Winnipeg at Edmonton
When: 10:00 PM ET, Saturday, February 13, 2016
Where: Rexall Place, Edmonton, Alberta
The Edmonton Oilers sit in last place in the Western Conference, but every time 19-year-old phenom Connor McDavid hits the ice, the Oilers cannot help but feel optimistic about the future. The rookie center has four goals and eight assists in six games since returning from a broken left collarbone, and enters Saturday’s home contest against the Winnipeg Jets off a five-point performance.
“What do you say?” Edmonton coach Todd McLellan told reporters Thursday after McDavid’s two goals and three assists sparked the Oilers past Toronto 5-2. “You turn into a fan, as a coach and as a player, and you just admire what he and his linemates did.” The Jets showed signs of shaking out of a month-long slump by sweeping a two-game road trip, but returned home with a thud in Thursday’s 6-2 rout by Boston. “They got faster and we got slower,” Jets coach Paul Maurice told the media after Winnipeg lost for the ninth time in the past 14 games. Bryan Little finished with a goal and an assist for the Jets, who have allowed 19 goals in their past five contests.TV:
10 p.m. ET, CBC, TVASABOUT THE JETS (24-27-3):
Winnipeg had plenty of chances Thursday, outshooting the Bruins 30-12 at one point before going more than 17 minutes without a shot on net. Rookie goaltender Connor Hellebuyck was yanked after allowing three goals on 11 shots in the first period, losing for the fifth time in his past seven decisions, and Winnipeg sent Hellebuyck to Manitoba of the AHL Friday while activating Ondrej Pavelec (knee) from injured reserve. The Jets missed an opportunity to draw closer to Nashville for the final Western Conference playoff spot, entering Friday seven points back of the Predators, and a loss Saturday would drop them into a tie with the Oilers for last in the conference.ABOUT THE OILERS (22-29-5):
McDavid’s linemate Jordan Eberle recorded his first NHL hat trick Thursday, and the line of McDavid, Eberle and Benoit Pouliot (four assists) combined for 13 points. Goaltender Cam Talbot made 34 saves Thursday, stopping all 14 shots he faced on the power play to get his first victory since Feb. 4. The Oilers are 15-10-1 at home and play their next five games on home ice, beginning play Friday nine points out of the final Western Conference playoff spot.OVERTIME
1. Pavelec has not played since Nov. 21; Maurice would not say at Friday's practice whether Pavelec or Michael Hutchinson would start Saturday.
2. McDavid has three multi-point games in his first six contests back from injury and boasts nine goals and 15 assists in his first 19 NHL contests.
3. Talbot made 44 saves in Edmonton’s first meeting of the season with the Jets, a 3-1 Oilers home victory Dec. 21 in which RW Teddy Purcell scored twice and LW Taylor Hall finished with three assists.PREDICTION:
Oilers 5, Jets 3
Stats and Records