Edmonton Oilers (18-12-0), 4th, Pacific
New Jersey Devils (11-15-5, 7th, Metro)
31 December 2021
11 AM MT
Radio: 630 CHED
SB Nation Opponent: All About The Jersey
CLOSING OUT 2021
The Oilers never got it fully going on Wednesday night as they were tripped up by the St. Louis Blues. The Blues were on the board early, they had two in hand by the seventh minute of the first. Leon Draisaitl and Evan Bouchard tallied for the Oilers, but it wasn’t enough as the club dropped the first game of their five game road trip. They’ll try to right the ship with a visit to the Garden State to meet the Devils and close out 2021.
THREE THINGS TO LOOK FOR
- Mike Smith will make his second start since returning from a lower body injury that took ten weeks to recover. Smith’s outing in St. Louis was a four goal affair, though I’m hesitant to blame him for any of them. He’ll look to get back into the win column against a Devils team that’s struggling to put the puck in the net (23rd, 2.74 GPG)
- The Oilers get some key pieces back in the lineup today. Defenceman Darnell Nurse returns along with top line winger Jesse Puljujärvi after spending most of the last two weeks in Covid protocols. The Oilers are 3-7 over their last ten games, and a full lineup could go far in putting up a needed win today.
- 50/50: Both Connor McDavid and Leon Draisiatl have 50 points in 30 games so far this season. Today could be a big day for one (or both) players.
Oilers need a win today to stay afloat at the wild card position.