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BLOG: Oilers working to fill secondary scoring void

"I think everybody in here is giving an honest effort, and we're going to have to start scoring," forward Jujhar Khaira said

by Jamie Umbach /

EDMONTON, AB - Complementing the dynamic duo of Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid isn't just producing offensively - there's a certain mindset that goes with it.

"We have that attitude. Every line has that attitude every game," forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins said at Thursday afternoon's practice. "You want to go out and you want to produce and be effective. Those two guys, they can work through a lot of stuff, so it doesn't really matter what teams throw at them."

With Draisaitl and McDavid riding high with 29 and 23 points each respectively atop the Oilers statistical leaderboard and near the summit of the NHL's scoring race, everyone else is focused on filling in the peripherals as another way to contribute as they also look to factor in on the scoresheet at a more regular rate.

Video: RAW | Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 11.07.19

"That's the big thing. I feel like I've doing other aspects of my game well," Nugent-Hopkins, who has a goal and eight assists in 17 games this season, said. "You can create a lot and feel good, but at the end of the day you still have to find a way to break through and get a couple."

For Head Coach Tippett, when the goals aren't there, contributing without offence can come from something as easy as throwing that finishing check or chipping in a turnover in the offensive zone. It's a means for production other than offence that the bench boss is hoping to see from Nugent-Hopkins and his linemates Alex Chiasson and James Neal.

"Sometimes you might not even score, but you have to be dangerous," he said. "The other team's got to know that you're in the game, and that's where that second line needs to have a bigger impact on the game."

"Our line's going to be working hard tomorrow making sure that we make a difference," Nugent-Hopkins said.

In the bottom six, Khaira was marred in a scoreless slump of 17 games to begin the season before crashing the net and earning the just reward of his first goal of the season during a 4-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets on October 30.

Video: RAW | Jujhar Khaira 11.07.19

"I think everybody in here is giving an honest effort, and we're going to have to start scoring," he said. "We've struggled with that a little bit this year, but it's a problem when you're not getting the chances. I think our line has been getting the chances, so I think we just have to start bearing down and maybe get a greasy goal in front."

Josh Archibald, much like his slated linemate for Friday's clash with the New Jersey Devils, is hoping for a bit more of that puck luck himself.

It doesn't matter how the puck goes in - it just has to.

"Get to the greasy areas and get in front," Archibald continued. "I've seen pucks go off guys' faces and into the net. Not necessarily saying I want that to happen, but if it's off a leg or off my butt, that's a good start."

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