Just when it seemed as if the Edmonton Oilers finally had found a rhythm, they might be amid another slide.
The Oilers likely won’t have an easy time avoiding a third straight defeat Wednesday night in Raleigh, N.C., where the Carolina Hurricanes have been nearly unbeatable this season.
Edmonton owned a 2-9-1 record before winning three straight from games. However, the Oilers again are headed in the wrong direction after allowing 11 goals in consecutive road defeats to the Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Panthers.
On Monday, the Oilers squandered leads of 2-0 and 3-2 en route to a 5-3 loss to the Panthers. The setback dropped them to 2-7-0 on the road this season.
“I just think we’re not playing the full 60 minutes,” Edmonton defenseman Evan Bouchard said. “That’s something that we’ve got to figure out.
“I think we’ve got to learn from (Monday’s loss), go forward. … You can’t really focus on that too much, or think about it too much. Get going to the next game.”
Though superstar captain Connor McDavid scored two goals on Monday, Edmonton’s power-play unit has failed to convert on 11 chances during the last three games.
That likely does not bode well for the Oilers against a Hurricanes’ squad that has killed off eight short-handed situations over the last four games.
The Hurricanes, winners of seven of 10 games since opening 3-4-0, have yielded just one opponent power-play goal in 14 chances while going 5-1-0 at home this season. They’ll try for a second straight victory after posting a 4-2 home decision over Pittsburgh on Saturday. Seth Jarvis collected two goals with an assist, while Sebastian Aho and defenseman Brent Burns had one of each.
Jarvis has seven goals this season after totaling 31 over his first two seasons.
“He’s growing as a player,” Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour said of Jarvis. “Confidence, he certainly doesn’t lack for any of that.
“He’s trying to make plays. Taking pucks to the net. Courageous.”
Antti Raanta made 26 saves to improve to 16-0-1, with a 1.99 goals-against average and .918 save percentage, during his last 17 regular-season starts at home.
Raanta is 4-3-0 with a 2.43 GAA against the Oilers but last faced them in February 2020 while with Arizona. With Frederik Andersen out indefinitely while dealing with blood clots, current backup Pyotr Kochetkov has a 3.08 goals-against average while going 1-3-0 as a starter for the Hurricanes.
Edmonton’s Calvin Pickard made 27 saves Monday in his season debut. However, Stuart Skinner could be back in the Oilers’ net.
McDavid has four goals with an assist in four games after going without a point in three straight. He’s posted four points (two goals, two assists) in five career games at Carolina. Meanwhile, teammate Leon Draisaitl has seven goals and 10 assists in 14 contests against the Hurricanes.
Dating to March 2015, Carolina is 6-1-1 vs. Edmonton at home.
–Field Level Media
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