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Panthers @ Oilers: Picking Up Steam

Panthers looking to claw their way to a playoff spot. Oilers need to take advantage of a club that's on the tail end of a back-to-back.

Jujhar Khaira scored his first NHL goal on Monday.
Jujhar Khaira scored his first NHL goal on Monday.
Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports


20-18-8, 48 points, 1.043 p/g Ranks 24-15-7, 55 points, 1.196 p/g
Atlantic Division - 5th Pacific Division - 2nd
20th Points per Game 10th
16th Special Teams 15th
5th Shots on Goal 4th
13th Goals Against per Game 11th
7:30 PM MDT
TV - Sportsnet 1
Radio - 630 CHED
Rogers Place

The opposing view


Patrick Maroon - Connor McDavid - Leon Draisaitl
Benoit Pouliot - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - Jordan Eberle
Milan Lucic - Drake Caggiula -  Anton Slepyshev
Jujhar Khaira - Mark Letestu - Zack Kassian


Andrej Sekera - Kris Russell
Oscar Klefbom - Matthew Benning
Brandon Davidson - Adam Larsson


Cam Talbot
Laurent Brossoit

Khaira's Game Winner Propels Oilers Over Coyotes

It's been two straight regulation wins for the Oilers over the Coyotes.  Someone ought to get a ribbon out there

Jujhar Khaira scored his first NHL goal midway through the second period.  It would turn out to be the eventual game winner.  Khaira was alone in front of Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith to receive a pass from Mark Letestu.  Khaira did the deed, and by that time, the Oilers had a 2-0 lead on the Coyotes.  Later in the period, Leon Draisaitl would score his seventeenth goal of the year on a pass from Connor McDavid to make it 3-0.   With two minutes remaining in the second period, the Coyotes would get one back as Radim Vrbata would score on the power play, but the Oilers earned their second consecutive regulation victory against the Coyotes.

Losing to the Coyotes isn't an option right now.  You've got tough games coming up against your neighbours in the Pacific Division standings, and letting two points slide to a lottery team is no longer acceptable.

The Panthers are in town tonight, and the Oilers will need to use Florida's game in Calgary last night to their advantage.  A win tonight will get them within two points of the top of the Pacific.

Let's go to the tape.

The Oilers are saying

Jordan Eberle hasn't scored since 1862.

Tied for sixth in goals scored on the OIlers with Mark Letestu, Eberle hasn't scored a goal since December 6th in Buffalo.  Before y'all go throwing things at your TV, he's still tied for fourth place on the team in total scoring with 27 points (8-19-27) with Milan Lucic.  Yes, he's paid to score goals.  I'm paid to handle the customers, and both of us aren't doing either right now.  You gonna fire me too?  Come at me.

The opponents are saying

"I love muffins."

That's Jaromir Jagr on how much he loves muffins.  He really loves muffins.  Muffins, for me, are for when something special is going on.  They're not everyday breakfast material.

The second leading scorer of all time is tied for second on the Panthers in scoring this year.  Only Vincent Trocheck (16-15-31) has more points than Jaromir Jagr (8-19-27) on the Florida Panthers.

Have some of this

  • Jujhar Khaira scores his first career goal against the Coyotes on Monday.  It turns out to be the game winner.  I've got absolutely no problems with him on the fourth line right now
  • Everybody's blocking shots these days. Adam Larsson was questionable for Monday's game, but he was good to go.  Sekera was in the same boat, but McLellan says he's good to run as well.  Since losing Darnell Nurse for the season, the club has been free from major incident on the blue line.
  • Cam Talbot will once again likely get the start for the Oilers (23-12-6, .918 SV% / 2.42 GAA / 3 SO).  James Reimer is like to finish Florida's back-to-back. (7-6-3, .916 SV% / 2.61 GAA)
  • The Oilers need a goalie.  We're past the halfway point of the season, and Cam Talbot has played in 41 games out of a possible 46 games.  If the Oilers ride Talbot as much as he's been played so far, he'll play about 74 games on the year.  Surely there's a reliable backup somewhere, hey?
  • Think the Oilers are going to trade Jordan Eberle?  Yes, they did trade Taylor Hall for a top four defenceman, but I don't know who's going to bite on Eberle right now, especially with two more years in his deal.  If Draisaitl is playing on the right side on the top line, Eberle is easily your second best option right now.  Even with only 27 points and eight goals.  Breathe.
  • STANDINGS WATCH: Two more points (again!) for Oilers now have them in second place in the Pacific (55), one point ahead of the Sharks (54) though the Sharks have two games in hand.  Calgary is in fourth place with 51 with one more game played.  And hey, the Ducks are in first with 59 and one more game played.
  • Iiro Pakarinen (knee), Tyler Pitlick (knee), and Darnell Nurse (lower body) will be out for the Oilers. The Panthers will be without Nick Bjugstad (groin), Aleksander Barkov (lower body), Jonathan Huberdeau (ankle) and Alex Petrovic (ankle)