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GAME THREAD: Edmonton Oilers vs. Florida Panthers

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Disappointing end in Tampa has Oilers looking for a rebound against Panthers

NHL: All Star Game-Skills Competition
Hubie-doobie-doo: 69 points in 57 games (20-49-69)
Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Edmonton Oilers (30-21-6) 2nd, Pacific vs

Florida Panthers (30-21-6) 4th, Atlantic

15 February 2020

Amalie Arena

2 PM MST

TV: BB&T Center

Radio: 630 CHED

SB Nation Opponent: Litter Box Cats

We knew it was going to be tough going against the Tampa Bay Lighting on Thursday night, and it was. The Oilers picked up a goal from Caleb Jones, but were otherwise unable to light any sort of a fire on the scoreboard. Old friend Pat Maroon opened the scoring for Tampa Bay in the first. Jones tied it up midway through the opening frame, but Yanni Gourde would score his second goal in as many games in the second period. Cedric Paqutte would tuck one in a yawning net to give Tampa Bay two points and the W.

The Oilers are in Sunrise, Florida looking to take two points away from a Panthers club that’s fighting for their playoff lives. Can the Oilers get a better result this afternoon?

A roster missing Connor McDavid and James Neal is a roster with some holes. Zack Kassian doesn’t really move the needle in scoring, but with him scheduled to miss the next seven games with a suspension takes another NHL forward out of the lineup.

Hope you got a bunch of goals lined up, Leon.

LINEUP

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - Leon Draisaitl - Kailer Yamamoto

Sam Gagner - Gaetan Haas - Alex Chiasson

Josh Archibald - Riley Sheahan - Jujhar Khaira

Tyler Benson - Colby Cave - Patrick Russell

Oscar Klefbom - Adam Larsson

Darnell Nurse - Ethan Bear

Caleb Jones - Matt Benning

Mikko Koskinen

THREE THINGS TO LOOK FOR

  • The first line is going to have to take over this game. I don’t know if tonight is a 28 minute night for Leon Draisaitl and the the rest of the top line, but it wouldn’t shock me if they were close.
  • The Oilers are going to have to keep a close watch on Florida’s top line containing Jonathan Hubeardeau (20-49-69) and Aleksader Barkov (17-39-56). Evgenii Dadinov (23-18-41) rounds out the top line comprised of Florida’s 1st, 2nd and 4th ranked scorers.
  • Mikko Koskinen gets the start tonight, while Mike Smith is expected to go tomorrow in Caroilna. Can Koskinen turn in 60 minutes for his 16th win of the season?

These points are crucial for the Oilers. Prior to today, they’ve got two games in hand over most everyone in the division. Two straight wins could put them atop the Pacific.

Let’s. Go. Oilers.