The Edmonton Oilers play host to the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight in the finale of a quick two-game homestand. Here is everything you need to know for tonight’s matchup:
Tampa Bay Looking to Continue Winning Ways
The Lightning are coming off a 5-2 victory over the lowly Vancouver Canucks just last night. After storming (pun intended) out of the gate in the first period, they earned a 4-0 lead before the intermission and were able to sit back the rest of the way. Backup goaltender Brian Elliott was between the pipes for Tampa Bay, giving rest to Andrei Vasilevskiy, who will undoubtedly be the starter in Edmonton on the second game of a back-to-back for the Bolts. The win bumped Tampa’s current win streak up to 5 games and improves their record to 9-2-0 in their last eleven contests.
Edmonton Hoping to Build Off of Recent Success
The Oilers are coming into this matchup on a winning streak of their own after taking down four Pacific Division rivals in as many games. Decisive victories over Anaheim and San Jose started the run, but the real test came when they took on the Vegas Golden Knights and Seattle Kraken – two teams currently sitting in first and second place, respectively, in the Pacific Division. Edmonton won both of those matchups and now finds themselves only five points behind the Knights in the race to the top of the Pacific. Considering the nine-point spread only a week ago, first place is now within reach – and attainable if Edmonton can take advantage of their upcoming schedule.
Oilers Getting Contributions Throughout the Lineup
Klim ‘Klimdros’ Kostin has seven goals in his last ten contests and has buried four of them in as many games. Dylan Holloway and Mattias Janmark are both operating at a point-per-game pace during the Oilers’ win streak. Key goals by Kostin and Warren Foegele won the games in Vegas and Seattle. Even Jack Campbell, who has been the cause of major concern in Alberta’s capital after signing a 5-year, $25 million contract in the offseason, has seen a resurgence in his play. He was between the pipes for all four victories, operating at a save percentage of .927 and a goals-against average of 2.00, both well up from his season numbers to date.
A Familiar Foe in Evander Kane’s Second Game Back
When the Oilers and Lightning met in Tampa on November 8 earlier this season, disaster struck for Evander Kane as he had his wrist slit open by Patrick Maroon’s skate. He would miss the next 31 games, finally returning Tuesday in Edmonton’s 5-2 victory over the Kraken.
Despite proclamations from Kane himself that his injury would hinder his shooting ability for the foreseeable future, he nearly found himself on the board on multiple occasions – with a bit of rust likely to blame for his lack of finishing ability. He finished the night with 7(!) shots on goal in his return to the lineup.
Tonight’s Lineup Notes
According to Timo Kunnari of Finnish media source Iltalehti, Jesse Puljujarvi will sit for a second straight game. TSN’s Ryan Rishaug reports that Jack Campbell was in the starter’s net at the Oilers optional skate this morning, so it seems he will start his fifth straight game as head coach Jay Woodcroft will opt not to mess with a winning formula. Expect Stuart Skinner to get the nod versus the Vancouver Canucks Saturday night, which would be his first in-game action since he and his wife Chloe welcomed baby Beau to the world Last Saturday, January 14.