Oilers vs Islanders: Preview & Game Notes – Jan 5, 2023

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 16: Leon Draisaitl #29 of the Edmonton Oilers celebrates his third period power-play goal with Connor McDavid #97 against the New York Islanders at the Barclays Center on February 16, 2019 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 16: Leon Draisaitl #29 of the Edmonton Oilers celebrates his third period power-play goal with Connor McDavid #97 against the New York Islanders at the Barclays Center on February 16, 2019 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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The Edmonton Oilers are at home again tonight facing off against the New York Islanders. The Orange and Blue are coming off of a disappointing effort against the Seattle Kraken, and now find themselves having lost their last two games, while the Islanders come into the game having won four of their last five games. With a tight race in the Pacific, the Oil find themselves fifth in the division, while the Islanders are fifth in the much more competitive Metropolitan division.

Both teams come into the game having played 39 games on the season. The Islanders have a slightly better overall record with 22 wins, 15 losses and two overtime/shootout losses. The Oilers on the other hand, have 20 wins with 17 losses and two overtime/shootout losses.

Oilers Key To The Game: Defensive Game

The Oilers are facing a red hot Islanders team that are hungrier than ever and are willing to scratch and claw for every point they can. They’ll be gritty and tough to play against for the full 60 minutes, so the Oilers have to make sure they are clean in their own end. Playing defensively while staying out of the penalty box will be the key to victory tonight.

Klim Kostin Will Play On The McDavid Line

Klim Kostin has worked his way onto the first line for tonight’s matchup. Kostin will play alongside Connor McDavid and Zach Hyman for the first time this season, after having a strong stretch of games in December. Jay Woodcroft has shaken up the lines heavily tonight in an effort to spread out the depth a bit, so it’s kind of a showcase game for Kostin.

The Oilers Are Expected To Run With These Lines Tonight:

Kostin-McDavid-Hyman

RNH-Draisaitl-Yamamoto

Foegele-McLeod-Puljujarvi

Janmark-Holloway-Ryan

Nurse-Ceci

Kulak-Barrie

Broberg-Bouchard

Campbell

The Oilers will have to battle extremely hard if they want two points tonight. The Islanders are a fast, physical team that have been on a really hot stretch. Jack Campbell has the pipes tonight so it’ll be a redemption game for him, and the Islanders are expected to start Ilya Sorokin, who is the early Vezina favourite so they’ll need to shoot hard and often in order to beat him.

It’ll be a good battle tonight. Whoever plays better in their own zone is gonna come away with the victory, so the Oilers need to come out flying. Their defensive play has been their achilles heel all season, and they won’t win tonight if it continues to be.