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Feb 5, 2024 9:23 pm

Oilers out to match NHL’s consecutive wins record vs. Knights

McDavid predators

The Edmonton Oilers will try to earn a spot in the NHL history books as they go for their 17th consecutive victory on Tuesday night against the defending Stanley Cup champion Vegas Golden Knights in Las Vegas.

A win for Edmonton would tie it with the Mario Lemieux-led 1992-93 Pittsburgh Penguins for the longest winning streak in NHL history. The Oilers, who sputtered out of the gate with a 2-9-1 record, haven’t lost a game since Dec. 19, when they fell 3-1 on the road to the New York Islanders.

Edmonton’s 16-game winning streak is tied for second in league history with the 2016-17 Columbus Blue Jackets.

The Oilers, who are third in the Pacific Division — five points behind the second-place Golden Knights — but have five games in hand, continue to take a low-key approach when the streak is brought up.

“We’re not talking about it in (the locker room),” said star forward Connor McDavid, fresh off taking home a $1 million prize for winning the All-Star Skills competition in Toronto on Friday. “I think for us it’s just about the day-to-day, staying focused on what’s in front of us. And what’s in front of us is a very good Vegas team, a team that’s ahead of us in the standings, and one that we’d like to catch.”

“Both teams know the situation we’re in, they’re in, so it’s going to be a good game,” Edmonton star forward Leon Draisaitl added. “What’s made us so successful in the last little bit is that we didn’t talk about (the streak), we didn’t make too big of a fuss out of it, so we’re just going to continue down that path.”

The Oilers are also riding a nine-game road winning streak and haven’t allowed more than two goals in each of their past 14 games.

Edmonton goaltender Stuart Skinner has won a team-record 12 straight starts, posting a 1.41 goals-against average and a .950 save percentage during that span. He is just two wins away from tying the NHL goaltender mark for consecutive victories of 14 accomplished four times, most recently by Sergei Bobrovsky of Columbus in 2016-17.

Both teams are coming off a nine-day break for their bye and the All-Star Game. Vegas was also on a roll, going 5-0-1 before losing at Detroit, 5-2, on Jan. 27.

Golden Knights forward Mark Stone said there’s no extra incentive for his team to snap Edmonton’s streak.

“No, I don’t think we’re motivated to break it, we’re motivated to beat a team in our division that’s right behind us in the standings,” Stone said. “I’m sure they’re motivated to beat a team that eliminated them from the playoffs last year. We’ve formed a bit of a rivalry, so it has nothing to do with (the winning streak).”

Vegas eliminated the Oilers in six games in the second round of the Western Conference playoffs last May.

“I think they just want to beat them,” Vegas coach Bruce Cassidy said of his team when asked about the Oilers’ winning streak. “There was a bit of bad blood last year. If they came in here on a two-game streak, I think we’d have the same approach. I really do.”

Cassidy said that he anticipated that center William Karlsson, out since suffering a lower-body injury in the Winter Classic in Seattle on New Year’s Day, will return to action for Tuesday’s game.

–Field Level Media

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