Wed, 26 Jan 2022

Surging Oilers pursue rare win over Penguins

Field Level Media
01 Dec 2021, 15:19 GMT+10

Considering how well the Edmonton Oilers are playing, especially at home, they might be in a good position to momentarily end their long-time struggles against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

With plenty of star power on the ice, the Oilers look for a sixth straight home victory while trying to hand thePenguins a third consecutive defeat on Wednesday night.

Things are going quite well for the Oilers, who have won 15 of their first 20 games and registered 38 goals while going 8-1-0 at home this season. Edmonton enters the contest looking for a third consecutive victory after winning at Arizona and Vegas to conclude a three-game trip.

"Obviously, from a team standpoint, we're really happy with our record and where we are," said Edmonton's Zach Hyman, who has 15 points on the season and one in all but two of his team's home games this season.

"I think we're excited because I don't think we've played our best yet."

The Oilers, though, have just four wins in their past 19 games versus Pittsburgh. None of those victories have come in regulation. The Penguins, whose last regulation loss to the Oilers was 3-1 on Jan. 10, 2006, have also won six consecutive games at Edmonton, where they are 8-0-2 over their past 10 trips.

However, the teams haven't met since December 2019, and Pittsburgh has dropped back-to-back contests following a season-high, five-game winning streak, which included four on the road. Jake Guentzel scored to extend his point streak to 10 games and Tristan Jarry stopped 31 shots as the Penguins fell 2-1 in a shootout at Calgary on Monday.

"I think for us, we just got to get back to keeping it simple and playing on our toes," Guentzel said. "If we do that, I like our chances."

Guentzel ahs recorded 11 of his team-high 19 points on the road. He has posted at least one point in each of his nine road games.

Pittsburgh tends to do well in front of Jarry, who has stopped 172 of 175 shots during his current 5-0-1 stretch. He made 26 saves in his only appearances against the Oilers, a 5-2 Penguins' win from Dec. 20, 2019.

Pittsburgh blanked both Edmonton stars Connor McDavid (36 points in 2021-22) and Leon Draisaitl (40 points) in that contest. Meanwhile, Pittsburgh superstar Sidney Crosby did not play in that meeting.

All three will be on the ice Wednesday.

Crosby has recorded five of his seven points on the season over the past three games. Draisaitl has eight goals and 13 assists in nine home games, while McDavid has eight goals and 11 assists in Edmonton.

"I think anybody -- coaches, teammates, fans, everybody -- enjoys seeing great players play," Oilers coach Dave Tippett said. "That's part of what makes the game so great."

McDavid opened the season with at least one point in 17 straight games, but he has been shut out in two of the past three contests.

Edmonton's Mikko Koskinen (2.89 goals-against average) has yielded five goals while winning his past two starts. Teammate Stuart Skinner is 2-3-0 with a 2.59 ERA as a starter this season.

--Field Level Media

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