G28 Game Notes: Edmonton Oilers host Florida Panthers

Photo credit:Florida Panthers
Cam Lewis
5 months ago
1. The Edmonton Oilers had their eight-game winning streak come to an end on Thursday when they lost by a score of 7-4 to the Tampa Bay Lightning. They were one win shy of matching a franchise record with nine consecutive victories, which happened first during the 2000-01 season and recently at the end of the 2022-23 season.
The Lightning won both games in the season series despite the Oilers outshooting them 100-48. The first meeting between the two teams in Tampa saw the Lightning erase an Edmonton lead with four goals in the third period. In the second game, the Oilers threw a team-record 57 shots on Andrei Vasilevskiy but came unglued and allowed five goals in the third period.
2. It was a rough night for Stuart Skinner, as he allowed five goals on 22 shots, but it’s difficult to fault him for having an off night considering how much he’s played lately. The Edmonton native accounted for seven of the eight wins the Oilers had during their winning streak and he posted a .934 save percentage across those starts.
Calvin Pickard will get the start as the Oilers host the Florida Panthers on Saturday. Since being recalled from the American Hockey League on November 8, Pickard has made three appearances for the Oilers and owns a .917 save percentage.
He made his season debut in Florida on November 20 and took the loss after allowing four goals on 32 shots and allowed one goal on 14 shots in a relief appearance against the Carolina Hurricanes a few days later. Last weekend, Pickard picked up his first win as a member of the Oilers and first in the NHL since January of 2022 in a victory over the New Jersey Devils. Pickard stopped 25 of 26 shots that the Devils threw at him and the Oilers won by a score of 4-1.
3. The Panthers are coming into this game looking to avoid going on their longest losing streak of the season. Three different times this season the Panthers have dropped back-to-back games but they haven’t allowed a losing streak to reach three games yet.
They’re currently in the middle of a five-game road trip and they’ve dropped back-to-back games by scores of 4-0 to the Seattle Kraken and Vancouver Canucks. The team’s last goal came nearly one week ago in a win over the Columbus Blue Jackets.
4. Florida owns a 17-10-2 record this season and they rank 22nd in the league with 85 goals for and seventh with 77 goals against. They have very strong underlying numbers but struggle to finish, as the Panthers rank fifth in shot attempts per 60 minutes and 26th in goals because of a 7.10 shooting percentage at even strength.
Sam Reinhart, Carter Verhaghe, and Aleksander Barkov have accounted for 40 of Florida’s 85 goals this season while Matthew Tkachuk and Sam Bennett have scored only five and three goals respectively. The Panthers need those two players to start finding the back of the net in order to come out of this slump that they’re in.
5. The Panthers have done very well playing in Edmonton over the past few years as they’ve picked up at least a point in their last eight trips to the league’s northernmost city (5-0-3).
The last time the Oilers beat the Panthers in regulation at home was a 4-1 victory at Rexall Place in November of 2013. Jordan Eberle, David Perron, and Sam Gagner scored for the Oilers in that game, Anton Belov led the team in time-on-ice at 22:00, and Devan Dubnyk made 24 saves in the win. Tim Thomas was between the pipes for the Panthers and took the loss despite making 31 saves.

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