The Boston Bruins are in Edmonton for a must-win game against the Oilers on Wednesday night.
Boston’s lead over Florida for the Eastern Conference’s last wild-card playoff spot is just two points after the Panthers’ 3-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday night. The Bruins have lost four consecutive games and are 1-4-1 in their last six, but the Oilers are the perfect opponent for Boston to rediscover its top form.
Edmonton sits at the bottom of the Western Conference standings and is six points behind the Buffalo Sabres for the worst record in the NHL. The Oilers have struggled in many different facets of the game this season, ranking 26th in goals scored per game, 29th in goals against average, 28th in power-play percentage and 25th in penalty killing.
Here’s a quick preview of Bruins-Oilers.
TV, Radio Information: NESN and 98.5 The Sports Hub
Season Series: 1-0 Boston (Bruins won 5-2 on Nov. 6 at TD Garden)
Record: Boston (28-20-8, fourth in Atlantic), Edmonton (16-32-10, seventh in Pacific)
Bruins Player To Watch: Carl Soderberg has not tallied a point in four consecutive games and his goal-less drought has reached 10 games. In Monday night’s loss to the Flames, Soderberg was scoreless with just one shot on goal and won just 12.5 percent of his faceoffs in 18:45 of ice time. The Bruins need more offense from Soderberg and the rest of the third line if they are to close this road trip on a high note.
Oilers Player To Watch: Jordan Eberle leads the Oilers with 15 goals scored and 39 points, and he also ranks third among the team’s forwards with 19:23 of ice time per game. The 24-year-old right winger has tallied 10 points (three goals, seven assists) in his last nine games. His speed, playmaking skill and goal-scoring ability could give the Bruins’ blue line problems.
Key Stat For Bruins: The Bruins have a minus-3 goal differential in the third period this season and they’ve been outscored 7-2 in the third period during their four-game skid. Boston has been a fantastic third-period team for most of Claude Julien’s tenure as head coach, highlighted by a league-best plus-48 goal differential last season. Luckily for the Bruins, the Oilers have given up the third-most third-period goals (66) and are 2-24-2 when trailing after the second period.
Key Stat For Oilers: Edmonton owns a league-worst .895 save percentage at even strength this season and has allowed 14 goals in its last three games, including a 7-2 defeat to a mediocre Ottawa Senators on Saturday.
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images
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