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INSIDE THE OILERS
POSTED ON Saturday, 16.11.2013 / 6:38 PM

General Manager Craig MacTavish announced today the Edmonton Oilers have assigned defenceman Oscar Klefbom to the Oklahoma City Barons of the American Hockey League.

Klefbom, 20, has played in 12 games for the Barons this season, recording one assist and two penalty minutes.


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POSTED ON Saturday, 16.11.2013 / 1:52 AM
By Marc Ciampa - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

Earlier on Friday, Oilers centre Mark Arcobello was sent down to Oklahoma City but it was a move they had to make because of the roster situation, needing to call up a defenceman in Oscar Klefbom.

"We had made a decision that going against San Jose we were going to go with certain match-ups. They have a real heaviness to their team and we wanted to get some larger players in our lineup. The way the match-ups were going to go, with the three lines that we were going to run fairly heavily, Arco didn't fit into the fourth line that we were going to put together."

Arcobello is tied for third in the team with 12 points in 20 games this season.

"I let him know yesterday," Eakins continued. "It was a good news / bad news day for him. I asked him which one he wanted first. The good news is that we let him know that he could get a place to live here. He was able to do that. The bad news was that he wasn't going to play against San Jose."

With Bryzgalov in Oklahoma City but on a conditoning stint, he took up a roster spot so the team was at the maximum 23 and needed to make a move in order to call up Klefbom.

"Obviously, there was a lot of talk about the transaction today. We had a defenceman that came in out of nowhere with an injury that could have kept him out of the game. Ended up not missing the game but we had to scramble to get a roster spot to get a guy up here to possibly make it for the game. (Klefbom) couldn't quite get here in time but we were able to send down Arcobello without clearing waivers."

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POSTED ON Saturday, 16.11.2013 / 12:58 AM
By Cassie Gage - Oklahoma City Barons / Inside the Oilers
Ben Street had a hat trick for the Abbotsford Heat, who knocked off the Oklahoma City Barons 5-4 Friday night at Cox Convention Center. The Heat extended their current win streak to nine games.

After notching his first goal in the second period, Street scored twice within 27 seconds in the third, first tying the game for Abbotsford and later tallying the game-winning goal.

Abbotsford struck first at 15:58 in the first, when a Chris Breen shot from the point was redirected in front of the net by the Heat's Markus Granlund and skidded under Barons goalie Ilya Bryzgalov's pads for a 1-0 Heat lead.

The Barons answered quickly when Linus Omark received a pass from Anton Lander behind the Heat net and promptly fed Andrew Miller in front, who chipped the puck past Abbotsford goalie Joni Ortio to tie the game at 11:16.

There was plenty of action in the second period, as Oklahoma City tallied three goals and Abbotsford two.

The Barons' first goal of the period came at 16:33, as Miller gathered the puck to the right of the Heat net and flicked a pass to C.J. Stretch, sprinting ahead of two Abbotsford defenders.  Stretch received the pass, deked Ortio and backhanded a shot into the net for a 2-1 Barons lead.

Shortly thereafter, Denis Grebeshkov added to the Barons' lead on a bizarre play. While attempting to corral a Ryan Hamilton pass near the slot, Grebeshkov flipped the puck in the air and over heavy traffic in front of the Abbotsford net. As a shielded Ortio attempted to locate the puck, it sailed over his shoulder and just across the goal line, giving the Barons a 3-1 lead at 12:01.

Exactly one minute later, the Heat cut the Barons' lead to 3-2 after a Matt Ford roughing penalty at 8:59. Ben Hanowski scored the power play goal on a rebounded Michael Ferland shot from just in front of the Oklahoma City net. 

Less than a minute later, Abbotsford struck again, tying the game on a power play goal following an interference penalty at 10:41 to Omark. Street received a pass from Blair Jones and rifled it into the top shelf of the Oklahoma City net at 10:02 to knot the score at three apiece.

Oklahoma City regained the lead at 5:49 in the second when, on a two-on-two rush, Roman Horak sent a cross-ice pass to Hamilton who rifled a wrist shot around a Heat defender and over the glove of Ortio. 

Abbotsford eventually tied the game at 13:38 in the third period on Street's second game-tying goal, after center Brett Olson found Street alone in front of the Barons net. Just 27 seconds later, at 13:11, Street scored the eventual game winner, tipping the puck past Bryzgalov off a Blair Jones snapshot from just inside the blue line.

Bryzgalov allowed five goals on 24 Abbotsford shots in his first professional action since last season.

With the loss the Barons dropped to 6-7-0-2 on the season, while Abbotsford improved to an AHL best 13-4-0-1.

The two teams meet again Saturday night at Cox Convention Center. The puck drops at 7 p.m. CT. One fan will drive away in a brand-new Honda Civic during the team's Drive Away Every Saturday promotion. Fans can register for a chance to be a semifinalist at the game.

Click here for the boxscore: http://theahl.com/stats/game-summary.php?game_id=1011313
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POSTED ON Friday, 15.11.2013 / 6:34 PM
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

The Oilers recalled former 19th overall draft choice Oscar Klefbom this afternoon. While he is not expected to make it to Edmonton in time for tonight's game against San Jose, he is slated to appear in his NHL debut soon.

The man who has coached the 20-year-old defenceman through his first 12 North American professional hockey games in the American Hockey League, Todd Nelson said today in a phone interview that what sticks out the most about the blueliner is his strength in the corners.

"I think the biggest thing that comes to mind is how strong he is in the corners," said Nelson. "He's a big body who plays physical in the corners. He wins his puck battles. For him, that's his game. Just play solid defensively."

A big, strong defenceman who can play a heavy game is something the Oilers desire and lack right now. General Manager Craig MacTavish told the media yesterday that he is on the lookout for just that type of player. Could Klefbom come in and fit that bill?

"I think that remains to be seen," said Nelson. "Some players go up top and fit in right away versus in minor league play. That remains to be seen. I think we're all excited to see how he handles it to go up there and play the game on the National Hockey League level. We don't know how he'll do, but everybody is really excited to find out."

Klefbom is still very young. It will take time for him to develop into a stud defenceman for the Oilers, but the raw talent and potential is there.

"There's still some things that he has to work on. One of the things he has to work on is not being so 'puck focused' away from the puck in the defensive zone and he drifts up ice a bit and lets guys get behind him. Those are some of the things, but other than that he works extremely hard to get better and better and I'm really excited for him."

Klefbom has played 12 games for the Oklahoma City Barons this season and has one assist and two penalty minutes for the Oilers' affiliate.

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POSTED ON Friday, 15.11.2013 / 4:43 PM
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

The Edmonton Oilers have assigned Mark Arcobello to the Oklahoma City Barons of the American Hockey League and have recalled rookie defenceman Oscar Klefbom.

Arcobello has played in 20 games this season for the Oilers, scoring two goals and adding 10 assists. The 25 year-old leads all NHL rookies in assists and is tied in points. The forward has played both centre and on the wing for Edmonton this season and ranks tied for third on the team in points.

Klefbom, 6-foot-3, 213 pounds, earns his first NHL call up after playing 12 games in OKC and registering one assist. He was selected 19th overall in the first round of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.

Defenceman Justin Schultz remains out with a groin injury.

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POSTED ON Friday, 15.11.2013 / 2:37 PM
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

The Oilers have been without physical forward Luke Gazdic since he suffered a shoulder injury in a fight in Philadelphia. He says he feels good and is ready to play if the team needs him.

"I feel good, I feel strong," said Gazdic. "I've been practicing and doing all full contact stuff and I feel good. I don't feel like it's hindering me at all. It feels strong. I feel great actually."

The forward says he could provide a physical spark against a tough, physical team like the Sharks if called upon tonight.

"I don't view myself as a guy to make or break a game but I definitely think I can bring a boost of energy to the team. They've got a big, strong team. If we can have some size here, especially on our third and fourth lines to get in on the forecheck and get after their defencemen, that's going to make the difference for us. I'm not going to go in there and score a couple of goals, but I can get in on the forecheck and make some hits and get some energy for the guys."

Head Coach Dallas Eakins called Gazdic "a consideration" to play tonight.

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POSTED ON Friday, 15.11.2013 / 1:13 PM
By Marc Ciampa - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

Oilers radio colour analyst Bob Stauffer tweeted projected lines for tonight's game on the Edmonton side following the morning skate:

Hall-RNH-Eberle
Yakupov-Gagner-Hemsky
Smyth-Gordon-Perron
Joensuu-Acton-Gazdic

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POSTED ON Thursday, 14.11.2013 / 4:08 PM
By Marc Ciampa - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers
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POSTED ON Thursday, 14.11.2013 / 2:14 PM
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

Oilers General Manager Craig MacTavish will speak to the media today at 12:30pm at Rexall Place. Stay tuned for full post-coverage of the presser on oilers.nhl.com.

UPDATE: Listen to Craig MacTavish Press Conference

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POSTED ON Thursday, 14.11.2013 / 1:58 PM
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

Lines at practice this morning at Rexall Place per jersey colours are:

Hall-Nugent-Hopkins-Eberle

Yakupov-Gagner-Hemsky

Smyth-Gordon-Perron

MacIntyre-Arcobello-Jones

Gazdic-Acton-Joensuu

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