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Maintaining momentum

The Oilers seek returning to winning form following the All-Star break

by Paul Gazzola /

After taking four points from California against Pacific Division foes the Anaheim Ducks and San Jose Sharks, the Oilers have their sights set on continuing their preceding All-Star break momentum.

The team is 7-2-1 in its last 10 outings and currently riding a three-game winning streak.

"You always want to keep going [if you're winning]," said Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl. "If you're on a streak like that you want to play every single game. You want to play five in five [nights] if you can."

They won't play five games in five nights, but they will play four in six. The players in the dressing room believe they know what it takes to get back to form following the short intermission.

"We're a mature enough group to understand what it's going to take tomorrow to get back to being successful," said Draisaitl.

The calendar breaks often hinder or help a club, depending on injuries, fatigue and schedule rigours.

"I've been on teams - strong, veteran teams, too - where the break stops that momentum and it's hard to get your wheels going again," said Head Coach Todd McLellan.

Those aforementioned four games in six nights will see the Oil host the Minnesota Wild at Rogers Place on Tuesday, then head to Nashville, Carolina and Montreal for a three-game road trip.

After that trip, it's the Oilers bye week.

"It's important that we come up with a good effort tomorrow and that we get rolling here a little bit," said McLellan. "These four games before our next break can't get lost. They can't get lost in the shuffle. We have to understand that these eight points will be as important as any eight points we played for all season. The tendency is to take your foot off the gas sometimes with one break, never mind another one coming up quickly."

The blue and orange are 28-15-8 with 64 points on the season.

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