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Preview: Panthers at Oilers

Goalie James Reimer expected to start for Florida; Edmonton aims for fourth straight win behind Cam Talbot

by Derek Van Diest / NHL.com Correspondent

PANTHERS (20-18-8) at OILERS (24-15-7)

9:30 p.m. ET; SN1, FS-F, NHL.TV

 

Panthers team scope

Goaltender James Reimer is expected to start for the Florida Panthers, who play the second of a four-game road trip two points behind the Ottawa Senators for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference. The Panthers did not skate the morning after a 5-2 loss to the Calgary Flames on Tuesday. "We just didn't play a good game," coach Tom Rowe said. "Nothing really worked [Tuesday]. We played pretty good in the first period and after that they dominated us, deserved the two points, they played a good game." Center Vincent Trocheck scored twice and has nine points (five goals, four assists) in his past five games. "He's a great hockey player and he's a competitor," Rowe said. "He's got a shot that is very deceiving and he blew it by their guy [Flames goaltender Chad Johnson] a couple of times early on. Then they got their game going and it was kind of Calgary the rest of the way." Forward Derek MacKenzie will play in his 500th NHL game.

 

Oilers team scope

Goaltender Cam Talbot will start for the 17th time in 18 games for the Edmonton Oilers, who will attempt to win four consecutive games for the first time since winning five straight from Oct. 18-28. Talbot has won an NHL career-high 23 games, and leads the League in games played (41), minutes (2,458:48), and saves (1,115). "It's unbelievable what he's been able to do," captain Connor McDavid said. "He plays basically every game and doesn't take too many nights off. And to keep his play where it's been at, is pretty impressive." Forward Jordan Eberle has not scored in 18 games, the longest slump of his NHL career. He had four shots on goal and hit the post during a 3-1 win against the Arizona Coyotes on Monday. "Whenever you're in scoring slump and you haven't scored in a while, you want to, first and foremost, look where you're chances are coming from, and there's been lots," Eberle said. "Not only last game, but it feels like the last 10 [games] I could have 10 goals. I feel like I'm playing well, especially defensively, we're not giving up anything and we're creating some. I just have to step over and put one in and they'll start coming." McDavid and forward Leon Draisaitl are each a point away from 100 in their NHL careers.

 

Panthers projected lineup

Jared McCann -- Vincent Trocheck -- Jaromir Jagr

Jonathan Marchessault -- Jussi Jokinen -- Reilly Smith

Derek MacKenzie -- Michael Sgarbossa -- Colton Sceviour

Shawn Thornton -- Greg McKegg -- Paul Thompson

Keith Yandle -- Mark Pysyk

Michael Matheson -- Jason Demers

Jakub Kindl -- Aaron Ekblad

James Reimer

Roberto Luongo

Scratched: Dylan McIlrath, Seth Griffith, Denis Malgin

Injured: Jonathan Huberdeau (Achilles), Alex Petrovic (ankle), Aleksander Barkov (lower body), Nick Bjugstad (lower body)

 

Oilers projected lineup

Patrick Maroon -- Connor McDavid -- Leon Draisaitl

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

Milan Lucic -- Drake Caggiula -- Anton Slepyshev

Jujhar Khaira -- Mark Letestu -- Zack Kassian

Oscar Klefbom -- Adam Larsson

Andrej Sekera -- Kris Russell

Brandon Davidson -- Matthew Benning

Cam Talbot

Jonas Gustavsson

Scratched: Matt Hendricks, Eric Gryba

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

 

Status report

Lucic and Klefbom did not take part in the morning skate but each are in the lineup. … Sekera left the game against the Coyotes late in the third period after being hit in the arm with a shot, but also will play.

 

Who's hot

McDavid has eight assists in his past seven games. … Maroon has seven goals in his past seven games. … Draisaitl has four points (two goals, two assists) in his past three games.

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