NHL Hockey

3
Final 1 2 3 OT SO Tot
Florida 1 1 1 0 0 3
Edmonton 1 1 1 0 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, January 10, 2019
Rogers Place, Edmonton, Alberta  Attendance: 18,347

Panthers, Oilers in battle of .500 teams

Florida Panthers at Edmonton Oilers

  1. Florida lost to Pittsburgh, 5-1, on Tuesday, scoring its lone goal with 44 seconds remaining in the second period. The Panthers have scored 27 goals in the last two minutes of a period this season, second most in the NHL (Flames, 28).
  2. The Oilers lost to the Sharks, 7-2, on Tuesday as they allowed three goals in the first period. Edmonton has allowed 46 goals in the first period this season, third most in the NHL behind Tampa Bay (49) and Chicago (62).
  3. Florida beat Edmonton, 4-1, on November 8, but the Oilers have won four of the last six games in the series. The winning team has scored at least four goals in six consecutive games in this series -- the Oilers have scored 22 goals in those six games, while the Panthers have scored 21.
  4. Keith Yandle has tallied 29 assists in his career against Edmonton, tied for the fourth most by any active defenseman against the Oilers. He is +17 against the Oilers, his best against any team and tied for fifth best by any active defenseman against the Oilers.
  5. Connor McDavid assisted on one of the Oilers' two goals against the Sharks on Tuesday. He has been involved in 52.9 percent of his team's goals this season, the highest percentage by any skater in hockey.
  6. Edmonton has killed 21 of the last 23 penalties at home dating back to December 1. That penalty-kill percentage (91.3) is tied for the second-highest at home in that span. Only Tampa Bay (94.1 percent) has a higher percentage.

The Florida Panthers and Edmonton Oilers are practically mirror images of each other.

They head into their meeting Thursday night in Edmonton coming off disappointing, one-sided road defeats.

Both are sitting at the NHL's unique version of .500 but outside of a playoff spot -- a far cry from where they expected to be when the puck dropped on the 2018-19 campaign.

And both teams know they can't wait much longer to find their expected form and string together a winning streak.

"We're still not completely out of it," said Edmonton winger Milan Lucic after his team was thumped 7-2 by the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday night -- a clash in which he ended his goal scoring drought at 41 games.

"We have more than enough games left to get it going. I think this is a team that can get where it wants to go."

Edmonton (20-20-3) has dropped eight of 10 games but is only a couple of points back of a wild-card spot. Despite their struggles, the Oilers are looking at a golden chance to make a push. Six of their next seven games are on home ice, and only two of their next eight opponents are currently in a playoff position.

Sure, the middling Oilers have no right to look down on any club, but the potential to get on a roll is right there -- provided they find something that's been in short supply this season.

"This road trip, we played two really good games and two bad games. We've got to find that consistency," forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins said.

Consistency has also eluded the Panthers (17-17-7), who have dropped three straight games and arrive in Edmonton after a 5-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday to kick off a five-game road trip.

Well, the Panthers have been consistent in one area of late -- falling behind. Florida has surrendered the first goal in seven consecutive contests, four times within the first two minutes.

"It's tough to play from behind ... against any team in this league," said right-winger Colton Sceviour.

Against the Penguins, things were so bad for the Panthers that starting goalie Roberto Luongo was hooked before the midway point. A trio of talented skaters in Keith Yandle, Jonathan Huberdeau and Mike Hoffman were also benched at that point, a warranted reaction by coach Bob Boughner after watching his team surrender a pair of short-handed goals five minutes apart to leave them with a 4-0 deficit.

"Those guys have been good all year on the power play, and tonight when we need them the most -- we're in a playoff push -- you have two or three guys that are just out to lunch," Boughner said.

"It's just I was going to play the guys that wanted to play, the guys that were ready to play."

There is some good news of late for the Panthers. Captain Aleksander Barkov has been on roll, having collected 15 points (six goals, nine assists) over his past 11 games.

--Field Level Media

Updated January 9, 2019

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