Photo credit:© Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
Three Key Things: Oilers jump Kings in standings with win over Kraken, Seattle now on a three-game skid, and more
By Cam Lewis1 month ago
The Edmonton Oilers are no longer a Wild Card team.
Following a 4-2 win over the Seattle Kraken on Thursday, the Oilers are now 25-15-1 on the season, good for third place in the Pacific Division standings.
That spot had been occupied by the Los Angeles Kings for the past few weeks, but they’ve been mired in a stretch that’s seen them go 1-5-4 over their last 10 games. L.A. is now in the second Wild Card position, three points ahead of the Kraken and Calgary Flames, who both have 47 points through 45 games.
Back on December 30, the Oilers and Kings met for the first time since their first-round playoff series back in the spring. Edmonton came into that game 12 points behind the Kings in the standings and the gap closed to 10 points following a 3-2 victory for the Oilers. In just three weeks since, the Oilers have erased the rest of L.A.’s lead.
The next team for the Oilers to catch is the Vegas Golden Knights. The defending Stanley Cup Champs got off to an incredible start this season but have cooled off since. They’re in second in the Pacific with 57 points, six ahead of the Oilers, though Edmonton has four games in hand. The Oilers and Golden Knights will play in Vegas on February 6, the first game back after the All-Star break.
Meanwhile, Seattle has now fallen into a losing skid immediately following a season-changing winning streak that vaulted them up the standings and into a Wild Card spot. The Kraken won nine consecutive games between late December and mid-January, but their loss to the Oilers on Thursday was their third in a row and they again sit on the outside of the playoffs looking in.
Another comeback victory for the Oilers:
This win for the Oilers followed a similar pattern to quite a few games we’ve seen over the past few weeks. Seattle got out to a quick lead with a pair of goals in the first period and the Oilers scored four unanswered goals in the second and third periods. Among their 12 consecutive victories, eight have been come-from-behind wins.
Head coach Kris Knoblauch noted that the Oilers were struggling in a particular area in the first that led to Seattle’s two goals, but the team made and adjustment and settled down the rest of the way.
“Tonight, there was just one area I didn’t like in the first period. I thought we did a lot of good things. We broke out, we were good in the defensive zone, but the only thing was on our line rush.They’ve got a lot of speed, got behind us, and we weren’t quite ready for that other than that one little aspect of the game and it’s a really big aspect of the game. We fell behind, but we addressed that and our defence got a little bit better at that. We don’t want to fall behind and we’ll try and address our starts.”
Leon Draisaitl involved in all four of Edmonton’s goals:
The star of the game for the Oilers was Leon Draisaitl, who was involved in all four of Edmonton’s goals. He scored the game-tying goal on the power play in the second period, picked up a primary assist on both of Warren Foegele’s goals, and won the faceoff on the man advantage ahead of the fourth goal.
Over the course of the team’s 12-game streak, Draisaitl has scored nine goals, all but one coming at even strength, and he’s picked up seven assists.
Zach Hyman on pace to break 50-goal plateau:
Zach Hyman buried a power-play goal late in the third period to put the Oilers up by a score of 4-2. The goal was Hyman’s 27th through 40 games, which puts him on pace to score 54 goals, assuming that he plays in the rest of the team’s 41 games this season.
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