Game 3 and the Injury Bug | Oilersnetwork.com - Edmonton Oilers News and Rumours

Game 3 and the Injury Bug

Tonight the Oilers are home to the Buffalo Sabres. Both teams are dinged up, but Edmonton is a clear favorite with a chance to start their season off with three in a row. The last three seasons it's been at least three games before the Oilers won their first game, so three consecutive wins would be a nice change.

Connor McDavid, Jordan Eberle, Milan Lucic, Leon Draisaitl and Kris Russell are hot right now. If the big name players can get a bit of support from guys like Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Benoit Pouliot and Jesse Puljujarvi, Edmonton should run away with this one.


Injuries


Both teams are extremely banged up. The Sabres are short Dmitri Kulikov, Jack Eichel and Evander Kane. Kulikov is questionable, but two of Buffalo's best forwards in Eichel and Kane are down long-term. The Sabres are 0-1, and aren't the deepest team in the NHL. But they will have forward Kyle Okposo making his debut.

Meanwhile, Edmonton is down Brandon Davidson, Iiro Pakarinen, Matt Hendricks and Drake Caggiula. Edmonton will go with the same lineup from their game against Calgary, but Adam Larsson took a maintenance day yesterday and it should be worth watching to see how much ice time he gets and how he looks. He's been steady so far and it would be a shame if something was bugging him.

The Game


Edmonton has 12 goals in two games. Buffalo isn't the strongest team on defense and let in four goals against the Canadiens on Thursday. This could be another game where the Oilers keep the goal scoring going, but they can't take the Sabres for granted.



One of areas the Oilers will need to shore up is their shots against. Edmonton has let Calgary out-shoot them in two games, but won thanks to the ability to score more than the opponent and did so on a less than ideal showing by Flames goaltender Brian Elliott. If Edmonton catches a hot goalie in Robin Lehner (which so far Lehner has not been), the Oilers better make sure they limit chances against. They started to do so in the last two periods against the Flames and they'll need to continue that trend.

The Lineup

McDavid - Eberle - Lucic
Nugent-Hopkins - Kassian - Pouliot
Draisaitl - Puljujarvi - Maroon
Letestu - Lander - Pitlick 

Larsson - Klefbom
Russell - Sekera
Gryba - Nurse

Talbot
Gustavsson

1 Response to "Game 3 and the Injury Bug"

  1. I will never understand listing forwards centre, right then left. As for switching defensive sides....too much wine at church this morning or...

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