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Oilers look to shake off October blues against St. Louis

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After hitting their offensive stride against the Carolina Hurricanes, the Edmonton Oilers hopes to keep rolling when they face the St. Louis Blues Saturday to continue their season-opening six-game home game.

The Oilers rebounded from back-to-back losses to Calgary and Buffalo to beat the Hurricanes 6-4 on Thursday.

“Being 2-2 isn’t exciting, but we’ll accept it,” said Connor McDavid, who leads the Oilers with 10 points (five goals, five assists) in four games. “We don’t want it to be as difficult as before, but it’s hockey in October. There are mistakes, but you have to find ways to get victories. They matter as much now as later in the season. year.”

Looking for more offense, Oilers coach Jay Woodcroft moved Ryan Nugent-Hopkins from third-line center to left wing on the line with Leon Draisaitl and Zach Hyman. The trio drove in eight runs against the Hurricanes.

“I think good teams have to rise to the challenge when they play against other good teams,” Nugent-Hopkins said. “We knew what to expect. We knew they were a good team and they were playing hard. They don’t give up a lot. We had that mentality, keeping it simple and trying to outdo them every quarter of work.

“I’m quite proud that the group bounced back after a few tough games. There was no panic here. We just have to keep going now.”

Edmonton goaltender Jack Campbell faced 40 shots in the open game and made 36 saves. Campbell, who moved to Edmonton as a free agent after more than two seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs, is 2-1-0 with a 5.08 goals-against average with his new team.

The Blues opened their season with wins over Columbus at home and Seattle on the road. Goaltender Jordan Binnington won both games while posting a 2.46 GAA and .917 save percentage.

Binnington struggled while producing poor ratios (3.13 GAA, .901 save percentage) last season. Then he suffered a knee injury that cut short his much-improved playoff performance (1.72 GAA, .949 save percentage).

The Blues have lost goalkeeper Ville Husso to free agency, so they’re counting on Binnington to regain his previous form.

“He was really good, he made some really good saves,” coach Craig Berube said of Binnington. “He’s been solid for us through training camp until now. What happens in pre-season doesn’t always carry over to the regular season – that’s true in pretty much every sport. professional team.”

Binnington carried the confidence gained over the pre-season into the games that matter.

“I feel calm,” Binnington said. “It doesn’t stop. You can’t think about it for a second. You have to keep working, keep your head down and keep building. It’s early. We have to keep coming together as a team. We can be better. “

Blues forwards Logan Brown (upper body) and Pavel Buchnevich (lower body) are questionable for this game.

Buchnevich’s injury forced Berube to move third line center Brayden Schenn to the left wing with Robert Thomas and Vladimir Tarasenko on the front line. These three forwards scored a combined 12 points in the first two games.

Josh Leivo made his Blues debut in Seattle on the third line with Ivan Barbashev and Jake Neighbors.

–Field-Level Media

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