#14 Edmonton Oilersvs.#13 New Jersey Devils
Written by Valdis Pans
New Jersey Devils (16-18-6-2) vs. Edmonton Oilers (21-15-4-3)
When: 9:00 PM ET, Thursday, January 12, 2017
Where: Rogers Place, Edmonton, Alberta
Lines: New Jersey +170 / Edmonton -200
After losing every single fixture in their recent 3-game homestand, the New Jersey Devils (7th in Metropolitan Division) are jumping on a bus to play their next four on the road, starting with a trip to Edmonton to brawl with the Oilers (3rd in Pacific), who are coming off a 2-game losing skid…
Right after registering three wins in four outings between Dec. 29 and Jan. 3, the New Jersey Devils (16-18-8) have gone and lost all three subsequent home games in a row, bowing down to the Toronto Maple Leafs (4-2), the Edmonton Oilers (2-1 in overtime) and the Florida Panthers (3-0). The latest defeat against the Cats on Monday was especially dire, with the Devils allowing two empty net goals in the final 1:05 minutes of the game without producing anything worth a mention themselves. Defenseman Steven Santini (0 goals, 2 points for the year) was the most active member of team, registering five hits, two blocked shots and two shots on goal during his fifth start of the current campaign. Taylor Hall and Travis Zajac both lead the Devils in points with 25 each, having netted 8 and 9 goals respectively. P.A. Parenteau is the top goal-scorer with 12 markers for the year on 18 overall points.
Goalie Cory Schneider made 26 saves on 27 shots against Florida, taking his season performance total to 12-14-6 with a 2.73 GAA. He has gone 7-3-1 in the past against Edmonton with a pretty impressive 1.60 career GAA. The Devils are currently occupying the 27th place in the league with 40 points from 42 games and have a terrible 6-12-5 road record. They are scoring the 3rd lowest amount of goals per outing (2.19), conceding the 9th highest quantity in their defensive zone (2.90 per game). The Devils are 2nd from the bottom of the league in power play with a lousy 13.3% success rate and rank 14th in penalty kill with an alright 82.3% efficiency.
The Edmonton Oilers (21-15-7) started their 6-game homestand in a truly uninspiring fashion, losing 5-3 to division rivals, the San Jose Sharks, at Rogers Place on Tuesday in a spineless, dreary outing that extended their current losing streak to two games in a row and four in past six fixtures (2-3-1). The loss gave the Sharks an opportunity to move three points clear from Edmonton in the Pacific Division standings with two games in hand. Drake Caggiula (3 goals, 7 points for the year), Matt Benning (2 goals, 9 points) and Oscar Klefbom (7 goals, 15 points) all found the back of the net, while Connor McDavid (14 goals, 48 points) saw his 3-game point streak (5 assists) finish.
Goalie Cam Talbot made 23 saves against the Sharks, takings his season performance total to 20-12-6 with a 2.51 GAA. He has gone 2-1-0 against New Jersey in past meetings with a solid 1.66 career GAA. The Oilers are sitting 10th in the league with 49 points from 43 games and have a dodgy 9-8-2 home record. They are averaging the 9th highest amount of goals scored per game (2.81), allowing the 16th lowest quantity in their defensive zone (2.67 per outing). Edmonton ranks 11th in power play with a pretty good 20.9% success rate and 19th in penalty kill with 81.0% productivity.
The Oilers have hit a little slump recently, but should get back to winning ways against the Devils, who have been even more unconvincing lately. Edmonton already has an overtime win in New Jersey this year, recorded just four days ago, and should add another one here. The Oilers have gone 3-1-1 in their past five home games against the Devils and are very likely to better that record…
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Valdis got his first ever article published when he was 13, and has rarely stopped. He has worked for FHM, MTV Baltics and has done loads of freelance (from columns for Cosmopolitan magazine to helping with organization of Macy Gray’s shows in the Northern Europe). Speaks five different languages, loves pizza, American Horror Story and pipe organ music, and knows European soccer better than dates of his family members’ birthdays. Is an avid fan of ice-hockey too. He is a Latvian after all...