Edmonton Oilers (20-20-3) (6th, Pacific)
Florida Panthers (17-7-7) (6th, Atlantic)
7 PM MST
TV: Sportsnet West
Radio: 630 CHED
The Oilers look to get back on track after a 7-2 whoopin’ at the hands of the San Jose Sharks. Oilers finish their roadie at 2-2, they’re back at Rogers Place trying to claw their way to that second wild card spot. Can they gain some ground with a win over the Florida Panthers tonight?
Let’s go to the tape.
The Oilers are saying
They knocked us right out of the box. They’re a damn good team, a team that’s really on the move right now. They’ve owned critical ice against us in the last two games.
That’s Oilers head coach Ken Hitchcock on his team’s performance against the San Jose Sharks. The Sharks defeated the Oilers by a 7-2 margin on Tuesday night.
Almost nothing went right for the Oilers on Tuesday. The club is having great difficulty getting much from those who aren’t wearing sweater numbers 97, 93, 29 or 39 (though Milan Lucic scored a goal). Cam Talbot was pulled after yielding four goals, and the Oilers were just swallowed up by a better team.
Hitch is right, the Sharks have outscored the Oilers by a 14-6 margin in their last two meetings. It’s not close right now.
The Panthers are saying
Obviously we try to prepare as best as we possibly can. It’s on us as the leadership group to get the room ready, have the room prepared to play each night. We haven’t done that. It’s been guys, including myself, in the leadership group that haven’t got the job done early in games.
That’s defenceman Aaron Ekblad after his club’s 5-1 loss to Pittsburgh on Tuesday.
The Panthers have dropped three straight (0-2-1).
HAVE SOME OF THIS
- Milan Lucic scored his second goal of the season in Tuesday’s 7-2 blowout loss against San Jose. It happened as the game was already out of reach, but it’s got to feel pretty good to get a 41 ame scoreless streak off your back. Now do it again tonight.
- Congratulations to Ryan Nugent-Hopkins on playing in his 500th NHL game on Tuesday. Nugent-Hopkins has scored 354 points in his 500 games, or an average of .704 points per game. He’s one of about four Oilers who have been carrying the lion’s share of the scoring this season.
- Florida’s been scoring 3.15 goals per game, good for tenth overall. The problem comes on defence, where they’re allowing the fourth most goals per game (3.51 goals per game).
- LINES: The 29-97-39 trio is back on the top line, while Milan Lucic-Ryan Nugent-Hopkins-Jesse Puljujarvi trio is on line two. Caleb Jones is expected to pair with Adam Larsson on the top pair tonight, while Darnell Nurse / Kris Russell appear on the second pair. Brandon Manning is out again, Kevin Gravel and Matt Benning round out the third pair.
- NET GAINS: Cam Talbot gets the nod for Edmonton (8-12-2, .896 SV% / 3.20 GAA / 1 SO). Roberto Luongo is probable for the Panthers (8-9-1, .892 SV% / 3.37 GAA / 1 SO).
- SICK BAY: Oscar Klefbom (finger), Andrej Sekera (ankle) and Kailer Yamamoto (upper body) are out for the Oilers. Alex Petrovic (concussion protocol) is also out. For Florida, Vincent Trocheck (ankle) is out. Nick Bjugstad is day to day (upper body).