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Preview: Oilers at Jets

Edmonton looks for improvement at Heritage Classic; Winnipeg seeking momentum after comeback win

by Scott Billeck / NHL.com Correspondent

OILERS (4-1-0) at JETS (2-2-0)

3 p.m. ET; NHLN, SN, TVA Sports 2, NHL.TV

 

Oilers team scope

Edmonton Oilers coach Todd McLellan said the closest his team has come to playing the way he'd like was in their most recent game, a 3-1 win against the St. Louis Blues on Thursday. "We've given up way too much, chances against, chances against early," he said. "We thought we were going to outscore our mistakes on a nightly basis and that doesn't happen in this league. We're still getting there. But we're five games into an 82-game season. We've got a lot of work to do."

The Oilers are trying to remain focused amid the spectacle of an outdoor game at the 2016 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic at Investors Group Field in Winnipeg. "I think you have to enjoy the experience, enjoy the weekend," forward Milan Lucic said. "But at the end of the day… once the puck drops, you know there's two points on the line. All that aside, you got to bring your work boots and bring that type of workmanlike (attitude) that you would in any regular-season game. We got to be focused on that more than anything."

Video: EDM@CGY: McDavid shows speed on great breakaway goal

 

Jets team scope

The Winnipeg Jets will be looking to build off their third-period performance in a 5-4 overtime win against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday. The Jets scored three times in the period, coming back after the Maple Leafs led 4-0 late in the second period. "We started moving, got on the body a little bit," forward Blake Wheeler said. "The first two periods were embarrassing. You could feel that in our room. We got a couple goods shifts going, got rolling and got momentum going on our side. We just seemed to keep the puck in their zone the whole period."

Seven of Winnipeg's 14 goals this season have come in the third period. The Jets have allowed 16 goals over their first four games, an average of four per game, which was tied for 26th in the NHL entering Saturday. "It's not something you're really worried about," said Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck. "It's early in the year, it happens to a lot of teams. If you look at the trends in the past 10 years, there's always a lot of goals being scored at the beginning of the year."

Video: TOR@WPG: Laine erupts for first NHL hat trick

 

Jets projected lineup

Patrik Laine-Mark Scheifele-Drew Stafford

Nikolaj Ehlers-Mathieu Perreault-Blake Wheeler

Kyle Connor /Chris Thorburn-Alexander Burmistrov-Brandon Tanev

Shawn Matthias-Adam Lowry-Joel Armia

Josh Morrissey-Dustin Byfuglien

Toby Enstrom-Tyler Myers

Mark Stuart /Ben Chiarot-Paul Postma

Connor Hellebuyck

Michael Hutchinson

Scratched: None

Injured: Bryan Little (lower body)

 

Oilers projected lineup 

Milan Lucic -- Connor McDavid -- Jordan Eberle

Benoit Pouliot -- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins -- Zack Kassian

Patrick Maroon -- Leon Draisaitl - Jesse Puljujarvi

Tyler Pitlick -- Mark Letestu -- Anton Lander /Anton Slepyshev

Oscar Klefbom - Adam Larsson

Andrej Sekera -- Kris Russell

Darnell Nurse -- Eric Gryba

Cam Talbot

Jonas Gustavsson

Scratched: None

Injured: Drake Caggiula (hip), Brandon Davidson (upper body), Andrew Ference (hip), Mark Fayne (lower body), Matt Hendricks (lower body), Iiro Pakarinen (knee)

 

Status report

Puljujarvi will play Sunday after being a healthy scratch for the past two games. … Talbot gets the start for the Oilers. The goaltender made 34 saves against the Blues for his fourth win of the season. … The Jets are 2-for-16 on the power play.

 

Who's hot

Scheifele has three goals and three assists in four games. … Wheeler has three goals and two assists in four games. … McDavid has four goals and four assists in five games. … Eberle has a five-game point streak (three goals, five assists).

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