DAB Pregame: Devils Look to Rebound Against Draisaitl-Led Oilers

The Oilers beat the Devils in a shootout earlier this season. (Photo by: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports)

SERGEI BELSKI-USA TODAY SPORTS

Match Overview

Tonight’s game will feature your New Jersey Devils, who currently own a 4-6-4 record, which puts them eighth in the Metropolitan Division, and the Edmonton Oilers, who own a 10-5-2 record, which puts them first in the Pacific Division.

The Devils are coming off another lopsided loss at the hands of the Calgary Flames. After jumping out to a 2-1 lead, the Flames scored four unanswered goals and the Devils had their two-game winning streak snapped. Despite last night’s loss, the Devils still own a 4-2-2 record over their past eight games. They’ll look to rebound tonight and start a new streak in Edmonton.

The Oilers are one of the biggest early-season surprises. However, they come into tonight’s game struggling, as they own a 3-4-2 record over their last nine games and have been outscored 26-17 over this time. As for their special teams, the Oilers have one of the best power plays in the league, as it converts at a 27.1% rate, which is the second-best. With the likes of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, the Oilers are always a dangerous team. Worth noting is Mikko Koskinen (5-1-1, 0.917 Sv%, 2.46 GAA) is expected to get the start in between the pipes for the Oilers.

As for lineup news, monitor our social media pages for updates. Given the Devils played last night, they did not have a full morning skate. Only Kevin Rooney, Matt Tennyson, and John Hayden skated, as this usually means they’ll be the healthy scratches (see above). We will have to wait until head coach John Hynes speaks to media closer to puck drop to confirm. However, do expect Cory Schneider to make the start for the Devils, as Mackenzie Blackwood was peppered with numerous shots just last night.

Tonight’s game will be at Rogers Place and is scheduled to start at 9:00 PM.

Projected Devils Lines

Check back to our social media pages closer to puck drop.

Projected Oilers Lines

Forwards:

  • Draisaitl/McDavid/Kassian
  • Neal/Nugent-Hopkins/Chiasson
  • Khaira/Sheahan/Archibald
  • Granlund/Haas/Russell

Defense:

  • Nurse/Bear
  • Russell/Benning
  • Manning/Persson

Goalies:

  • Koskinen
  • Smith
Oilers’ forward Leon Draisaitl has been terrific this year. (Photo by: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY SPORTS)

What/Who to Watch

  • You cannot speak about the Edmonton Oilers without mentioning the duo of Connor McDavid and Leon Drasaitl. Draisaitl is second in the league in scoring, with 29 points in only 17 games played. He also brings in a seven-game point streak, where he has tallied seven goals and six assists for a total of 13 points. McDavid is not too far behind as he has 26 points in the same amount of games. The Devils’ top pairing is going to have a long night keeping these two superstars in check.
  • As mentioned above, the lineup will not be confirmed until later. However, Tennyson should be removed and replaced by Mirco Mueller. Tennyson was single-handedly responsible for two goals against last night, as well as countless other Calgary scoring opportunities. This season he owns an abysmal 39.49 Corsi for % (CF%), -10.62 Relative Corsi for % (CF% Rel), and an expected goals for % (xGF%) of 41.26. Each of these numbers are well below the league average and demonstrates when Tennyson is on the ice the Devils are most likely being caved in.
  • The Devils power play goal streak ended two games ago and they haven’t tallied one since. After heating up on the power play, they find themselves scoreless on their last eight attempts. To get back to their winning ways, we must see the power play pick back up. It won’t get any easier tonight, as the Oilers surprisingly have a solid penalty kill (12th in the league).

Tonight’s game can be seen on MSG+ at 9:00 PM.

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