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MORNING SKATE REPORT: Oilers at Jets

by Marc Ciampa / Edmonton Oilers

 
INSIDE THE OILERS

 

Ference expresses frustration after Oilers loss on Monday, Darnell Nurse speaks on Oilers Now and more.

>> READ MORE IN THE INSIDE THE OILERS BLOG

 

PRE-GAME REPORT

 

WINNIPEG, MB - The Oilers visit Winnipeg for a brief one-game road swing in search for a solution to their 10-game winless skid before heading back to Edmonton.

Looking for answers, the team has shuffled up its lines in a big way:

Hall-RNH-Pitlick
Yakupov-Draisaitl-Eberle
Perron-Gordon-Purcell
Gazdic-Arcobello-Pinizzotto

Defence Pairings:

Ference-Schultz
Nikitin-Fayne
Klefbom-Petry

Viktor Fasth gets the start in goal.

PITLICK EXCITED

Tyler Pitlick noted that he was excited for the opportunity to join Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins on the top line.

"It's time for me to make a step. I think I'm ready," he said, adding that he doesn't think that he should change the way he plays despite being on the number one forward unit.

"For me I've got to play my same game," Pitlick remarked.

Oilers head coach Dallas Eakins echoed the sentiments of the right winger. Eakins said he wanted to see more of what Pitlick showed him last game against Arizona.

"Tyler brings pucks to the net and that's what we need from everyone," Eakins stated, adding that he feels that all the line changes should help give the team a fresh mindset. "I think the shuffling of the lines and shuffling of guys on both special teams will hopefully refresh the guys and give them a clear head space."

DEALING WITH ADVERSITY

In their last 10 games, the Oilers are 0-7-3 and have yet to win a game against the Western Conference (0-12-3). Coach Eakins said after morning skate that he was hopeful that the adversity the team has faced will help them in the future

"We're hopeful that this adversity pays off down the road," he said. "Maybe all of this is going to turn into winning us some very crucial games in the future."

As for tonight, if the Oilers were going to win a game against the Western Conference tonight is a good opportunity as they match-up well against the Jets. Winnipeg also plays more of an Eastern Conference style, having formerly been the Atlanta Thrashers. The coach does expect a battle, however.

"For the game against Winnipeg I like the look of our lines and matching up," Eakins remarked. "We're going to have to be ready to match their quickness and compete level."

-- Marc Ciampa, edmontonoilers.com

 

NHL.COM PREVIEW

 

OILERS (6-15-4) AT JETS (12-9-4)

TV: SN, SN1

Season series:
The Winnipeg Jets won two of three games against the Edmonton Oilers last season. Oilers forward Taylor Hall had five points. Jets defenseman Jacob Trouba had three goals and an assist.
   
Oilers team scope:
Edmonton lost 5-2 to the Arizona Coyotes on Monday and has not won since Nov.  9 (0-7-3). The Oilers are closing in on the franchise record of 14 games without a win, which occurred during the 1994-95 season.  Since a four-game winning streak Oct. 20-27, the Oilers are 2-11-3. Left wing Benoit Pouliot (foot) remains out. Left wing Matt Hendricks (leg) has missed the past two games. Right wing Tyler Pitlick, a second-round pick in the 2010 NHL Draft, made his season debut Monday. The Oilers have allowed three or more goals in four of their past five games. After visiting Winnipeg, the Oilers will not play until Sunday when they begin a home-and-home series with the San Jose Sharks.

Jets team scope:
Winnipeg finished a 2-0-1 road trip with a 2-1 overtime loss to the Boston Bruins on Nov. 28. The Jets begin a three-game homestand without defenseman Toby Enstrom (lower body) who was placed on injured reserve retroactive to Nov. 23. Winnipeg recalled defenseman Ben Chiarot from the St. John’s IceCaps of the American Hockey League. Center Bryan Little, who was hit in the right knee by a shot and exited the game against the Bruins on Nov. 28, practiced on Tuesday and is expected to play Wednesday. Center Adam Lowry will return after serving a one-game suspension for a check from behind against Patrick Kaleta of the Buffalo Sabres on Nov. 26. The Jets have scored four times on their past 12 power-play opportunities after being held scoreless in 23 consecutive man-advantage opportunities.

-- NHL.com
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