NHL Hockey

3
Final 1 2 3 OT Tot
NY Islanders 3 0 0 0 3
Edmonton 2 0 1 1 4
4
6:00 PM PT7:00 PM MT8:00 PM CT9:00 PM ET2:00 GMT10:00 7:00 PM MST9:00 PM EST6:00 UAE (+1)21:00 ETNaN:� BRT, February 21, 2019
Rogers Place, Edmonton, Alberta  Attendance: 18,347

Oilers hope to launch playoff run against Isles

New York Islanders at Edmonton Oilers

  1. Despite losing 4-2 in Calgary on Wednesday night, the Islanders are 17-11-2 (.600) on the road this season, their best record through 30 road games since 1981-82, when they started 16-10-4 (.600) at home on their way to their third of four straight Stanley Cups.
  2. Anders Lee has scored a goal in back-to-back games after totaling zero goals and one assist over his previous 11 games. Lee is the first Islanders player to reach 20 goals this season; this was the latest the Islanders have gone without a 20-goal player since 2008-09, when the team had none all season.
  3. In the last 18 meetings between these teams, the home team is 15-1-2, including the Islanders' 5-2 home win on Saturday. The only regulation win by a road team over that stretch was a 4-1 victory by the Islanders on March 7, 2017.
  4. After starting the season 10-4-1 in their first 15 home games, the Oilers have gone 2-11-1 in their last 14, including a shootout loss to Arizona on Tuesday. Edmonton has allowed 61 goals in those 14 games, the most by any team in a span of 14 home games since the 2010-11 Avalanche (65).
  5. Leon Draisaitl had two assists on Tuesday, snapping a season-long eight-game streak without an assist. The Oilers are now just 9-9-4 when Draisaitl has multiple points this season, the most such losses and worst such record for any player in the NHL (minimum 10 games).
  6. The Islanders are a perfect 9-0-0 in the second game of back-to-backs this season, the only team to win every such game. Edmonton is just 5-6-2 when its opponent is in the second game of a back-to-back, 23rd in the NHL.

The Edmonton Oilers losing streak is now at five games. They have just one victory in their last dozen outings.

But as the Oilers ready for Thursday's home clash with the New York Islanders, Edmonton is in that spot where positive thoughts are being put forward as much as possible. Sure, it may be false hope, but that's what teams sitting seven points out of a playoff spot with 23 games remaining must do so long as they're not mathematically eliminated from a playoff spot.

"Six of the last seven games, we've played awful well, and we've got to build on that," head coach Ken Hitchcock said. "Coming back and tying the game (late) gave us some juice even (Wednesday). There was good spirit, and I know we're going to work (against the Islanders). That's all you can ask. Guys have to pour everything and you hope it turns around and you can get on a run."

"I think if you go back the last four games ... it's been good effort by our team," forward Alex Chiasson added. "We played much better in our d-zone and it's let us have better team play. It's a tough league to win in and we've got to stay positive."

The Oilers were without star captain Connor McDavid due to illness in Tuesday's 3-2 shootout loss to the Arizona Coyotes, a game in which they forced extra time with a goal in the final seconds.

McDavid wasn't able to practice on Wednesday, so his status for Thursday's clash is up in the air.

"We're hopeful he shows up (for the game) and if not, we got to keep punching ahead," Hitchcock said.

"I texted Connor yesterday, jokingly, and told him maybe if he didn't shake 2,000 hands (on Monday), maybe he wouldn't have gotten sick," Oilers forward Zack Kassian told Postmedia, alluding to the team's fanfest in which McDavid was understandably the center of attention. "We're around a lot of people, around a lot of guys. Once the virus starts going around, you never know who it will hit."

Just like you never know whether a team can get on a hot enough roll for a playoff push.

"In order to keep climbing, you have to get points," forward Sam Gagner said. "(Thursday) is the most important game of the year, in that sense, and you focus on that one, focus on playing the right way. And hopefully you come out with a win and then focus on the next one."

The Metropolitan Division-leading Islanders arrive in Edmonton after dropping a 4-2 clash with the Calgary Flames on Wednesday night, which snapped a two-game winning streak.

"Too many passengers," fumed Islanders head coach Barry Trotz, who gave his squad a "F" grade after the loss.

After a dismal performance in Calgary, it's possible both Andrew Ladd and Thomas Hickey will make their return from injuries.

Even with the defeat, the Islanders are on an 11-3-2 run.

"The beauty of it is we get to wake up and play again tomorrow," Brock Nelson told Newsday.

--Field Level Media

Updated February 21, 2019

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