Game Day Preview: Edmonton Oilers vs Boston Bruins

The Boston Bruins return to action tonight following a four-day break in their schedule. They will be looking to improve on their 26-2-3 home record, as they play host to the Edmonton Oilers. Boston is currently on a roll and enters the contest on a 10-game winning streak. With an incredible 49-8-5 record this season, the Bruins sit on top of the NHL standings with an 11-point lead over the second-place Carolina Hurricanes. With a win, they can set a new NHL record for the fastest team to 50 wins in a season. The Tampa Bay Lightning tied the Detroit Red Wings for the record by securing their 50th win in their 66th game of the 2018-19 season. The Red Wings set the record back in the 1995-96 season.

Key Injuries for Both Teams

During their recent four-game West Coast road trip, the Bruins lost Taylor Hall and Nick Foligno to injury. Hall has been placed on long-term injured reserve with what is being dubbed a lower-body injury. Also dealing with a lower-body injury, Foligno remains on the injured reserve as well. The injuries to two of Boston’s forwards created a hole in the lineup that general manager Don Sweeney wasted no time filling. After already acquiring Dmitry Orlov and Garnet Hathaway from the Washington Capitals, Sweeney made another splash by acquiring Detroit Red Wings forward Tyler Bertuzzi ahead of the trade deadline. “There’s no timeline for either one of those players in terms of when they’re going to be available to us. … But it definitely created a situation for us. And we felt we had to fill a hole,” Sweeney said after the Bertuzzi trade was announced.

Tyler Bertuzzi In His Bruins’ Debut

Evander Kane has been sidelined since Feb.17, missing the Oilers’ last nine games as he heals from a rib injury. However, the left winger is a possibility to play in the game as he has taken part in recent Oilers morning skates. He has missed the majority of the season for Edmonton after suffering a scary laceration to his wrist earlier in the season. Slotting him back into the Oilers’ forward group provides them with another offensive threat to contend with, as he has nine goals and 10 assists while being limited to 24 games this season.

Every Point is Huge For Oilers Playoff Positioning

The Oilers have a 5-3-2 record over their last 10 games and most recently picked up a 3-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres. Currently sitting four points behind the Pacific Division-leading Vegas Golden Knights, the Oilers are log-jammed in a tight playoff race where every point counts. The Los Angeles Kings currently sit in second place with 82 points, while the Seattle Kraken are third with 80.

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All four teams will be in action tonight, with Vegas taking on the Lightning, the Kings visiting the Colorado Avalanche, and the Kraken hosting the Ottawa Senators. With the Pacific Division battle in full swing and the fact that the Oilers will be seeking redemption for a 3-2 home loss to the Bruins on Feb. 27, expect to see Edmonton come out with a strong performance as they try to gain ground in the standings.

Connor McDavid Has Found Another Level Over Recent Stretch

While leading all NHL scorers with 54 goals and 124 points in 65 games played, Oilers captain, Connor McDavid has somehow elevated his game to another level over his most recent stretch. He scored the game-winning goal in the Oilers’ most recent 3-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres and has 12 goals and 15 assists for 27 points during his current 11-game point streak.

McDavid is on pace to score 68 goals and 156 points at the rate he’s been producing this season. He also recently broke a franchise record for most power-play points in a season, surpassing Wayne Gretzky by notching his 58th power-play point during a 7-5 loss against the Winnipeg Jets on March 4.

Head-to-Head Matchup

Since the McDavid era began in the 2015-16 season, the Bruins have a 4-4-3 record against the Oilers, as the two clubs usually put together highly entertaining contests in their limited opportunities to play one another. Edmonton has held a slight edge in goal differential over the time period outscoring the Bruins 41-34 in their past 11 meetings.

Connor McDavid Edmonton Oilers

The Bruins and Oilers split their two meetings last season, with the Oilers outscoring the Bruins 7-6. McDavid has averaged 1.6 points per game with four goals and 12 assists for 16 points in 10 career games against the Bruins. On the other side, David Pastrnak has had his share of success, with eight goals and four assists for 12 points in 12 career games against the Oilers.

David Krejci David Pastrnak Boston Bruins
David Krejci and David Pastrnak of the Boston Bruins (Photo by Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images)

Most recently, the Bruins picked up a 3-2 win in Edmonton just under two weeks ago. McDavid scored two goals in the game and hit the 50-goal mark for the first time in his career. Bruins forward, Pavel Zacha scored the tiebreaking goal, and Boston was able to shut the Oilers down for the rest of the night.

The Best vs The Best

Tonight’s game is one you aren’t going to want to miss, as the best team in the league will be looking to shut down the best player in the league. Sit back and enjoy the game, as anything can happen when there is this much talent on the ice.

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