The Edmonton Oilers need to grab two points from a struggling team Wednesday night when they host the New Jersey Devils.
The Devils are 0-6-1 in their last seven and come to Rogers Place without Taylor Hall and Nico Hischier, who are both injured. On Tuesday, the Devils were thumped 9-4 in Calgary.
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“When we showed tape on them, we didn’t even show any tape from Calgary. That’s a throwaway game,” said head coach Ken Hithcock.
“This is not the time to be focused on the opposition. It’s time to be focused on ourselves. Our starts are good because we’re emotionally engaged right off the bat. We’re putting our work boots on before our skill boots. That’s a big difference.”
The Oilers have gone 7-2-2 in their last 11 and have been able to stay afloat in the playoff race with 13 games left in their season. They come into the game against New Jersey six points behind Arizona for the final playoff spot in the West.
It’s been an up-and-down season for the Oilers who are feeling energized by their recent run.
“The energy levels are completely different. When you’re losing, nobody has fun. It’s tough to sleep. You don’t have the same energy. When you’re winning, you have that extra little jump. You want to compete hard,” said winger Jujhar Khaira.
Khaira will play after missing practice on Tuesday. Defenceman Oscar Klefbom is good to go after leaving Monday’s game in the first period after taking a shot to the midsection. Winger Milan Lucic will return to action after sitting out the last two games with an injury.
The Oilers expected lineup is:
Draisaitl – McDavid – Kassian
Khaira – Nugent-Hopkins – Gagner
Rieder – Cave – Chiasson
Lucic – Brodziak – Currie
Klefbom – Larsson
Nurse – Russell
Sekera – Benning
Catch the Oilers and Devils on 630 CHED with the Face-off Show at 6 p.m. The game starts at 7:30 p.m.
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