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The 3 Most Important Games Left on the Edmonton Oilers Schedule

Adam BowenContributor IIIApril 11, 2013

The 3 Most Important Games Left on the Edmonton Oilers Schedule

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    The Edmonton Oilers currently sit four points out of the final playoff spot in the NHL's Western Conference. 

    Unfortunately for the team, they are slumping at the most crucial point of the season, when every game matters and the difference between making the playoffs and not could be one point or one game. 

    Since handing the Calgary Flames an 8-2 loss on April 3, The Oilers have lost four straight games and have struggled to find any offense, only mustering a meager three goals during the losing streak.

    If the Oilers hope to squeak into the playoffs, players such as Sam Gagner, Jordan Eberle and Taylor Hall will have to find their scoring touch once again.

    Here are the three most important games remaining on the Edmonton Oilers' schedule. 

Honorable Mention: The Final Battle of Alberta

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    The Oilers will face the Calgary Flames for the last time during this lockout-shortened 2013 season on Saturday, April 13, and after the 8-2 drubbing the Flames suffered at the hands of their provincial rivals, this game is bound to be exciting. 

    The "Battle of Alberta" has shifted to the Oilers' favor this season, as the team currently leads the season series two games to one, and Edmonton will look to close out the series in front of what is sure to be a raucous crowd in Rexall Place.

    With so much turmoil in Calgary, as it appears the team has begun the slow and painful rebuilding process, Edmonton will look to exploit a young Flames roster.

    With games against Anaheim and Minnesota (both of whom are ahead of the Oilers in the Western Conference standings), the Oilers will need to beat a team below them in the West.

Minnesota Wild: April 16, 2013

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    The Minnesota Wild are currently seven points ahead of the Oilers in the Western Conference, and this game on April 16 will mark the first out of two matchups between the two Northwestern Division rivals before the end of the season.

    While a four-game difference is difficult to overcome in the best of circumstances, the Oilers can only hope to do themselves a favor and capture these two points from the Wild.

    Minnesota has taken the first two games of the series and have had the Oilers' number over the past few seasons, so Edmonton will be in a tough spot.

    Minnesota is without aging veteran Dany Heatley, but they have been rolling along since acquiring Jason Pominville at the NHL trade deadline.

Colorado Avalanche: April 19, 2013

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    Depending on how the games against the Calgary Flames and the Minnesota Wild turn out, the Oilers could be closer to the final playoff spot and looking to push for eighth place.

    The game against the Avalanche on April 19 will mark the final game the Edmonton Oilers have against a team outside of the playoffs, and the Oilers will have to capitalize upon the chance to take two points from a team behind them in the standings.

    The Oilers have captured three of four games from the Avalanche thus far this season and should come out strong against Colorado.

Vancouver Canucks: April 27, 2013

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    The Edmonton Oilers will close out their 2012-13 season on Saturday, April 27, against the current Western Conference leaders, the Vancouver Canucks.

    While the Oilers' playoff aspirations will likely be decided by this time, this game will still be quite important.

    If the team is out of the playoff hunt, the Oilers will want to win this game in front of what is sure to be a sold-out crowd. 

    Though Edmonton has been competitive against the Canucks all season, splitting the first four games of the series, Vancouver will look to head into the 2013 playoffs on a roll.

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