Edmonton Oilers (30-31-7) (5th, Pacific)
New York Rangers (28-28-12) (5th, Metro)
7 PM MST
TV: Sportsnet West
Radio: 630 CHED
SOME GOOD, SOME NOT
The Oilers had their four game win streak snapped at the hands of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Morgan Rielly scored a late power play goal in the first period, while John Tavares made it 2-0 Leafs midway through the second. Jake Muzzin put the Leafs up by a 3-0 margin early in the third period, and that would be all the Leafs would need. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Oscar Klefbom would each have a goal very late in the third, but the Oilers would run out of time. Toronto ends Edmonton’s win streak at four, the Oilers would remain seven points out of wild card position.
Fortunately for the Edmonton Oilers, Minnesota did not gain any ground between Saturday and now. Can they get back onto a winning streak and inch closer to the second wild card?
Let’s go to the tape.
The Oilers are saying
It was a rich game. It’s a great game to evaluate on,...It tells you what you’ve got now and what you’ve got moving forward, and when you’ve got a team that can play at that tempo, especially through the middle of the ice, any mistakes get exposed.
That’s Oilers head coach Ken Hitchcock after his team’s 3-2 loss to the Maple Leafs on Saturday night.
Don’t know how ‘rich’ a game it was, but I probably would’ve liked to see about five more minutes of the third period. Specifically, more like the last minute and a half when the goals started coming for the good guys.
The Rangers are saying
There are 14 games to go and you can feel it in that locker room, winning feels way better than losing,
That’s Rangers head coach David Quinn after the Rangers doubled up the Devils by a 4-2 score on Saturday night.
“WINNING FEELS WAY BETTER THAN LOSING”
That’s quite the bold take, David. Water wet. Sun hot.
HAVE SOME OF THIS
- The good news? Even in the Oilers’ loss, they didn’t lose any ground. The bad news? There are just fourteen games remaining in the season, and time’s running out. Oilers have to grab something ridiculous like 23 out of 28 possible points in order to make this work. It’s got to start tonight against a NY Rangers club that lost six straight before coming from behind to defeat the Devils on Saturday.
- Like the Oilers, the Rangers are having some difficulty putting the puck into the net (2.79 GPG, T-21st overall). They rank 24th in goals against (3.24 GA/G).
- BAKER’S DOZEN: Leon Draisaitl has at least a point per game in his last 13.
- NEARLY A POINT PER: Mika Zibanejad leads the Rangers in points this season (27-38-65) in 68 games played.
- BEHIND ENEMY LINES: Since joining the NY Rangers earlier this season, Ryan Strome has 23 points (11-12-23) in 49 games played, which isn’t too far off from where he was as a member of the Oilers. I guess I should be thankful that Ryan Spooner ended up turning into Sam Gagner.
- NET GAINS: The Oilers went with Anthony Stolarz in relief of Mikko Koskinen against Toronto due to Koskinen being ill. If Koskinen is healthy, he’ll be back in net tonight (20-15-4, .912 SV% / 2.75 GAA / 4 SO). The Rangers are likely to counter with Henrik Lundqvist (18-17-10, .909 SV% / 2.99 GAA).
- HIP TO BE SQUARE: Milan Lucic is day-to-day (hip). Jesse Puljujarvi is out for the season recovering from double hip surgery. Dfenceman Libor Hajek (shoulder) and winger Connor Brickley (illness) are day-to-day.