Game Notes Oilers @ Golden Knights: A Must Win if Oilers Want Home Ice

Photo credit:© Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
Jason Gregor
1 year ago
The odds of the Edmonton Oilers gaining home-ice advantage are low, but they need a regulation win in Vegas tonight to have any chance of opening the playoffs in Edmonton.
— A regulation win moves them within three points of Vegas.
Vegas would still have a game in hand, and the Oilers would have to play very well down the stretch, but winning in 60 minutes tonight would keep their hone-ice hopes alive.
— A win tonight would at least put some pressure on Vegas, because the Golden Knights have a more difficult remaining schedule than the Oilers do.
28thEDMat CGYat LVK
30that SJat EDMLA
2ndat VAN
3rdat MIN
4that NSHEDMat LA
5that ANA
6thLAat LVK
8that DALCOLat SJ
10thVANat COL
13that SEAat ANASJ
Seven of Vegas’ remaining nine games are v. playoffs teams.
LA has five v. playoff teams while the Oilers have four.
Tonight and Thursday vs. LA could be huge games for Edmonton in their quest for home ice.
— The Oilers are 10-2-1 in March, which is tied with Minnesota for the third best points% at .808. They trail LA’s .909 (9-0-2) and Vegas’ .846 (11-2). Edmonton is winning games on the back of their elite offensive game. They averaged 4.54 goals/game in March while allowing 3.54 goals/game. Edmonton’s high GA is a combination of being looser defensively than they were in January and needing a few more saves from their goalies. There is room for improvement, but suggestions the Oilers have no chance in the playoffs is ridiculous hyperbole.
— Leon Draisaitl became the fifth Oiler to score 300 goals and the fourth quickest last night. Wayne Gretzky scored 300 goals in 350 games. Jari Kurri did it in game 441. Glenn Anderson reached 300 goals in his 518th game, Draisaitl did it in his 630th game and Mark Messier needed 638 games.
— Connor McDavid is one shy of 300 and when he scores his next goal he will slot in between Anderson and Draisaitl. McDavid has 299 goals in 561 games. McDavid and Evander Kane, also at 299, could become the third set of teammates to score their 300th goal in the same game. Ryan Smyth and Milan Hejduk (COL) did it on January 18th, 2009, and Danny Gare and Ivan Boldirev (DET) both reached 300 goals on February 26th, 1983.
— Vegas became the first team in NHL history to win four consecutive games with four different starting goaltenders: Jiri Patera, Jonathan Quick, Logan Thompson, and Laurent Brossoit. Brossoit beat the Oilers on Saturday and will get the start tonight.
— The Oilers have won three in a row in Vegas including a 4-3 win on January 14th.
— In 22 games since the All-Star break, Vegas has allowed more than three goals twice. They defeated Tampa Bay 5-4 on February 18th and lost 7-2 to Calgary on March 19th. Both games were at home. In their other 20 games, they allowed a total of 44 goals for a measly 2.2 goals against/game. The Oilers have the best offence in the NHL, and they are rolling right now averaging 4.5 GF/GP in March, but they will have to be very good in the offensive zone if they want to score four tonight. In case you are wondering, Edmonton has allowed four or more goals in 11 of their 24 games since the All-Star break.
— Since the All-Star game the Oilers have scored 4+ goals in 18 of their 24 games. This is a classic case of offence vs. defense tonight. The big challenge for Edmonton will be if they can limit the Golden Knights offensively.
— Vegas has scored first in 11 of their 13 games in March. They are 11-0 when scoring first and 0-2 when allowing the first goal. Edmonton is 7-1 when scoring first and 3-1-1 when allowing the first goal. Making Vegas play from behind is the key.
Vegas is 34-4-2 when scoring first, the second-best record in the NHL behind Boston, but they are 12-17-4 when allowing the first goal (14th). The Oilers are 16th best when scoring first at 26-8-4, but they have the fourth highest winning% when allowing the first goal. Edmonton is 16-15-5. Only Boston and New Jersey have won more than half their games when trailing. Vegas is a much different team when they play with the lead.

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