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GAME PREVIEW: Edmonton Oilers @ New York Islanders

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Oilers look to keep it perfect with visit to Long Island

Vancouver Canucks v Edmonton Oilers
2 PPG for James Neal. Anything else in the bag of tricks?
Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images

Edmonton Oilers (2-0-0) vs

New York Islanders (1-1-0)

08 October 2019

Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum


TV: Sportsnet Oilers

Radio: 630 CHED

SB Nation Opponent: Lighthouse Hockey


James Neal scored two power play goals in a 6-5 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday night. Connor McDavid had four points in the victory, while Mike Smith took the W between the pipes after a shaky start in the first. Zack Kassian scored his second of the season, Joakim Nygard scored his first goal as a member of the Oilers. Everything looks better when you’ve got more goals than the other club.

The Oilers will try to make it three in a row to start off the 2019-20 NHL season. They’re in Nassau County tonight to face off against the Islanders. Can they keep their perfect recored intact?

The Oilers are saying

It’s for sure a good start.


That’s Oilers forward James Neal on his strong start to the season.

Two power play goals (including a GWG) in Saturday’s 6-5 win over the Kings? Yes, please. If this is the James Neal we get, it’s fine by me. I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself, but 35 points this year would be pretty satisfactory. Anything on top of that would just be free play.

Milan Lucic has played two games in Calgary, racking up 21 PIMs so far.

So far, it looks like an even deal to me, wink wink.

The Islanders are saying

[McDavid] is a pretty full package. [McDavid’s] ability to skate. [McDavid’s] 0-60 speed, but we’ve got one too,” Trotz said. “We’ve got the guy [Barzal] right there with him. I told him yesterday that I’ve not seen, and I’ve been in the league 21 years, what [Barzal] did yesterday getting a double breakaway because of his great edges. And we see it day-in and day-out. There’s not too many guys who can do that.


That’s Islanders head coach Barry Trotz on Connor McDavid and Mathew Barzal.

It will be fun to watch a mega-talent in Connor McDavid and a young star Mathew Barzal hook up tonight. The 16th choice in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, Mathew Barzal has compiled 148 points (40-108-148) in 168 career games. Barzal was awarded the Calder Memorial Trophy for the league’s Rookie of the Year for the 2017-18 season.

Griffin Reinhart was recently released from an AHL tryout in Belleville.


  • The storybook in me wants to say that koskinen will start tonight in New York, but if I’m writing the songs, I’ve got Koskinen going in New Jersey. I think the Oilers have a pretty good shot at that one, and I’d like to give my goaltender the greatest chance at a confidence building win. We’ll see.
  • EARLY NUMBERS: Leon’s got five points (1-4-5). Connor McDavid has five as well (2-3-5). Zack Kassian and Oscar Klefbom both have 3. Gee, it’s kind of fun to score points. Winning games is pretty fun too.
  • Riley Sheahan is expected to play tonight after missing time with a concussion. It will be his Oilers debut. Sheahan spent 2018-19 in Florida where he put up 10 points (2-8-10) in 33 games. I would expect Colby Cave to be a healthy scratch.
  • OLD FRIENDS - Although Jordan Eberle finished last year with a somewhat disappointing 37 points (19-18-37) in 78 games, the Islanders signed him on for an additional five years. Expect to see him on a line with Barzal and Anders Lee up top.
  • NET GAINS: Mikko Koskinen is set to make his season debut for the Oilers. The Islanders are expected to roll out Semyon Varlamov (0-1-0, .924 SV% / 2.04 GAA). Now with the Isles, Varlamov was a stalwart for the Avalanche from 2011-19
  • SICK BAY: The Oilers will be without Adam Larsson (fibula). Alex Chiasson (flu) and Josh Archibald (illness) are day-to-day. For the Islanders, Andrew Ladd (ACL) and Bode Wilde (ankle) are out. Noah Dobson (lower body) is day-to-day, but could make his debut tonight.