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Preview: Oilers at Hurricanes

Carolina goalie Cam Ward game-time decision; Edmonton tries to end two-game slide

by Kurt Dusterberg / Correspondent

OILERS (28-17-8) at HURRICANES (22-20-7)

7:30 p.m. ET; SN, SN1, FS-CR, NHL.TV


Oilers team scope

The Edmonton Oilers will complete a back-to-back set after a 2-0 loss at the Nashville Predators on Thursday. "That was a playoff game," coach Todd McLellan said. "I thought it had playoff intensity. We're at that time of year. We didn't make many mistakes. We made a few and they capitalized on it." Cam Talbot, who made 25 saves in the loss, has a career record of 4-0-0 against the Carolina Hurricanes with two shutouts and a 0.97 goals-against average. Edmonton ranks third in the NHL with 35 points (15-8-5) on the road this season. Despite losing two games this week, the Oilers are 7-2-1 in their past 10 games. The Oilers did not have a morning skate.


Hurricanes team scope

Goaltender Cam Ward will be a game-time decision for Carolina after he was hurt during warmups at the morning skate. Ward stopped a shot before coming out of the crease, favoring his blocker hand. After a couple minutes at the bench, he left the ice. "Still in doubt," coach Bill Peters said. "He's a game-time decision." If Ward cannot play, Eddie Lack will make his first start since a 4-1 loss to the New Jersey Devils on Nov. 6. A concussion kept Lack sidelined until he played a two-game conditioning stint with Charlotte of the American Hockey League at the end of January. This is the first game at PNC Arena for Oilers second-year star Conner McDavid, the NHL scoring leader with 59 points. "He's fast; if you give him room, he's going to cut east-west on you," Peters said. "He's still going to make plays, even though we're going to try to negate time and space, but we'll be aggressive trying to handle him. You want to have good angles and good sticks and a real intelligent plan."


Oilers projected lineup

Leon Draisaitl -- Connor McDavid -- Patrick Maroon

Benoit Pouliot -- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins -- Jordan Eberle

Milan Lucic -- Drake Caggiula -- Anton Slepyshev

Matt Hendricks -- Mark Letestu -- Zack Kassian

Oscar Klefbom -- Adam Larsson

Andrej Sekera -- Kris Russell

Brandon Davidson -- Matt Benning

Cam Talbot

Laurent Brossoit

Scratched: Eric Gryba, Anton Lander

Injured: Andrew Ference (lower body), Jujhar Khaira (upper body), Darnell Nurse (ankle), Iiro Pakarinen (lower body), Tyler Pitlick (knee)


Hurricanes projected lineup

Jeff Skinner - Derek Ryan - Lee Stempniak

 Brock McGinn - Victor Rask - Teuvo Teravainen

Sebastian Aho - Jordan Staal - Elias Lindholm

Joakim Nordstrom -- Jay McClement -- Viktor Stalberg

Jaccob Slavin -- Brett Pesce

Ron Hainsey -- Justin Faulk

Noah Hanifin - Klas Dahlbeck

Eddie Lack

Cam Ward

Scratched: Matt Tennyson, Ryan Murphy, Ty Rattie

Injured: Bryan Bickell (illness)


Status report

The Hurricanes will go with the same line combinations and defense pairings they used in a 5-1 win against the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday.


Who's hot

Draisaitl has three goals in the past five games. Sekera has two goals and an assist in the past three games. … Lindholm has three goals and 13 points in the past 12 games. Aho had a hat trick and four points against the Flyers on Tuesday.

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