The last two times the Oilers faced the Florida Panthers both teams were in the bottom rung of the NHL and the Oilers took both contests. This time things have changed a little bit. Florida has almost twice the wins that the Oilers have and Roberto Luongo has had a Vezina Trophy season up to this point. The Oilers on the other had haven't been able to put together 2 wins in a row since November 9, 2014 and have only won 4 of the 27 games since their last back to back win.
Also of note is Luongo's career stats against the Oilers. He is 26-12-4 and has 4 shutouts in those 26 wins.
Lander plays his 100th NHL game today. Scrivens 3-0-2 last 5 starts & 3-0 lifetime w/two SO vs FLA. Luongo 26-12-4 w/four SO career vs EDM.— Jack Michaels (@EdmontonJack) January 11, 2015
How To Tune In
If you aren't going to be at the game tonight you can catch the game on City TV at 5:00PM or as always tune into 630 CHED to listen to Jack Michaels with the play-by-play.
What To Watch For From The Oilers
The Oilers' power play has improved over the past few games as has their goaltending. A lot of this can be attributed with regression to the mean (yes regression works that way as well). This will be the Oilers' sixth time this season to get the coveted back to back win. They have succeeded at it early on in the season winning 4 back to back in October and once again in November. Todd Nelson is looking for his first back to back win as the Oilers coach as well.
What To Watch For From The Panthers
The Panthers are fresh off of a two wins against the Pacific Division Canadian branch. They defeated Vancouver on Thursday 3-1 and then played a crazy game the next night against Calgary winning 6-5 in game that went down to wire.
As I mentioned earlier Florida has received great goaltending from Luongo who has a 2.23 GAA and a 0.926 SV%. Brian Campbell and Dmitry Kulikov are the TOI leaders on the team while the forwards appear to be sharing the workload as TOI is between 16:46 and 13:05.
It appears that recently acquired Corban Knight is out for tonight's game with the flu and John McFarland will draw in for him on the 4th line.
Edmonton's win over Chicago on Friday night was their 10th win of the season. Being more than half way through the season and only having 10 wins definitely stings but don't expect the Oilers to fade away too quickly. There has been some desperation in their play over the past few games.