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GAME PREVIEW: Edmonton Oilers vs. Philadelphia Flyers

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Back at home, Oilers face a Flyers club on the tail end of a back-to-back.

New Jersey Devils v Philadelphia Flyers Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Edmonton Oilers (5-1-0) vs

Philadelphia Flyers (2-1-1)

16 October 2019

Rogers Place

730 PM MST

TV: Sportsnet 360

Radio: 630 CHED

SB Nation Opponent: Broad Street Hockey

A NEW STREAK?

The Oilers burst out of the 2019-20 starting gates with their best start in over 30 years. It wasn’t until Monday night when the Blackhawks would stymie the Oilers for the first time this season. Chicago’s 3-1 victory was their first of the year. The Hawks picked up goals from Patrick Kane, Alex Nylander, and an empty netter from Brandon Saad sealed the deal.

The Oilers look to get back in the saddle tonight as the Philadelphia Flyers are in town. Can the Oilers get back in the win column against a club that’s playing their second game in as many nights?

Let’s go to the tape.

The Oilers are saying

We’ve set a standard and if we play to those standards, we’ll have a chance to win.

Source

That’s Oilers head coach Dave Tippett on setting the standard in Edmonton.

The Oilers aren’t going to go 5-1 every six games, but they’ve set themselves up wonderfully to begin the season. There’s been a lot of power play goals, good-enough goaltending and some surprises on the blue line along the way. The Oilers have an excellent opportunity to get back into the win column tonight. Can they seize it?

The Flyers are saying

We got outplayed pretty badly, I’d say, the first two (periods). We couldn’t execute well enough. They played a pretty solid game positionally. They made it hard on us to make consecutive tape-to-tape passes, so we were chasing it a little bit. We garnished up some energy and tilted the ice in the third and tried to come storming back, but too little, too late

Source

That’s Flyers defenceman Matt Niskanen on his club’s 3-1 loss to the Calgary Flames last night.

An early goal for Calgary put Philadelphia behind the eight-ball. The Flames never stopped coming, finishing with a 38-22 shot differential by the time it all ended.

LINES

HAVE SOME OF THIS

  • TAKE ADVANTAGE: The Flyers are coming off a 3-1 loss to the Flames last night. The Oilers are back home for their first game after a four game roadie. They’ve got to take advantage of a Philly team that got worked last night. When the Wings come to town on Friday, they’ll be on the back end of a back-to-back as well. Take advantage.
  • GETTING BACK TO THAT WIN COLUMN: It’s no secret what’s been working well for the Oilers. The power play (specifically James Neal) has been killing it. McDavid and Draisaitl are doing McDavid and Draisaitl things. Zack Kassian has experienced some real early season success. The absence of Adam Larsson hasn’t caused many ill effects on the defence. Ethan Bear has emerged, and looks like he’s here for the duration. To quote LT: Music! My tiny request? More secondary scoring, please. The top two lines are handling it out there right now, and some support would help go a long way for when James Neal doesn’t shoot at 40%.
  • PK OK: The Oilers currently lead the league on the penalty kill with a sparkly 95% success rate. Not sure how long that will last, but that’s a fantastic thing to own alongside the league’s 2nd best PP at 40%.
  • TIME IS ON MY SIDE?: 97 and 29 are playing a lot right now. A lot. (McDavid was on the ice for 26 and change on Monday, while Draisaitl was on for 27 minutes) I’d keep an eye on these numbers going forward, I’m not sure that this is something that can happen at game 40.
  • FLYING: For the Flyers, Travis Konecny has had a fine start to the season. He’s got seven points (4-3-7) in four games. A good chance you’ll see him on the second line with Sean Couturier (1-1-2) tonight.
  • NET GAINS: If we’re following Dave Tippett’s goalie chart early in the season, it looks like Mikko Koskinen (2-0-0, .914 SV% / 2.41 GAA) is due for a start. The Flyers are likely going with Sherwood Park native Carter Hart (2-0-1, .938 SV% / 1.62 GAA) after Brian Elliott took the L in Calgary last night.
  • SICK BAY: The Oilers will be without Adam Larsson (fibula). The Flyers are without Nolan Patrick (undisclosed).
  • Looks like the Oilers are without Joakim Nygard for a little bit as well. Buckle in, Alex Chiasson.