruins, who are 2-2-1 in their past five games, will be without forward David Backes (concussion) for the third straight game since he was injured Dec. 29. Backes has practiced twice but isn't 100 percent healthy. "I'm feeling better again today. Just not quite where I need to be to play in the best league in the world quite yet," said Backes, who has nine goals and 10 assists in 33 games. "Hopefully in the next 48 hours we can continue on the trajectory we're on and Saturday's hopeful at this point and more probable." With Backes still sidelined, Frank Vatrano, who has two goals and two assists in six games since returning from an offseason foot injury, will remain with center David Krejci and Ryan Spooner.

 

Oilers projected lineup

Milan Lucic -- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins -- Zack Kassian

Patrick Maroon -- Connor McDavid -- Leon Draisaitl

Benoit Pouliot -- Drake Caggiula -- Jordan Eberle

Anton Lander -- Mark Letestu -- Jesse Puljujarvi

Andrej Sekera -- Matthew Benning

Oscar Klefbom -- Adam Larsson

Kris Russell -- Eric Gryba

Cam Talbot

Jonas Gustavsson

Scratched: Brandon Davidson, Jordan Oesterle, Matt Hendricks

Injured: Iiro Pakarinen (knee), Andrew Ference (hip), Darnell Nurse (foot), Mark Fayne (lower body), Tyler Pitlick (knee)

 
Bruins projected lineup

Brad Marchand -- Patrice Bergeron -- David Pastrnak

Ryan Spooner -- David Krejci -- Frank Vatrano

Tim Schaller -- Austin Czarnik -- Jimmy Hayes

Anton Blidh -- Dominic Moore -- Riley Nash

Zdeno Chara -- Brandon Carlo

Torey Krug -- Adam McQuaid

Kevan Miller -- Colin Miller

Tuukka Rask

Anton Khudobin

Scratched: Joe Morrow, Noel Acciari

Injured: David Backes (concussion), Matt Beleskey (knee), John-Michael Liles (concussion)

 

Status report

Davidson practiced Thursday after missing practice on Wednesday because of illness. Oesterle was recalled from Bakersfield on Thursday. ... Khudobin cleared waivers Thursday and remains with the Bruins.

 

Who's hot

Draisaitl has 21 points, including 10 goals, in 21 road games. He is fourth in the NHL in scoring on the road. ... Spooner had a five-game point streak ended in the Bruins' last game, a 3-0 loss at the New Jersey Devils on Monday, but he has three goals and four assists in his past six games.

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