The Oilers have won nine of their last 11 games.
“You just have to continue to improve,” said head coach Dave Tippett. “You’re going to come in against a desperate team. They’re looking to get back into the race.”
Better goal prevention has been a big part of the Oilers turnaround. During their 3-6 start, they allowed 3.67 goals per game. Over that last 11, they’ve cut that down to 2.64.
“It’s been a better team game. If you look at our goaltenders’ numbers over that stretch, they’re a lot better than they were earlier in the year,” said Tippett.
Winger Alex Chiasson believes the Oilers are quicker to engage in battle in their own end and are playing harder in front of their own net.
“We’re not playing as much in their own end,” said Chiasson. “I don’t think it’s part of our DNA yet. We’re still working at that. It makes us want to keep working every day.”
“We’re looking to play more of the 3-2 type of games than the 6-5 type of games,” said Leon Draisaitl.
Mike Smith will start in goal with the Canucks. Tippett said James Neal didn’t make the road trip because of an undisclosed issue. Kyle Turris is with the team but dealing with an injury and won’t play.
Winger Patrick Russell was recalled to the roster under emergency conditions Tuesday afternoon.
Catch the Oilers and Canucks on 630 CHED with the Face-off Show Tuesday at 6 p.m. The game starts at 8 p.m.
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