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GAME PREVIEW: Edmonton Oilers vs. Philadelphia Flyers

The Flyers are in town for the first time in forever. The Oilers look for their sixth win in a row.

Florida Panthers v Philadelphia Flyers Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images

Edmonton Oilers (5-0-0) vs

Philadelphia Flyers (2-1-1)

27 October 2021

Rogers Place

8 PM MST

TV: Sportsnet 360, Sportsnet One

Radio: 630 CHED

SB Nation Opponent: Broad Street Hockey

STILL PERFECT

The Oilers kept their record perfect at 5-0-0 after a trip to Vegas on Friday. Zach Hyman and Leon Draisiatl each scored a pair for the Oilers, while Zack Kassian scored his third of the season. Mikko Koskinen kept 36 of 39 shots out of the net to earn his third win of the season, while the Golden Knights continue to struggle.

Back home, the Oilers prepare for the Flyers. Philadelphia visits Edmonton for the first time in over two calendar years as they look for their third win of the season. The Oilers are trying to keep things perfect as they look for their sixth win to start the year.

Can the Oilers make it six in a row?

Let’s go to the tape.

THE OILERS ARE SAYING

“I obviously want to shoot the puck more, I want to score more goals (this year)...I’m just playing the game, trying to create chances, make plays.”

Source

That’s Oilers captain Connor McDavid on Monday.

McDavid was awarded the NHL’s second star award for his eight point performance last week (3-5-8 in 3 GP). In just five games, McDavid has thirteen points (5-8-13). I had him at the low 130s over an 82 game season, there’s a chance he could blow that number away with a couple dozen games to spare.

THE FLYERS ARE SAYING

You give those guys a lot of power plays, they capitalize...They’re going to gain momentum, and it kind of messes up rolling the lines and guys get out of sync.

Source

That’s Flyers forward Cam Atkinson on his club’s 4-2 loss to the Panthers on Saturday.

The Metro Division is filled with some tough teams: the Islanders, the Capitals, the Hurricanes and the Penguins could all be ranked 1-4 in some fashion. The Flyers will depend on those inter-conference games to make some inroads, but would love to take two points out of Edmonton tonight.

HAVE SOME OF THIS

  • TWO LINES ARE BETTER THAN ONE: Early results are in: putting Leon Draisaitl on the second line is good business for the club. Zach Hyman scored an an even strength goal in Vegas, while Leon Draisaitl had an even strength goal and an empty netter. The Oilers ought to keep those two lines just the way they are.
  • HOT POWER PLAY: The Oilers power play is clicking along at 47.1%. That’s it. That’s the stat.
  • THAT THIRD LINE: The trio of Warren Foegele, Derek Ryan and Zack Kassian look to be a hit. Zack Kassian is producing over 2 goals/60 (while that won’t last, it’s good to see Kassian get some success on the third line), the ice is tilted towards their opponents when this trio is on. If this holds, the Oilers have three good lines with McDavid up top and Leon on 2.
  • NET GAINS: The Oilers have been the benefactors of some very good goaltending so far. Since coming in for an injured Mike Smith last Tuesday, Mikko Koskinen has put up a .943 SV% in two and one-half games. Look for Koskinen (3-0-0, .943 SV% / 2.03 GAA) to get his third consecutive start with Mike Smith (2-0-0, .920 SV% / 3.08 GAA) remains on IR with a lower body injury. Carter Hart (1-1-1, .914 SV% / 2.64 GAA) is expected to start for the Flyers. Hart had a forgettable year last season, putting up a .877 SV%.
  • SHOTS: The Oilers are perfect through five games, which is perfect. The Oilers are last in the league when it comes to shots allowed at nearly 38 per game. Some of this can be chalked up to score effects, but the Vegas game was tight all the way.
  • SICK BAY: Mike Smith is still on IR due to a lower body injury. For the Flyers, defenceman Ryan Ellis will be out with an undisclosed injury.