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Preview: Oilers at Rangers

Edmonton goaltender Cam Talbot starts against Henrik Lundqvist and former team for first time

by Dan Rosen @drosennhl / NHL.com Senior Writer

OILERS (7-2-1) at RANGERS (7-3-0)

7 p.m. ET; MSG, SN360, NHL.TV

 

Oilers team scope

The Edmonton Oilers are off to their best start since the 1985-86 season, when they were 8-2-0 after 10 games. However, they come to New York having lost back-to-back games, including a 3-2 overtime loss at the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday. They've scored two goals in the past two games despite taking 83 shots on goal. "We can't trick ourselves with the volume of shots," coach Todd McLellan said. "There were some distant shots that created time in the offensive zone, which is something that we want, but didn't create scoring chances. So we've got to evaluate it properly." Goalie Cam Talbot will face his former team for the first time and make his 11th straight start. Talbot was the backup to Henrik Lundqvist from 2013-15. He was elevated to No. 1 for a time during the 2014-15 season, when Lundqvist was out with a neck injury. "I got to spend some time with [Lundqvist] through training camp and two full seasons over the course of five years, so I got to learn a lot from Hank, most of all just how to be a pro," Talbot said. "You come to the rink and it's time to work. That was the biggest thing I took from Hank, his work ethic. I came to the rink ready to go and tried to make myself better every day." He got his chance to be a No. 1 in Edmonton last season because of a trade, and he's running with it this season; Talbot has a 2.14 goals-against average and .932 save percentage. "It's nice to talk to media and fans that appreciate him in the past," McLellan said. "Our Edmonton fans have that now, of course, but I'm not sure that he gets enough respect out west. He's earning it now as he goes. He's been tremendous for us."

 

Rangers team scope

The New York Rangers lead the NHL with 40 goals through 10 games, including 32 in seven games at Madison Square Garden, where they are 6-1-0. They have scored 11 goals in their past two games, home wins against the Tampa Bay Lightning (6-1) and St. Louis Blues (5-0). Rookie left wing Jimmy Vesey had goals in each of those wins, giving him a team-high six. He is tied with Auston Matthews of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Patrik Laine of the Winnipeg Jets for the most goals among rookies. Vesey is third among rookies in points with nine; all have come in the past eight games. "I didn't have anything my first couple of games and now everything is going in for me," he said. "I don't know. We'll see what happens from here on." The Rangers have had balanced offense with eight players who have three or more goals, including four with five or more. They have seven players with eight or more points, led by forward J.T. Miller's 10. "We have every line contributing right now, which helps," Miller said. "I think we're playing fast and playing to our strengths. Off of transition so far, I feel like every time they make a mistake we're flying the other way and we're scoring on our opportunities."

 

Oilers projected lineup

Milan Lucic -- Connor McDavid -- Jordan Eberle

Patrick Maroon -- Leon Draisaitl -- Jesse Puljujarvi

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

Anton Lander -- Mark Letestu -- Tyler Pitlick

Adam Larsson -- Oscar Klefbom

Andrej Sekera -- Kris Russell

Darnell Nurse -- Matthew Benning

Cam Talbot

Jonas Gustavsson

Scratched: Eric Gryba, Anton Slepyshev

Injured: Brandon Davidson (upper body), Matt Hendricks (lower body), Iiro Pakarinen (knee)

 

Rangers projected lineup

Chris Kreider -- Mika Zibanejad -- Mats Zuccarello

Jimmy Vesey -- Derek Stepan -- Rick Nash

Michael Grabner -- Kevin Hayes -- J.T. Miller

Pavel Buchnevich -- Brandon Pirri -- Jesper Fast

Ryan McDonagh -- Dan Girardi

Marc Staal -- Nick Holden

Brady Skjei -- Kevin Klein

Henrik Lundqvist

Antti Raanta

Scratched: Adam Clendening, Oscar Lindberg

Injured: Josh Jooris (shoulder)

 

Status report

McDavid will play against the Rangers for the first time. He missed the two games last season with a broken collarbone. … Lundqvist, who is coming off a 35-save shutout against St. Louis on Tuesday, will get the start, his ninth in New York's 11 games. Coach Alain Vigneault said he thought Lundqvist had his best game of the season against the Blues. It was the first time he faced more 30 or more shots in eight starts.

 

Who's hot

McDonagh has assists in eight consecutive games and is tied for second in the NHL with nine assists. Vesey has four points in the past two games, including goals in each. Hayes and Miller also have four points in the past two games. Nash has three points in the past two games and five, including three goals, in the past four games.

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