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Preview: Oilers at Maple Leafs

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 2:49 AM
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Preview: Oilers at Maple Leafs
Edmonton Oilers vs. Toronto Maple Leafs

EDMONTON OILERS (31-27-6) at


Start Time: 5:10 p.m. MST

Television: CBC (HD)

Radio: 630 CHED, Oilers Radio Network and online at edmontonoilers.com.Today's Game Notes | Oilers/Leafs Head-to-Head | Stats Comparison by Marc Ciampa | edmontonoilers.com

The Edmonton Oilers look to get back in the playoff picture tonight when they take on the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Edmonton currently sits in a tie for ninth place in the Western Conference with the Anaheim Ducks though they hold two games in hand.

They are two points behind Nashville, Columbus and Dallas who are all tied for sixth spot. The Oilers hold a game in hand on each of those teams so the importance of tonight's game can't be underestimated.

The Oilers have had some struggles of late with only two wins in their last eight. Their last game, they fell 4-2 to the Ottawa Senators.

Toronto is trying to get itself back in the playoff picture. They are currently nine points back of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference after having gone without a regulation loss in eight straight games (5-0-3). They have also picked up two points in five of six (5-0-1) including their last game - a 2-1 win over Washington.

This is the second of two meetings this season between Edmonton and Toronto. The Leafs won 5-2 back on November 13 at Rexall Place.

Just The Facts...

The Answers

Pre-Game Video...

Oilers/Leafs Preview: Stauffer & Simpson

Oilers pre-game comments at Toronto: Dustin Penner, Sam Gagner, Andrew Cogliano, Dwayne Roloson & Craig MacTavish. The Other Side: Pre-game comments from Luke Schenn, Jamal Mayars, Martin Gerber & Ron Wilson

Pre-Game Audio... Andrew Cogliano Dustin Penner Sam Gagner Craig MacTavish Friday's Audio... Craig MacTavish Ladislav Smid

The Other Side - news from mapleleafs.com

Red Hot Leafs host Oilers tonight - The Maple Leafs have recorded at least a point in eight straight games and will try for their sixth win in seven when they host the Edmonton Oilers TONIGHT (7 p.m., CBC, AM640). The Leafs downed the Oilers 5-2 in Edmonton on Nov. 13. ...more On the ground in Afghanistan - A delegation of Leafs Alumni is in Kandahar, Afghanistan to boost morale of Canada's troops. Check out the Team Canada Blog from Afghanistan as it was a bitter sweet day on Wednesday as they had some laughs but shed some tears. Photos ...more

From the Fans

Click here to read today's gameday thread on the Oilers message board.

Odds and Ends

Get to know Strudwick and Stortini - In this edition of The Link, we attend the Hockey Camp for Kids with Jason Strudwick and Zack Stortini. We also sit the two Oilers down and get to know them a little better. ...more Oilers, Flames make biggest moves - The big winners on deadline day were based in Alberta. Calgary added Olli Jokinen and also picked up defenceman Jordan Leopold. Meanwhile, Edmonton unloaded Erik Cole and added Ales Kotalik and Patrick O'Sullivan. ...more 5 Questions with Sam Gagner - Broken bones, breakfast, and sun-belt destinations were among the topics we recently discussed with Sam Gagner.  Click to check out his answers. ...more

From the Wire (AP)

If the Edmonton Oilers aren't careful, they could quickly fall out of the playoff picture in the Western Conference. The Toronto Maple Leafs are doing their best to climb into contention in the East.

Edmonton looks to avoid losing five in a row on the road for the first time in nearly two years Saturday night when it meets a Toronto team playing some of its best hockey of the season.

The Oilers (31-27-6) are among a handful of teams vying for the last few playoff spots in the West, but they are struggling of late.

Edmonton has dropped the first two on its four-game road trip and is on the verge of losing five straight away from home for the first time since a nine-game skid from Feb. 25-April 5, 2007.

The Oilers fell to 2-4-2 in their last eight overall Thursday night, losing 4-2 to Ottawa. Edmonton allowed a goal 12 seconds into the game and was down 3-0 just 6:06 into the second period.

"It was a very puzzling and disappointing game - it's the time for introspection for them," coach Craig MacTavish said. "You have the expectation of a certain amount of intensity when you play a game like this, in the situation that we're in, and we go out and we mangle it."

Sam Gagner scored twice for Edmonton, which has allowed 10 goals in the first two games of the trip.

"When you have a certain percentage of your defensemen that play the way they did tonight, you can't win at this level," MacTavish said after Thursday's game. "You've got to have reliability first and playmaking ability second, and we fell short on both of those areas on a high percentage of our back end."

Edmonton will be looking to get back on track against a Toronto club that has earned at least one point in a season-high eight straight games (5-0-3). The Maple Leafs (26-26-13) won 2-1 at Southeast Division-leading Washington on Thursday night behind new acquisition Martin Gerber.

The 34-year-old Gerber made 37 saves in his Maple Leafs debut after being picked up Wednesday off re-entry waivers from the Senators. Toronto acquired him on the same day Vesa Toskala, 7-0-4 since the All-Star break, announced he would need season-ending hip surgery.

"I was a little nervous and emotional to come back and play a game here tonight," Gerber said. "I tried to keep it simple. The guys did a great job to bounce bodies away from the net and let me see the puck.

"It's just fun to be back on the ice and actually win a game. You're so pumped to be back and get another shot."

Toronto is in 11th place in the East, nine points behind the final playoff spot.

"Our guys have been competing really hard and feel good about themselves," coach Ron Wilson said. "We'll just keep on going and see what we can do."

The Maple Leafs have won three straight and five of six against the Oilers, including 5-2 in Edmonton on Nov. 13. This will be the teams' first meeting in Toronto since a 4-3 Leafs win Feb. 17, 2007.

2008-2009 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Mar 07 '09 EDM 4 at TOR 1 K. Brodziak
Nov 13 '08 TOR 5 at EDM 2 N. Antropov
A. Hemsky55213354+31642
S. Horcoff63143044+83761
S. Souray64172340-68294
T. Gilbert6543438+52021
P. O'Sullivan64142337+11621
A. Cogliano65151833-41834
A. Kotalik58131932-82881
L. Visnovsky5082331+63051
D. Penner63141529+43535
D. Grebeshkov5542428+92210
E. Cole63161127-36351
S. Gagner5991625-34741
E. Moreau61121123-112002
K. Brodziak63101121+22112
R. Nilsson5171421-52041
M. Pouliot5881018+02102
L. Smid5001111-24900
Z. Stortini455510-214900
L. Reddox40549-31010
S. Staios63279-57700
J. Strudwick55279+05800
F. Pisani21358-1600
G. Brule11213-31201
R. Potulny8033+2000
R. Schremp4033+2200
S. MacIntyre19101-23600
J. Jacques3101+1000
T. Peckham9000-14300
J. Boulerice2000+0000
T. Sestito1000+0000
D. Roloson4823-17-612314632.75.916
M. Garon156-8-0434083.17.895
J. Deslauriers83-2-0252253.57.889
J. Blake62222951+23035
N. Antropov63212546-132462
M. Stajan60143246-104851
A. Ponikarovsky66182341+23242
D. Moore63122941-16941
P. Kubina66132538-97584
N. Hagman58191837-5462
L. Stempniak60112435-112231
M. Grabovski62131831-87041
T. Kaberle5142731-14831
N. Kulemin59101222-91611
I. White5581422+75121
J. Mitchell6071522-122510
J. Finger5041115-123900
M. Van Ryn273811+21420
J. Mayers554610-86300
A. Stralman29189-21201
J. Williams11527+2200
J. Frogren41167+02800
L. Schenn54156-164800
B. May43156+25100
A. Steen20224-4610
J. Tlusty14044+0000
R. Hollweg25022-73800
J. Sifers23022-41800
T. Stapleton3101-3000
A. Deveaux20011-27500
C. Colaiacovo10011-2600
J. Hamilton2011-1000
B. Devereaux7000-1000
B. Ondrus2000+01700
K. Newbury1000+0200
V. Toskala5322-17-1116615183.26.891
M. Gerber165-10-1444522.76.903
C. Joseph132-6-1332383.71.861
J. Pogge51-3-1201383.95.855