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game preview

Oilers at Senators preview

Wolanin to make NHL debut for Ottawa; Talbot in goal for Edmonton

by Callum Fraser / Correspondent

OILERS (32-36-5) at SENATORS (26-35-11)

7:30 p.m. ET; TSN5, RDS, SNW, NHL.TV


The Game

Defenseman Christian Wolanin will make his NHL debut for the Ottawa Senators when they host the Edmonton Oilers at Canadian Tire Centre on Thursday.

Wolanin, whose father, Craig Wolanin, spent 13 seasons as an NHL defenseman, signed with the Senators on Wednesday after three seasons at the University of North Dakota.

Goalie Craig Anderson will start for the Senators, who would be eliminated from Stanley Cup Playoffs contention with a regulation loss. The Senators trail the New Jersey Devils by 19 points for the second wild card in the Eastern Conference.

Cam Talbot will start for the Oilers, who are 5-2-1 in their past eight games since going 4-10-0 in their previous 14.

Edmonton was eliminated from playoff contention Wednesday when the Anaheim Ducks defeated the Calgary Flames 4-0.


Players to watch

Oilers forward Connor McDavid has 19 points (seven goals, 12 assists) in his past 12 games.

Senators forward Matt Duchene has nine points (four goals, five assists) in his past eight games.


They said it

"We kind of had that big-brother, little-brother mentality at school. We challenged each other after practice 1-on-1, always competing against each other… It'll be a good experience. We can finally test out those skills against each other in a real game." -- Oilers forward Drake Caggiula on former North Dakota teammate Christian Wolanin playing in his first NHL game

"It's been hectic ever since I made the decision to leave college. It's been non-stop phone calls, non-stop texts, but I'm definitely excited to be here." -- Senators defenseman Christian Wolanin


Oilers projected lineup

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins -- Connor McDavid -- Ty Rattie

Milan Lucic -- Ryan Strome -- Jesse Puljujarvi

Drake Caggiula -- Leon Draisaitl -- Pontus Aberg

Anton Slepyshev -- Jujhar Khaira -- Iiro Pakarinen

Darnell Nurse -- Adam Larsson

Kris Russell -- Ethan Bear

Yohann Auvitu -- Matt Benning

Cam Talbot

Al Montoya

Scratched: Michael Cammalleri, Dillon Simpson

Injured: Oscar Klefbom (shoulder), Zack Kassian (undisclosed), Andrej Sekera (lower body)


Senators projected lineup

Ryan Dzingel -- Matt Duchene -- Mike Hoffman

Magnus Paajarvi -- Jean-Gabriel Pageau -- Tom Pyatt

Bobby Ryan -- Zack Smith -- Marian Gaborik

Max McCormick -- Filip Chlapik -- Alexandre Burrows

Christian Wolanin -- Cody Ceci

Thomas Chabot -- Ben Harpur

Mark Borowiecki -- Fredrik Claesson

Craig Anderson

Mike Condon

Scratched: Patrick Sieloff, Jim O'Brien, Erik Karlsson

Injured: Mark Stone (leg), Chris Wideman (hamstring)


Status report

Wolanin signed a two-year, entry-level contract. ... Dzingel will return to the lineup after taking a puck to the back of the head in a 2-1 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday. ... Karlsson will miss his second straight game.


Stat pack

Talbot is 5-1-0 with a .947 save percentage in his past six starts. … Ryan needs one point for 500 in his NHL career.

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