Oilers on the March toward Western Conference bottom


The Edmonton Oilers haven’t scored a goal in their last two games – obviously, not a winning recipe.

On Friday, one night after being shut out 3-0 by the Detroit Red Wings, the Oilers were soundly defeated 6-0 by the Nashville Predators.

The highly touted trio of youthful talent in Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle was a combined minus-nine against the Predators. The Oilers have lost all five of their games to begin the month of March and are now one point ahead of the Columbus Blue Jackets for last in the Western Conference standings.

“You just have to hate to lose that much and say, ‘OK, this has really got to happen,'” Oilers head coach Ralph Krueger told NHL.com.

“I have a feeling, I mean, if this one doesn’t do it, I don’t know what will. This has got to knock us really off our feet and say, ‘Enough is enough’ and ‘What are the elements that aren’t fitting and what are we doing that’s not enough?’

“Having been in close games for so long and then starting to lose a few has obviously broken our psyche with the last two scores — and the Minnesota [game] — so three of the last four games are unacceptable.”

The first period provided an ominous sign of what was in store for Edmonton.

Oilers goalie Devan Dubnyk had a bouncing puck, shot in from the center ice by David Legwand, skip past him, giving Nashville a two-goal lead.

Dubnyk was pulled to begin the second period.

Video: Mike Fisher ends Nashville’s nasty goal drought

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No, the Nashville Predators did not forget how to score goals … or at least they were lifted from that amnesia on Wednesday.

Mike Fisher lifted the curse 13:52 into the first period of tonight’s game against the Buffalo Sabres. You can watch that rare beast in the video above.

They had been shut out for three straight games and pretty close to four in pure game time.

On this subject, PHT’s Jason Brough asked Predators GM David Poile if he was considering moving a defenseman to improve in another area earlier today.

Struggling Sabre Tyler Ennis out with upper-body injury

Tyler Ennis, James Wisniewski
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Tyler Ennis can probably relate with the Buffalo Sabres’ opponent on Wednesday, as he’s struggling almost as much as the Nashville Predators.

Perhaps some of that has to do with health?

Whether that’s the case or not, Ennis is out for the Sabres tonight, as the team announced that he’s dealing with an upper-body injury.

The Buffalo News discussed Ennis’ struggles in this article.

“I’d say he’s pressing too much. You can’t make those plays in every situation and in every point you touch the puck,” Dan Bylsma said to the Buffalo News. “ … He’s just got to simplify his game. He is a special player who can make those plays, but he can’t be trying to do it every time he touches the puck.”

He’ll need to wait a while to start getting things together, anyway.

WATCH LIVE: Wednesday Night Rivalry (Flyers-Islanders; Blackhawks-Sharks)

Ryan White, Matt Martin
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You can check out tonight’s Wednesday Night Rivalry doubleheader on NBCSN, and you can also stream them online.

Here are the handy links for the two contests.

First, the New York Islanders host the Philadelphia Flyers.


After that, the Chicago Blackhawks visit the San Jose Sharks.


Braun out with upper-body injury; Zubrus to make Sharks debut

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The San Jose Sharks will be missing a top-4 defenseman tonight when they host the defending champs from Chicago.

Justin Braun has an upper-body injury. His status is considered day-to-day.

“Brauny has been one of our unsung heroes here through the first quarter of the season,” coach Peter DeBoer told CSN Bay Area. “He’s played some outstanding hockey. So, we’re going to miss him, but it’s a great opportunity for Mueller and Tennyson and one of these guys to establish themselves. It’s a great opportunity for us to reward Dillon for how well he’s played.”

Against the Blackhawks, Brenden Dillon will take Braun’s spot on the top pairing alongside Marc-Edouard Vlasic; Paul Martin and Brent Burns will stay together on the second pairing; and 20-year-old Mirco Mueller will skate with Matt Tennyson.

Mueller has played just four games for the Sharks this season. In his last game, Thursday in Philadelphia, he received only 9:13 of ice time.

Also tonight, new Shark forward Dainius Zubrus is expected to debut on the fourth line.

Related: Sharks sign Zubrus, because DeBoer