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Oilers Ready For Crucial Four-Point Game With Blues

Posted by Don Melrose on 3/20/2013 7:14:45 PM

The Edmonton Oilers haven’t been able to climb in to playoff contention despite a wealth of talent that has been brought in to the organization over the last five years. Time is running out for them to turn things around. Edmonton will welcome the St. Louis Blues to town with an important two points on the line Saturday night, and can’t afford to fall any further down in the Western Conference standings. Two points out of the eighth and final playoff spot and with trade rumors swirling, the Oilers need to step up.

St. Louis Blues @ Edmonton Oilers
Saturday March 23, 2013 – 10:00 PM ET
Rexall Center, Edmonton, Alberta
NHL Sportsbook Line: Edmonton – 120

Only six points separated fourth from 13th in the Western Conference as of Thursday night, and an extended run or slide could result in a team like Edmonton skyrocketing up the standings or falling out of contention. St. Louis is one of the teams that the Oilers are chasing in the West, which makes this a four-point game.

NHL Betting Preview: St. Louis Blues

The Blues have been nearly as good on the road as they have been at home this season, as their system has held up for the most part regardless of where they have played. While St. Louis hasn’t been nearly as good in their own end this online betting year, they have found ways to score more goals and that has more to do with the development of their key forwards rather than a chance in philosophy. Chris Stewart and Patrik Berglund are tied for the team-lead with 14 goals, and the Blues’ fourth-ranked powerplay is a big reason why they have cracked the top-10 in NHL scoring.

NHL Betting Preview: Edmonton Oilers

Edmonton has been better at home on the road, but treading that .500 mark isn’t nearly good enough for a sports betting team with playoff aspirations. For all of their young offensive firepower, the Oilers still rank just 26th in the NHL with 2.4 goals per game, and that is even with a powerplay unit that ranks in the top-10. A lack of scoring at even-strength has held Edmonton back from reaching its potential, and it hasn’t helped that the forwards have had to focus so heavily on backchecking and supporting the defense. Netminder Devan Dubnyk is 8-9-5 with a 2.71 goals against average, and still needs to be more consistent in goal.

NHL Betting Preview: Outlook & Pick

The Oilers could probably stand to add some grit at the trade deadline to help open up some space up front, as even with so much talent they have struggled to score goals. Edmonton has been on the outside looking in for far too long, and needs to prove it can step up and compete for a playoff spot in order to avoid some major changes that could be coming. St. Louis has been fairly good on the road so far this season, but they have been inconsistent at times and this is far too important of a game for the Oilers to allow it to slip away on home ice as the Blues are one of the teams they are chasing in the West.

NHL Betting Pick: Edmonton Oilers

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