The Edmonton Oilers were looking to build off their recent win against the Ottawa Senators with a matchup against a Western Conference rival, the Dallas Stars. Both teams have played well as of late, but the Oilers are in need of every point they can get going down the stretch, so a massive 4-1 win over a team that has had their number in recent years is something they can be happy with and hopefully, they can ride the momentum in the final stretch of games.
This was the Oilers’ 38th win of the season, giving them 84 total points on the year, and the season series win 2-1 over the Stars. Here are three takeaways from Thursday night’s matchup.
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Janmark Loves Playing His Old Teams
Mattias Janmark was one of, if not the best Oiler on the ice Thursday night. He finished with two goals against the Stars who used to employ him. He now has eight goals this season, four of which have come against the Stars, and two of the others have come against the Vegas Golden Knights and Chicago Blackhawks, both teams he used to play for as well.
Janmark was tied for the team lead in points last night as he, Evan Bouchard and Connor McDavid all finished with two points. While he usually flies under the radar, this game was proof that he has been a valuable asset to the team and can chip in every now and again. His play away from the puck was strong as well, and the all-around team play he attributed led to the Oilers’ win.
Skinner Continues Strong Play
Stuart Skinner stopped 25 of 26 shots, backstopping the Oilers for his 21st win of the season. After a rough stretch of games, it’s nice to see Skinner has found his confidence in net again and has earned back the starting spot full-time over Jack Campbell while continuing to make a case to be the go-to goaltender come playoff time.
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The likely Calder Trophy candidate playing strong is something the Oilers will need down the stretch, and his performance proved he can be trusted after only letting Wyatt Johnston score.
McDavid Tops 130 Points, Reaches 131
McDavid continues to show the hockey world why he is one of, if not the best player to ever lace up a pair of skates. This was game 69 for McDavid, and he scored his 57th goal and added his 74th assist moving his total up to 131 points on the season, well in the lead with nobody even close to catching up to him.
His game against the Stars was, yet again, astonishing. He scored on the powerplay and assisted on Janmark’s first goal of the night, while playing a really solid game defensively. He had no flaws in his game, and led by example for the rest of the squad.
This is an award season for McDavid, who will clean house at this season’s award show. He is obviously focused on winning his first Stanley Cup, but taking home a few trophies and being recognized as the best player in the league by his peers is going to be a fun time for him.
What’s Next For The Oilers?
The Oilers are back in action Saturday, March 18 against a potential first round playoff opponent, the Seattle Kraken. The game is in Seattle, and it is at 2 pm Mountain Time. Their previous matchup was a 5-2 win against the Kraken on Jan. 17.
Both teams are looking to add a huge two points. The Oilers haven’t been too strong in afternoon games this season, but their recent strong play leads me to believe they will have no issue securing their 39th win of the season.
The expected starters have yet to be named, but I would assume Skinner gets the start for the Oilers while Philipp Grubauer gets the pipes for the Kraken.