The Oilers were outshot 52-23 by the Anaheim Ducks in their latest showdown on March 28, but Edmonton managed to defeat their opponents 4-3 in overtime.
Now the Oilers are coming off of a game last night against the Sharks in which they may believe they deserved a better fate with the way they battled in a 5-4 loss to the San Jose Sharks.
“I thought we battled pretty hard,” Taylor Hall said. “That’s a tough team in their building and they seem to play well a lot against us but, like I said, I thought we battled right until the end. A couple of mistakes cost us at the end of the game but for the most part we were in it and our line felt good.”
Hall had a four-point night against the Sharks as the Oilers top line combined for a 10-point game.
“It’s a lot of fun playing with those guys when we’re on,” Hall said. “When we’re working hard to get pucks back and when we’re playing well defensively, it seems to work out on the other end. It was just one of those nights where maybe we didn’t have as many chances as we usually have but everything went in and that’s always fun to see.”
The Oilers are looking to take some of the good things they did against the Sharks and transition them into the game against Anaheim tonight.
“I think we can take a lot of positives out of that game and I think that’s exactly what we’ve got to do coming into tonight,” Ryan Nugent-Hopkins said. “It’s a similar kind of team. They’re a little bit heavier a team and they have a lot of skill and right now, they’re fighting for spots in the playoffs. We know they’re going to come at us hard and it’s going to be the same effort needed from us tonight.”
The Oilers are a pack of walking wounded lately with several players throughout the lineup playing hurt. The most recent casualty is rookie forward Tyler Pitlick who suited up and sat on the bench last night but didn’t play a shift in the loss to the Sharks. He is dealing with a hurt knee after blocking a shot off of it last week.
The Oilers have recalled Steve Pinizzotto from the Oklahoma City Barons today, presumably to play in Pitlick’s spot.
“When guys are out, other guys have to pick up their roles and try to fill that space,” Nugent-Hopkins said of the current state of the roster. “I thought we did a pretty good job of that and even though we’re a little banged up right now, we’ve done a pretty good job of keeping the work ethic and the compete up.”
SEARCHING FOR A VIKTOR-Y
Edmonton acquired goaltender Viktor Fasth from the Anaheim Ducks at the trade deadline and he has been wanting to play against his former team ever since. Unfortunately for Fasth, the goalie suffered a neck injury in practice that held him out of the last matchup.
Fasth is healthy now and will get the start against his former team in his former town. He seemed very excited this morning.
“I am,” he said. “It’s going to be fun. I had a good year here and made a lot of friends but that’s not what I’m facing tonight.
“Now it’s my enemies,” he laughed.
The Oilers will be working towards getting him the win tonight.
“He’s been great to us, he’s been a good teammate and I know he’s a very competitive guy and he’s going to take this game real seriously,” Hall said. “For us, we always want to help out guys that are playing their former teams and tonight’s a great challenge for us.”