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GDB 36.0: The Senators are in town and the Oilers are looking for a 7th straight win (8pm MT, HNIC)

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Photo credit:Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports
baggedmilk
1 month ago
After what feels like a lifetime since the Oilers’ last game, the boys are back in action in the late slot on Hockey Night in Canada for their first meeting of the season with the Ottawa Senators.
Be sure to check out the latest NHL odds with online sportsbook Betway.
As much as it was lovely to have a few days off in terms of what happens around here on game days, I have to admit how I’ve been itching to watch the Oilers get back to work. Given the heater the boys are on right now, you want to see them keep it going and continue their climb up the Pacific Division standings, and this four-day break could either be a good or bad thing. While it’s absolutely nice to have games in hand over some of the teams they’re chasing, the critical part of the equation is obviously for the Oilers to keep winning. Otherwise, those extra games mean nothing. And I couldn’t think of a better chance for the Oilers to keep the winning streak alive than tonight’s opportunity against a team as fragile as the Ottawa Senators.
Over their last 10 games, the Sens are a miserable 3-7-0 and have been outscored by a 42 to 34 margin over that stretch. Losers of their previous two, the Senators find themselves locked in last place in the Atlantic Division and struggling mightily to find much traction, especially on the road. At 4-10-0 away from Canadian Tire Centre, the Sens have had next to no success on the road, and I’d love nothing more than to see the Oilers contribute to that pain and sadness. Given the momentum the Oilers have been building over the last month and change, they need to find a way to keep it going by beating struggling teams like the Sens. That’s not to say that there are easy games in the NHL — Gord knows the Oilers have lost to plenty of bad teams over the years — but if the boys can keep the details of their game dialled in then there’s no reason we should be celebrating a seventh straight win.
Let’s see what the numbers say…

THE NUMBERS

OILERSSENATORS
RECORD19-15-114-20-0
WIN/LOSS STREAKW6L2
LAST 10 GAMES7-3-03-7-0
GOALS FOR128115
GOALS AGAINST112122
POWER PLAY%25.016.9
PENALTY KILL%79.871.9
AVG. SHOTS/FOR34.132.4
AVG. SHOTS/AGAINST28.531.0
TEAM SAVE%.903.902
CORSI FOR%55.6748.40
PDO0.9921.001
TEAM SHOOTING%8.849.95
EXPECTED GOALS FOR%57.6747.10
Numbers courtesy of Natural Stat Trick (Sv%, CF%, PDO, Shooting%, xGF% all at 5×5)
  • Tonight’s game will mark Edmonton’s first of two contests against the Senators this season and the lone game in Edmonton. These teams last met on March 14th in Edmonton, where the Oilers won 6-3.
  • Connor McDavid posted a five-point (1G, 4A) night against the Flyers on Tuesday, marking the 10th 5-point game of his career. It was also the second straight game the Oilers had a player record a five-point game after Warren Foegele did it (2G, 3A) on December 31st against the Ducks.
  • The last time the Oilers had back-to-back five-point games was in 1989 when Jari Kurri posted five points (2G, 3A) on December 12th against Winnipeg and six points (2G, 4A) on December 14th against Toronto.
  • Under Kris Knoblauch, the Oilers have a 16-6-0 record, rank 1st in the NHL in goals per game (4.14), 7th in power play percentage (25.7%) and 5th in penalty kill (86.5%).
  • Hyman registered his 9th multi-point effort this season versus the Flyers (1G, 2A). Hyman leads the Oilers with 22 goals, tied for 6th in the NHL. Hyman has put up a mind-blowing 18 goals in his last 22 games.
  • Ryan Nugent Hopkins picked up his 6th three+ point game of the season versus the Flyers and now has points in nine of his last 12 games. Over that run, RNH has registered 16 points (5G, 11A).

PRESENTED BY BETWAY

LINEUPS…

Oilers

Nugent-Hopkins – McDavid – Hyman
McLeod – Draisaitl – Foegele
Kane – Ryan – Janmark
Erne – Hamblin – Brown
Nurse – Ceci
Ekholm – Bouchard
Kulak – Desharnais
Skinner
After practice yesterday, we found out that Sam Gagner is ready to go after some concussion-like symptoms kept him on the shelf over the last couple of weeks. Sam won’t play today, however, as Kris Knoblauch stated that he will be going with the same lineup that’s been winning games.

Senators

Tkachuk – Norris – Batherson
Tarasenko – Stutzle – Giroux
Kubalik – Greig – Kelly
Smejkal – Kastelic – Crookshank
Chychrun – Sanderson
Chabot – Zub
Brannstrom – Hamonic
Korpisalo
I’m honestly surprised by how bad the Sens’ year has been. Looking at their lineup, you’d think this team would be competing for a playoff spot rather than toiling away in last place in the Atlantic Division. That said, they have more than a few weapons in the roster that will absolutely burn the Oilers if they’re not ready to play, which tells me that the boys will need to be on top of the details if they’re going to close out a seventh straight win.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING…

From SensChirp.ca:
Because when your confidence is at an all-time low, and you are just waiting for something bad to happen, a game against Connor McDavid is just what the doctor ordered.
The Ottawa Senators continue their most recent five-game road trip from hell when they visit the red-hot Edmonton Oilers on Saturday night.
The word fragile is getting thrown around a lot lately as a way to describe the current state of the Senators and it’s appropriate. In every game, there are flashes of potential hidden in there but they mostly have the look of a waiting for the worst. And they usually don’t have to wait long.
Ottawa certainly did some things right against the Seattle Krakenz on Thursday night but as has often been the case this season, the things they did right were quickly erased by things done catastrophically wrong. Confidence is a funny thing in pro sports and watching the Senators, it’s clear that their collective confidence is at an all-time low.
Not exactly the ideal time to visit the often unstoppable Connor McDavid. The Oilers got off to a pretty disastrous start of their own this season but they have managed to right the ship under new Head Coach Chuck Knoblauch. Edmonton has reeled off six straight wins, including a 5-2 win over the Flyers their last time out. They’ve also been off since Tuesday so they’ll come into this one well-rested. Eeep.

TONIGHT…

Photoshop: Tom Kostiuk
Game Day Prediction: The Oilers keep the win streak alive with a strong 4-2 win.
Obvious Game Day Prediction: Connor McDavid picks up another multi-point game, continuing the heater he’s been running since early December.
Not-So-Obvious Game Day Prediction: He’s had some quality scoring chances lately, and on this day, for real this time, Cody Ceci picks up his first goal of the season.

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