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game preview

Senators at Oilers preview

Edmonton looks to close gap in Western wild card; Ottawa is 3-12-1 in past 16 games

by Derek Van Diest / Correspondent

SENATORS (25-43-6) at OILERS (33-34-7)

4 p.m. ET; TVAS, SNW, TSN5, NHL.TV


The Game

The Edmonton Oilers will attempt to move closer to the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference when they host the Ottawa Senators at Rogers Place on Saturday. 

Mikko Koskinen will start in goal for the Oilers, who are six points behind the Minnesota Wild for the second wild card. Edmonton is 2-3-0 in its past five games after going 7-2-1 in its previous 10. 

Goalie Craig Anderson will start for the Senators, who are last in the Eastern Conference and have been eliminated from playoff contention. They have lost two straight and are 3-12-1 in their past 16 games.


Players to watch

Senators defenseman Thomas Chabot will return to the lineup after missing four games with a broken toe. He leads Ottawa with 49 points (13 goals, 36 assists) in 62 games. 

Oilers center Connor McDavid has 25 points (six goals, 19 assists) in his past 14 games. He is one point shy of matching his NHL career high of 108, set last season. 


They said it

"We'll be healthier, for sure. The fact we're going to have a better lineup bodes well for us. We're playing against a team in Edmonton that's very much like Vancouver, they're in the last gasps of it right now and they desperately need wins." -- Senators coach Marc Crawford

"Obviously I'm aware where I'm at and what position I'm in and the team is in. We still have a goal as a team and I'm trying to focus more on that than anything," -- Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl, who has 94 points (43 goals, 51 assists) in 74 games


Senators projected lineup

Brady Tkachuk -- Jean-Gabriel Pageau -- Max Veronneau

Rudolfs Balcers -- Chris Tierney -- Magnus Paajarvi

Zack Smith -- Oscar Lindberg -- Bobby Ryan

Anthony Duclair -- Colin White -- Mikkel Boedker

Thomas Chabot -- Christian Jaros

Christian Wolanin -- Dylan DeMelo

Ben Harpur -- Mark Borowiecki

Craig Anderson

Anders Nilsson

Scratched: Brian Gibbons, Erik Brannstrom

Injured: Marian Gaborik (back), Cody Ceci (upper body)


Oilers projected lineup

Leon Draisaitl -- Connor McDavid -- Zack Kassian

Milan Lucic -- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins -- Sam Gagner 

Joseph Gambardella -- Colby Cave -- Alex Chiasson 

Tobias Rieder -- Kyle Brodziak -- Ty Rattie 

Oscar Klefbom -- Adam Larsson

Darnell Nurse -- Kris Russell

Andrej Sekera -- Matt Benning

Mikko Koskinen

Anthony Stolarz

Scratched: Kevin Gravel, Josh Currie, Alexander Petrovic, Brad Malone

Injured: Jesse Puljujarvi (lower body), Jujhar Khaira (foot)


Status report

Pageau will be back from a one-game suspension for a hit on Vancouver Canucks forward Ashton Sautner, and Tierney will return from illness … The Senators sent emergency recalls Vitaly Abramov and Filip Chlapik back to Belleville of the American Hockey League on Friday … Sekera will play his 700th NHL game.


Stat pack

Duclair has four points (two goals, two assists) in a four-game point streak. … Draisaitl has 28 points (11 goals, 17 assists) in his past 19 games. … Nugent-Hopkins has scored in three straight games and has five goals in his past eight games. 

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