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The Day After: Oilers complete perfect January, head into All-Star break one win shy of matching NHL record

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Photo credit:© Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
Cam Lewis
3 months ago
The stage is set.
On February 6 in Vegas, the defending Stanley Cup Champions will host the Edmonton Oilers, a team looking to make history.
Both the Oilers and Golden Knights wrapped up the unofficial first half of their respective seasons on Saturday. Edmonton will head into an extended All-Star break following a 4-1 win over the Nashville Predators while Vegas will get some much-needed rest after a 5-2 loss to the Detroit Red Wings.
The win was Edmonton’s 16th in a row, matching the 2016-17 Columbus Blue Jackets for the second-longest winning streak in NHL history. Standing between the Oilers and matching the 1992-93 Pittsburgh Penguins for 17 consecutive wins will be the Golden Knights, the team that ended their quest for the Stanley Cup last spring.
This game also carries quite a bit of significance when it comes to the playoff picture. The Oilers are five points back of the Golden Knights for second place in the Pacific Division and Edmonton has five games in hand on Vegas.
It’s incredible that these two teams are this close in the standings considering the starts that they both had. The Golden Knights didn’t lose in regulation until their 13th game of the season. The Oilers were 3-9-1 and fired their coach after their 13th game of the season.
The Oilers edged out the Golden Knights with a 5-4 shootout victory in the first meeting between the teams in late November. The win put Edmonton at 8-12-1 on the season and Vegas at 14-5-4, a difference of 15 points in the standings. Vegas has gone 15-10-2 since and their lead in the standings over the Oilers has nearly evaporated.

THE DAY AFTER IS PRESENTED BY BETWAY


What they said…

Leon Draisaitl on the Oilers reaching 16 wins in a row…
“It’s special. It takes a lot of good efforts, a lot of good games to get to that number. I think we’ve been a bit sloppy the last three, but obviously we’ve had some individual performances that got us the win. You need that sometimes too, so it’s been a great stretch for us.”
Connor McDavid on going into Vegas looking to make history…
“It should be fun. We obviously owe Vegas a good game in their building, and it’s a fun building to play in. We love playing there. We know firsthand the environment and they’re a great team that’s also playing really well, so it’s something to look forward to at the end of the break.”
Head coach Kris Knoblauch on how the team views the streak…
“We know about the streak only because [the media] have talked about it. You bring it up. You ask us in these questionnaires. But honestly, we don’t talk about it in the room. Maybe it’s on our minds a little bit, but as boring as it sounds, we take it one game at a time and we’re worried about who our next opponent is. It feels good to win any game after it’s done and you come in after a victory. Those feel good and it doesn’t matter how many it’s been in a row.”

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