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Rangers visit Oilers, aim for second win to open trip

by Derek Van Diest

RANGERS (13-10-4) at OILERS (7-18-5)


EDMONTON -- The Edmonton Oilers are looking for a better start in their game against the New York Rangers at Rexall Place on Sunday.

The Oilers have one win in their past 15 games. They are on a three-game losing streak, including a 4-2 loss to the Anaheim Ducks on Friday after they fell behind 3-0.

"We're looking for a good start here and we've put a little research into our starts trying to see what it is," Oilers coach Dallas Eakins said. "I've spoken about execution. It's the execution of the start. Over the last 15 games where we've struggled mightily, we've had 49 percent of the shots on net in the first period, and you would assume that we would get our share of the goals. But we're getting 18 percent of the goals, and that goes to execution.

"It goes to being ready to put that puck in the net or being ready for that chance, so those numbers don't match up. We need execution on the start; we're getting the action we need 5-on-5."

Edmonton will be without defenseman Oscar Klefbom, who is out with a bruised foot sustained blocking a shot against the Ducks.

Keith Aulie will take Klefbom's place in the Oilers lineup.

"Oscar is day-to-day with a foot. It's not broken; it's extremely swollen, and he's limping around," Eakins said. "Hopefully that will turn for the better quickly."

The Rangers are coming off a 5-1 victory Saturday against the Vancouver Canucks in the first of a four-game road trip. They are sending center Derick Brassard home after confirming he was diagnosed with the mumps.

"He got up this morning and has the mumps, so we're looking at getting him back home right now," Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said. "We're going to send him home."

Tanner Glass, who contracted the mumps in late November, will take Brassard's place in the New York lineup.

Goaltender Ben Scrivens will start for the Oilers. He made seven saves in relief of Viktor Fasth against the Ducks.

Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist will start. He made 29 saves in the win against Vancouver.

Here are the projected lineups:


Rick Nash - J.T. Miller - Mats Zuccarello

Tanner Glass - Derek Stepan - Martin St. Louis

Carl Hagelin - Kevin Hayes - Lee Stempniak

Chris Kreider - Dominic Moore - Jesper Fast

Ryan McDonagh - Dan Girardi

Marc Staal - Dan Boyle

John Moore - Kevin Klein

Cam Talbot

Henrik Lundqvist

Scratched: Matt Hunwick

Injured: Derick Brassard (mumps)


Taylor Hall - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - Teddy Purcell

Nail Yakupov - Leon Draisaitl - Jordan Eberle

David Perron - Mark Arcobello - Tyler Pitlick

Luke Gazdic - Matt Hendricks - Steven Pinizzotto

Andrew Ference - Justin Schultz

Keith Aulie - Jeff Petry

Brandon Davidson - Mark Fayne

Ben Scrivens

Viktor Fasth

Scratched: Oscar Klefbom, Brad Hunt

Injured: Benoit Pouliot (foot), Boyd Gordon (back), Nikita Nikitin (back).

Status report: Purcell practiced on the top line with Hall and Nugent-Hopkins on Saturday and will start with them Sunday. … Edmonton has recalled defenseman Brad Hunt from the Oklahoma City Barons of the American Hockey League, but he will not play Sunday. Hunt started the season with Edmonton, scoring a goal in six games before being assigned to Oklahoma City.

Who's hot: Nash is on a nine-game point streak; he has six goals and five assists in that span. He had two assists in the win against Vancouver. … Miller has three goals and one assist in five games since being recalled from the Hartford Wolf Pack of the AHL on Nov. 28.

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