The Edmonton Oilers look to begin a new winning streak when they continue their road trip Friday against the Anaheim Ducks.
The Oilers saw their 16-game winning streak — one shy of the NHL record of 17 posted by the 1992-93 Pittsburgh Penguins — end Tuesday when they kicked off a three-game road trip with a 3-1 loss to the Vegas Golden Knights.
The good news amid that disappointing defeat, a game in which the Oilers opened the scoring but could not pull away despite having a decided edge in play, was the lessons learned during the streak.
The Oilers are known for their high-octane offensive attack led by Connor McDavid, but their defensive game shone brightly. Edmonton surrendered two or fewer goals in all 14 games prior to facing the Golden Knights, a run that was snapped because of a late, empty-net goal.
“We were playing the right way,” defenseman Darnell Nurse told Sportsnet. “Along the way, you create your own luck by doing the right things, and over the 16 games we (did enough of that) to have that win streak.”
During their run, the Oilers posted a franchise-record, nine-game road winning streak and goaltender Stuart Skinner set a team mark by winning 12 consecutive games.
“We did an exceptional job to be in the position where we are right now,” coach Kris Knoblauch said. “We have some breathing room right now, and we’re not happy, we’re not content.
“We want to move up in the standings, whether that’s second place in the Pacific (Division), maybe first. Who knows what happens with another streak?”
The Ducks appear destined to own strong odds to win the draft lottery again, but return from the All-Star break that was enjoyable due to recent success. Anaheim went into its time off after a 3-2 overtime win over the San Jose Sharks on Jan. 31.
Troy Terry scored with 61 seconds remaining in regulation and then Frank Vatrano tallied in overtime.
“We’ve been on the wrong side of a lot of those games, so it was nice to have a heroic comeback there,” said Terry, who added an assist against the Sharks and has collected four goals and 10 points in a six-game streak.
“It felt kind of like the first 15 games of the year when we were doing that, so it was good.”
The Ducks are on a 3-0-1 run, but with their spot in the standings and the March 8 NHL trade deadline coming soon, they are well aware players may soon be on the move.
Among those likely to leave Southern California are key forwards Adam Henrique and Jakob Silfverberg and defenseman Ilya Lyubushkin, who are all pending unrestricted free-agents.
Vatrano, who has one more season on his contract, is also being named in the trade rumor mill.
“I’m happy in Anaheim, I love it there,” Vatrano told dailyfaceoff.com while he was at the All-Star Game. “Obviously, I don’t want to go anywhere but that’s way out of my control. I’m excited to be in Anaheim right now.
“We’ve got guys on our team that were playing in the NHL at 18 years old, which is not easy. The things they do on the ice right now, it will be incredible seeing what these guys are like in two to three years.”
– Field Level Media
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