The Florida Panthers will travel on the road to the Rogers Place on Thursday evening as they prepare for a Western Conference battle versus the reeling Edmonton Oilers.
The Oilers continue to slide down the Western Conference standings after going just 2-8-0 over their last 10 games. Meanwhile, Florida comes in with just 41 points through 41 games, however, they had been playing well prior to their current three-game skid. The Panthers had won six of their previous eight games. Can Florida get back on the winning track on the road against Edmonton on Thursday night?
Panthers lose third straight contest
The Panthers are riding a three-game losing streak after falling 5-1 to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday evening. Aleksander Barkov scored the team’s only goal, while Roberto Luongo turned away 12 of the 16 shots that he faced before getting pulled for Jamie Reimer, who stopped 14 of 15 shots in relief.
Panthers’ center vincent Trocheck returned to the ice and started skating recently, which is good news for Florida. While there is still no timetable for Trocheck’s return, his progress has to be encouraging for Panthers fans after he fractured his ankle just over six weeks ago.
Luongo is scheduled to be patrolling the crease for the Panthers once again on Thursday night. The veteran goalie has taken a step back in his age-39 season, going just 8-9-1 with a 3.37 GAA and a disappointing .892 save percentage in 21 starts this season. His goals against average is nearly a full goal higher than his bounce back campaign last year and his current save percentage would mark a career-low.
Florida has been excellent in the offensive zone this season, ranking in the top-10 in both goals per game and power play percentage, however, some spotty defense and goaltending has sabotaged their season. They come in scoring 3.15 goals per game (10th in NHL) and converting on 27.0 percent of their opportunities with the man advantage (4th in the NHL). On defense, Florida is allowing 3.51 goals per game (28th in the NHL) and killing off 79.8 percent of their penalties (16th in the NHL) on the year.
Oilers continue to slide down Western Conference standings
The Oilers failed to keep their momentum going on Tuesday night, falling on the road to the San Jose Sharks 7-2. Alex Chiasson and Milan Lucic each scored goals for the Oilers, but they were overwhelmed by a Sharks’ offense that scored at least two goals in every period. Cam Talbot started the game and stopped just 13 of the first 17 shots that he faced, while Mikko Koskinen stopped 16 of 19 on the night in a losing effort.
Talbot is scheduled to be back between the pipes for the Oilers on Thursday evening. He comes in with an 8-12-2 overall record to go along with a 3.20 GAA and a .896 save percentage so far this season. The 31-year-old has struggled to find any consistency over the last few months going, 5-11-2 over his previous 18 starts.
McDavid leads the team in all offensive categories, tallying 63 points (24 goals, 39 assists) so far this season. Edmonton is scoring 2.77 goals per game (23rd in the NHL) and allowing 3.21 goals per game on defense (24th in the NHL) through their first 43 games of the regular season. They have converted on 21.3 percent of their power play opportunities (14th in the NHL) and killed off 77.9 percent of their penalties (24th in the NHL) for the season.
- Oilers are 2-8 in their last 10 overall.
- Oilers are 1-6 in their last 7 games playing on 1 days rest.
- Oilers are 0-5 in their last 5 home games.
- Panthers are 4-0 in their last 4 after scoring 2 goals or less in their previous game.
- Panthers are 5-1 in their last 6 after allowing 5 goals or more in their previous game.
- Panthers are 9-4 in their last 13 when their opponent allows 5 goals or more in their previous game