Edmonton Oilers (37-24-7) 2nd, Pacific vs
Vegas Golden Knights (38-24-8) 1st, Pacific
09 March 2020
7 PM MST
TV: Sportsnet West
Radio: 630 CHED
HANGING ON FOR TWO
Mikko Koskinen was the star of the show on Saturday night as he turned away 45 of 46 shots from the Blue Jackets. Though the Oilers were outshot by a wide margin, they picked up goals from Alex Chiasson, Caleb Jones and Connor McDavid en route to a 3-0 lead. The Jackets would put one home courtesy of Gustav Nyquist late in the third, but Riley Sheahan would pot an empty netter with 30 seconds remaining to put the clamp on. The final shot total was 46-24 in favour of the visitors, but the Oilers had a 4-1 win at the end of it all.
The Oilers host the Golden Knights tonight, the team that is two points above them in the standings. A regulation win will tie the Oilers and Golden Knights atop the Pacific Division, can they make it happen tonight?
Let’s go to the tape.
THE OILERS ARE SAYING
“[Koskinen] was unbelievable, the rest of the group wasn’t so unbelievable...I was worried about us a little bit this morning when there wasn’t much juice in our group at the morning skate. I don’t know if it was mental fatigue or whatever it is, but we were not good tonight. Our execution was poor and our ability to win battles to get to pucks was really poor, but our goaltender was really good, so we got two points.”
That’s Oilers head coach Dave Tippett on his club after Saturday’s 4-1 win over the Blue Jackets.
The Oilers got enough goals, but Koskinen was the star of the show. Koskinen is now holding a svelte .917 SV% on the year, and was moments from his second shutout on Saturday.
THE GOLDEN KNIGHTS ARE SAYING
Points are so tight this time of year, I think getting some confidence from tonight and building off that is going to be key going down the stretch.
That’s Knights defenceman Shea Theodore after his club’s 5-3 win over the Calgary Flames last night.
Theodore scored the game winner with 70 seconds remaining in regulation to send the Flames away with zero points.
HAVE SOME OF THIS
- GOOD NETMINDING: Send one over to Mikko Koskinen. Koskinen’s 45 save performance on Saturday versus Columbus is likely the reason that the Oilers picked up two points.
- The Oilers have exactly 13 games remaining in the regular season. I can’t believe it’s nearly been another year already. With 82 points in the bank, 7 wins would be more than enough to seal the deal, yeah?
- LEON THE THIRD: Leon Draisaitl was named third star for the week. He had a pretty good week, at least, it was a little better than mine. Draisaitl finished with eight points (4-4-8) in four games, which is alright, I guess. Leon currently leads the NHL point chase with 110 points, sixteen more than teammate Connor McDavid.
- STUCK IN THE MIDDLE: The Golden Knights are perfectly average when it comes to putting the puck in the net this year (3.16 GPG, 15th overall). They’re only slightly better when it comes to keeping the puck out (2.96 GA/G, 13th overall). Max Pacioretty (32-26-68) leads Vegas in scoring, look for him on a line with William Karlsson and Nicolas Roy.
- NET GAINS: I’d roll with Mikko Koskinen tonight (18-13-2, .917 SV% / 2.74 GAA / 1 SO) for the Oilers. Vegas will likely counter with Marc-Andre Fleury (26-16-5, .905 SV% / 2.79 GAA / 5 SO).
- SICK BAY: For the Oilers, Joakim Nygard (hand) and Mike Green (ankle) are out. The Golden Knights will be without Mark Stone (lower body) and Alex Tuch (leg).
- STANDINGS WATCH: Once again, a regulation win will give the Oilers a tie with Vegas for first place in the Pacific. Let’s get at it.