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PRE-GAME REPORT: Oilers at Senators 04.08.21

The Oilers eye the season series sweep in their ninth and final meeting with the Ottawa Senators

by Paul Gazzola /

Oilers pre-game coverage is presented by SkipTheDishes

The Oilers look to stay perfect against the Ottawa Senators in the season series finale Thursday at Canadian Tire Centre.

You can watch the game on Sportsnet West or listen on the Oilers Radio Network, including 630 CHED.

Read the Preview then check back following Thursday's media avails for the full Pre-Game Report.

Video: OILERS TODAY | Pre-Game at OTT 04.08.21


News and notes from the Oilers organization over the past few days in Oil Country.



OTTAWA, ON - Eight encounters with the Ottawa Senators have yielded eight wins and 16 points for the Oilers over the 2020-21 calendar. In the series finale on Thursday, the Orange & Blue will see if they can go the whole nine yards.

"Doesn't matter what our record is against them," Oilers Head Coach Dave Tippett said pre-game. "Every game is a different game and you don't look back and rest on your laurels. You got to show up to that game that's right in front of you and do your best. That's what we try to do every game."

Wednesday's victory marked the second time the Oilers have defeated a single opponent eight times in a campaign, doing so in 1983-84 against the Winnipeg Jets. Edmonton has dominated Ottawa by way of a 38-17 scoring margin in '20-21 but is well-aware of the Sens' desire to stain the spotless sheet.

"That team over there that we're playing tonight, they work hard," Zack Kassian said. "We have to match that work ethic and we feel if we do that, more times than not, we'll like the outcome of the game."


Grab a plate and step up to the buffet table because the Dynamic Duo has feasted on the Senators all season.

The NHL's top-two leading scorers have devoured Ottawa, recording four-point performances each Wednesday and combining for 41 points altogether in the series.

Video: PRE-RAW | Zack Kassian 04.08.21

Draisaitl registered his fourth career regular-season hat trick and added an assist, displaying his unparalleled precision with a short-side snipe from below the goal-line on his second marker of the night. 

McDavid tallied one goal and three assists while torching the ice on several individual rushes plus a jaw-dropping net-drive for the game-winning goal. 

The Dynamic Duo has entertained the hockey world with their ways and even teammates wish they had a bag of popcorn while watching the pair go to work.

"I'm happy to be able to sit on the bench to watch them play and watch them grow," Kassian said. "The plays they make in the game, from Leon's goal-line goal to Connor's goal in the third, those are plays that a lot of players cannot make in the NHL, if not the majority of them. It speaks volumes of the talent those two have."

Thirty-four percent of Draisaitl's 61 points have come against the Sens and McDavid has 32 points in 17 career outings versus Canada's capital city squad.

"I've played with them for six years now and it's amazing to see what they do day-to-day, even in practice, but you guys get to witness it first-hand in games," Kassian continued. 

"I sure hope that Edmonton realizes how lucky they are to watch these two players night-in and night-out. It's pretty special to be one of their teammates. They're going to have such long, great careers."

Video: PRE-RAW | Ethan Bear 04.08.21


Mike Smith is expected to get the ball in net despite the Oilers not holding a morning skate. Coach Tippett didn't rule out the possibility for lineup changes due to a few injuries but did not specify what they would be.

Stay tuned to for any updates or roster transactions ahead of puck-drop.


OILERS (24-14-2) at SENATORS (13-23-4)

TV: 5:00 p.m. MT; Televised on Sportsnet West

Oilers Team Scope

The Oilers maintained their spotless record against the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday, doubling up on the club 4-2 in the first of a back-to-back set. 

Leon Draisaitl (22G, 39A) tallied his fourth-career regular-season hat trick and added an assist while Connor McDavid (23G, 45A) dished three helpers plus a goal, combining for eight points Wednesday. McDavid paces the National Hockey League with 68 points and Draisaitl follows in second with 61.

Darnell Nurse continues to lead all defenders with 13 goals and Tyson Barrie is third in defencemen scoring with 34 points. Goaltender Mike Smith is 13-3-2 with a 2.41 goals-against average, .919 save percentage and two shutouts on the year.

The Oilers sit in sole possession of second in the North Division with 24 wins, 50 points and a .625 points percentage through 40 games.

Video: THE DRILL | E18: Kailer Instinct

Senators Team Scope

The Senators suffered their second consecutive defeat Wednesday, dropping the first of two straight with the Oilers. Ottawa competed well in March with a 5-5-3 record but have gone 1-3-0 over their first four games in April.

Brady Tkachuk (12G, 12A) and Thomas Chabot (4G, 20A) lead the Senators offensively with 24 points each. Drake Batherson (12G, 11A), Connor Brown (11G, 10A), Josh Norris (10G, 11A) and Tim Stützle (6G, 14A) all have 20 points or more on the season. 


Thursday's game marks the ninth and last meeting of the season between the Oilers and Senators. Edmonton is 8-0 and has outscored Ottawa 38-17.

In eight games against the Sens this year, Draisaitl (10G, 11A) and McDavid (4G, 16A) have combined for 41 points. Barrie has also produced three goals and 13 points.

Senators skaters Evgenii Dadonov (4G, 1A), Tkachuk (2G, 3A) and Chabot (1G, 4A) all have five points versus Edmonton. Tim Stützle (3G, 1A), Austin Watson (1G, 3A) and Mike Reilly (4A) have four.

By the Numbers:

The Oilers are 2nd on the power play (26.6%) and 17th on the penalty kill (78.8%). ... Edmonton is 5-2-0 in the second game of a back-to-back in 2020-21. ... McDavid tops all NHL skaters with a 1.70 points per game average. ... Draisaitl has 22 goals on 120 shots for an 18.3 shooting percentage. ... 

The Senators are 26th on the PP (15%) and 22nd (76.6%) on the PK. ... Ottawa averages 31.1 shots per game, placing 7th in the League. ... The club allows the third-most shots against at 32.9. ... Tkachuk leads the NHL with 161 shots and is second in hits with 181. ... Chabot is averaging 26:28 ice time per night, which is 2nd in the NHL.

Injury Report:

OILERS - Slater Koekkoek (upper body) is on LTIR; Oscar Klefbom (shoulder) is on LTIR. 

SENATORS - Matt Murray (upper body) is day-to-day; Erik Gudbranson (personal reasons) is day-to-day; Joey Daccord (lower body) is on IR; Colin White (upper body) is on IR; Austin Watson (hand) is on IR; Micheal Haley (groin) is on IR.

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