Mikkel Boedker scored had a hat trick for San Jose en route to their 5-3 victory over the Oilers on Tuesday night. Boedker's three goal outburst ended up doubling his season total (he's at six now). Boedker's third goal of the night gave the Sharks a 4-1 lead in the second period. The Oilers would show some spark in the third period in scoring two goals to cut the lead to 4-3, but a third period goal by Logan Couture would put Logan Couture at five goals to secure the victory.
Edmonton faces Taylor Hall and the struggling Devils for the second time in a week. Oilers are in a battle for position in the Pacific Division right now. The Devils surely have struggled to score goals this season, can the Oilers take advantage?
Let's go to the tape.
The Oilers are saying
"Yeah, it's good...But you don't play for the money...You don't play for the bonuses...You play to win hockey games and be with the guys. You play because you love it, because you enjoy being on the ice every day and because you enjoy being around the guys and living this life. That's all that matters. It doesn't matter about the money."
That's Oilers forward Connor McDavid on why he plays the game.
YOU PLAY TO WIN THE GAME
McDavid turns 20 years old tomorrow, and oh, he's done OK since being drafted in 2015. Just 88 games into his professional career, he's got 96 career points. 48 of those points have come this year, which is good enough to lead the league as a teenager. He's had an incredible amount of pressure placed upon his shoulders; at age 19 he was named captain of a hockey club that hasn't seen the playoffs in a decade, and it's his job to help take them there.
He's doing OK, I think.
The opponents are saying
"It wasn't a great game, it wasn't a terrible game, but that's probably not good enough right now."
That's Devils goaltender Cory Schneider after his team's 3-0 loss against the Florida Panthers on Monday night.
After being traded from the Vancouver Canucks to the New Jersey Devils, Cory Schneider has had three really great seasons between the pipes. This year it hasn't been all sunshine and lollipops. Schneider's three years of SV%: .921, .925, .924. He's hovering at a somewhat human .909 entering tonight's game. .909 isn't a world beater, and when your team scores just 2.19 goals per game, you're gonna have a bad time.
Have some of this
Welcome back, Taylor Hall.
BROSSOIT: I was holding out hope that the Oilers would pick up the phone and acquire a veteran backup kind of like how the Anaheim Ducks did with Jhonas Enroth recently. While they didn't acquire a veteran backup kind of like how the Anaheim Ducks did with Jhonas Enroth recently, they did call up Laurent Brossoit from Bakersfield. Brossoit's numbers aren't killers in Bakersfield this year (9-8-3, .908 SV% / 2.67 GAA / 2 SO), but if he can spot Talbot more than once every 9 games and not get the barn doors blown off, it'll be good. Jonas Gustavsson has been sent to Bakersfield.
KHAIRA:Jujhar Khaira was recalled yesterday. In 24 games, Khaira has 18 points (8-10-18) in Bakersfield this year, which would place him third among Bakersfield regulars behind Taylor Beck and Ryan Hamilton. If and when Khaira makes it into the lineup, it will be his first action on the Oilers since last season.
LANDER: Anton Lander was shipped back to Bakersfield when Jujhar Khaira got the call. Lander's latest stint with the team lasted four games, he had an assist versus Ottawa on Sunday. Lander's 3:24 of ice time against San Jose was a fairly clear indicator he was headed towards the AHL.
DAVIDSON: Looks like Brandon Davidson will finally make it back tonight. Davidson had been out with an illness. If I'm a betting man, I've got him replacing Gryba.
POULIOT: That's Benoit Pouliot on the second line. Pouliot had a nice assist on Edmonton's first goal against the Sharks, which was his first point in eleven games. Gulp.
THIRD LINE SHAKEUP: That's Milan Lucic on the third line with Drake Caggiula and Anton Slepyshev. Slepyshev hasn't seen NHL action since he saw six minutes of ice time against the Winnipeg Jets in a game last month. Lucic getting slotted on the third line is a little surprising after management signed him to a whopper of a deal this offseason, but Lucic's single assist against the Sharks on Tuesday was his first point in five games. Lucic has one more point (27) than Jordan Eberle (26), who has certainly been feeling the heat from Oiler fans this year.
Speaking of Jordan Eberle, he's back on the second line after a short stint on the third line. Eberle would probably like to buy a goal at this point, as he's gone since December 6th without one. The silver lining for Eberle is that he's shooting at a sub-par 7.5%, which is slightly more than half of his career average.
A somewhat lacklustre start for Cam Talbot on Tuesday will hopefully be all but forgotten as he will get the start for the Oilers tonight. (20-12-6, .917 SV% / 2.51 GAA / 3 SO) The Devils will go with Cory Schneider (12-14-6, .909 SV% / 2.73 GAA / 2 SO)
The Devils could be without captain Andy Greene once again (arm). Greene did not skate with the team yesterday, and his loss would be a significant blow to the Devils' D-corps.
STANDINGS WATCH: Oilers are winless in their last two games and it's getting tight in the Pacific. Calgary goes and defeats the Sharks last night, the Sharks defeated the Oilers on Tuesday. What does it all mean? Edmonton still holds third in the Pacific, but Calgary trails the Oilers by one point. The Sharks and Ducks are ahead of the Oilers by 3. Not a scientist, but winning tonight would buy the Oilers some breathing room.
Iiro Pakarinen (knee), Tyler Pitlick (knee), and Darnell Nurse (lower body) will be out for the Oilers. The Devils are without Vernon Fiddler (lower body, Jacob Josefson (ill), and defencemen Yohann Auvitu (lower body), John Moore (concussion) and they'll likely be without captain Andy Greene (arm).