Devils Gameday Preview: Edmonton Oilers – 11/03/22
Can the New Jersey Devils make it five wins in a row? The team will be seeking a fifth straight victory for the first time since Dec. 15 – 27, 2017. It should be a thrilling matchup as three of the top four NHL points leaders will face off, including Connor McDavid [22 pts], Leon Draisaitl [21 pts], and Jesper Bratt [16 pts]. Oilers fans in attendance should be in their seats early as the team will host a pre-game ceremony to open the Oilers Hall of Fame and induct Lee Fogolin and Ryan Smyth as the inaugural inductees.
During the 2021-22 campaign, these two clubs combined for 20 goals over two games. The Devils won the first matchup of the season at Prudential Center 6-5, thanks to a thrilling overtime, and the Oilers won 6-3 at Rogers Place on March 15. Both Bratt and McDavid collected five points in their two meetings.
Setting the Stage
New Jersey’s Projected Lineup:
Tomas Tatar – Nico Hischier – Fabian Zetterlund
Erik Haula – Jack Hughes – Bratt
Sharangovich – Dawson Mercer – Jesper Boqvist
Miles Wood – Michael McLeod – Nathan Bastian
Jonas Siegenthaler – Dougie Hamilton
Ryan Graves – John Marino
Brendan Smith – Damon Severson
Related: 4 Devils Takeaways From 5-2 Win Over the Canucks
Edmonton’s Projected Lineup:
Per Ryan Rishaug, Evander Kane did not participate in the team’s morning skate. Stuart Skinner is confirmed to be the Oilers’ starter in net. His record is 2-1-0 with a .955 save percentage. I was unable to find a lineup from the team’s morning skate, so below are the skaters who were utilized against the Predators.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – McDavid – Zach Hyman
Evander Kane – Draisaitl – Kailer Yamamoto
Warren Foegele – Ryan McLeod – Jesse Puljujarvi
Dylan Holloway – Derek Ryan – Devin Shore
Darnell Nurse – Cody Ceci
Brett Kulak – Evan Bouchard
Markus Niemelainen – Tyson Barrie
How to Watch and Listen
Tonight’s 9:00 P.M. broadcast will be exclusively on MSG Networks with Bill Spaulding and Ken Daneyko. Host Erika Wachter will set the stage at 8:30 P.M. As always, fans can listen to tonight’s contest on the Devils Hockey Network.
Edmonton Oilers (7-3-0)
Looking For Their Sixth Consecutive Win
The Oilers enter tonight’s contest with the second-longest winning streak in the league behind the Boston Bruins. Over the past week and a half, they have earned a victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins, St. Louis Blues, Chicago Blackhawks, Calgary Flames, and Nashville Predators. During that span, the club scored 25 goals.
To no surprise, McDavid and Draisaitl lead the way with a combined 43 points in 10 games. Edmonton’s captain earned two hat tricks in October and has 12 points in his last four games. Speaking of hat tricks, Kane is coming off of his own three-goal night against the Predators. The Oilers will be a challenge for Marino and the rest of the Devils’ blue line as they have the second-best power play percentage in the league [33.3] and the third-best goals for per games played [4.10].
Forward Tyler Benson [knee] is on injured reserve.
Defenseman Oscar Klefbom [shoulder] is on injured reserve.
Goaltender Mike Smith [undisclosed] is on injured reserve.
New Jersey Devils (7-3-0)
The Devils’ Biggest Test
Most can agree the Devils had an easy schedule to begin the 2022-23 season. Their most difficult matchup in October was the defending Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche on Oct. 28. Not only did New Jersey beat Nathan Mackinnon’s team, but they also shut them out by a final score of 1-0.
Tonight’s contest is another big challenge, as the Oilers made it to the Western Conference Final last spring. Since then the club improved their goaltending by bringing in Campbell, who has five wins over his first seven starts, and re-signing Kane, who had an impressive 17 points in 15 postseason games. The Oilers can match the Devils’ speed thanks to their top-six forwards, and this could be the first game where the spotlight will truly be on New Jersey’s goaltending.
Latest News & Highlights
The Oilers are coming off a seven-goal performance against Nashville’s Juuse Saros, who was a Vezina Trophy finalist last season. After the morning skate, Tomas Tatar met with the media to discuss tonight’s contest.
“Obviously we need to be ready. You know it’s going to be a fast game, but I think we have to focus more on our game more than theirs,” he said. “We know what their strengths are and we have to be aware of it. I think we’re playing very good defensively now, you know, exiting the zone and we have to be strong on the walls and I think that’s there recipe for tonight.”
Streaks and Milestones to Watch
- If Bratt can earn a point against the Oilers he will set a franchise record for points in 11 games to start a season. On Nov. 1st he tied the record that Tom Higgins set back in 1984-85.
- Mercer only needs two more points to hit the 50-point mark. Entering tonight’s contest he has played 92 consecutive NHL games.
- Marino is set to play his 200th career NHL game tonight in Edmonton.
- New Jersey has scored a power-play goal in their last four consecutive games.
Players to Watch
New Jersey Devils: Jesper Bratt
All eyes will be on Bratt to see if he can set a new franchise record. Additionally, he is playing at the same caliber as McDavid and Draisaitl and it will be a good test to see him compete against them. The Swede has played six career games against the Oilers and collected seven points (three goals, four assists).
Edmonton Oilers: Connor McDavid
When are fans not watching McDavid? Putting the analytics and stats aside, he is a wizard with the puck regardless of where he is on the ice. A fun fact that you may not know is that the Devils were the final team he scored against and throughout his career, he only has four goals in 11 games.
Kristy has been contributing to The Hockey Writers since March of 2021. She is thrilled to be putting her journalism degree to use and is a credentialed correspondent covering the New Jersey Devils. Kristy is also a member of the Professional Hockey Writers Association. You can follow her journey on Twitter @InStilettos_NHL and Instagram SkatingInStilettos.