8:06 pm
December 13

Oilers @ Jets

Who will WIN this matchup?

Edmonton Oilers (17-12-2)

@ Winnipeg Jets (19-9-2)


Starting Goalies:

Cam Talbot (EDM): Confirmed

Connor Hellebuyck (WPG): Confirmed


Current odds:

Edmonton Oilers: (+160)

Winnipeg Jets: (-180)


 The Edmonton Oilers travel to Winnipeg on Thursday to face the Jets in a matchup of two of the best young players in the NHL in Connor McDavid and Patrik Laine. But it could be argued the person with the biggest impact on either team this season stands behind the Edmonton bench, as Ken Hitchcock has directed the Oilers to an 8-2-1 record – including a current four-game winning streak in which his team has outscored opponents 16-8 – since taking over as coach last month. McDavid finished with a goal and an assist in Tuesday’s 6-4 triumph at Colorado, giving him six goals and four assists during his current six-game points streak, while Ryan Nugent Hopkins added a pair of second-period goals for Edmonton, which was 9-10-1 when Hitchcock replaced Todd McLellan.

• The Jets have won seven of their past nine games after Tuesday’s 6-3 victory over Chicago, using a three-goal first period to build a lead as Kyle Connor scored twice and Dustin Byfuglien recorded three assists for the NHL’s fifth-highest scoring offense (3.53 goals per game). “I think we’ve improved offensively and defensively, defining the style of game we wanted to play,” Winnipeg coach Paul Maurice told reporters after Wednesday’s practice.

• McDavid came into Wednesday fourth in the league in points (43), tied for 12th in goals (17) and tied for 11th in assists (26), but the Oilers as a team are scoring 2.81 goals per contest (23rd in the NHL). Goaltender Mikko Koskinen, who had played just four NHL games in his career (none since 2010-11) coming into this season, is 10-3-1 in 2018-19 and ranks second in goals against average (2.20) and tied for fourth in save percentage (.927). Edmonton returns home to play six of its final seven games this month after Thursday, including a New Year’s Eve rematch with the Jets.

• Laine – who sat tied for second in the NHL in goals with 21 entering Wednesday – has not scored a goal in December after netting 18 in November, but has three assists in his past two games. Winnipeg’s top line continues to churn out points, as across the past nine games forward Blake Wheeler has 11 assists (13 points) and center Mark Scheifele owns six goals and eight assists. Connor Hellebuyck, who was given the night off Tuesday, is expected to start Thursday as he seeks his fifth victory in his past six appearances.

• Hitchcock has tabbed Koskinen eight times since taking over as coach, but likely will give former No. 1 G Cam Talbot a nod this week with Edmonton playing back-to-back games Thursday and Friday (at home against Philadelphia).

• Edmonton D Oscar Klefbom left in the second period Tuesday with a hand injury that Hitchcock said will sideline him for “weeks, not days.”

• Winnipeg has scored on 6-of-11 power-play opportunities across the past two games, and entered Wednesday leading the NHL on the power play at 30.3 percent.

StreakSmarter Pick
Winnipeg Jets