@ Florida: 15-19-7, 37pts VS Edmonton: 18-18-2, 38pts
Game Day: Tuesday January 2nd 2007 Game Time: 7:00pm MST Radio: 630 Ched TV: Oilers PPV You can go to any one of these fine locations and catch the game there.
The Panthers haven't won in Edmonton in almost 11 years, going 0-4-1 there since a 3-2 victory on Jan. 5, 1996. A season-high four-game losing streak has dropped the Oilers (18-18-2) into last place in the tight Northwest Division in which all five teams are separated by four points.
ROSTER UPDATES: Edmonton — Ethan Moreau (shoulder) is out. Florida — Todd Bertuzzi (back) is out. Stephen Weiss (shoulder) is out.
OILERS TO WATCH: Ryan Smyth returned to action on Thursday after missing 10 games with a broken thumb and contributed in a big way. Despite being limited in his mobility, he scored a power play goal in his first game back and set up a screen for another en route to being named second star of the game. Smyth added two goals on Sunday in Calgary and has three goals and one assist for four points in three games since coming back. This is the third full season in the NHL for both Jarret Stoll and Fernando Pisani but both Oilers have only ever played the Florida Panthers once before in their careers. Pisani has played 229 career NHL games while Stoll has played 192 total games.
PANTHERS TO WATCH: Edmonton native Jay Bouwmeester has already matched his career-high total of five goals set last season. He is also second on the Panthers in plus/minus at +7. Leading the way in that category for the Panthers is Nathan Horton at +12. Horton is also second on the Panthers with 14 goals and 32 points. Olli Jokinen remains the offensive leader for the club with 40 points through his first 41 games and 15 goals. Last season, Jokinen had 38 goals.
FAST FACTS: Leading up to Christmas, the Panthers had a three-game winning streak going. During the streak, they gave up the games first goal each time but found a way to come back and win. 28 of Florida's 41 games this season have been decided by two goals or less. 16 of those games have been decided by a single goal with the Panthers holding a 5-4-7 record. At 19.1%, Florida's power play is seventh-best in the NHL. Only 12 of Jokinen's 40 points have come on the road.
QUOTABLE: "We've got to stay focused," Edmonton's Ryan Smyth said. "We believe we're a good hockey team and once we believe that and start playing with confidence, we'll eventually find a way through it."
Points: Oilers: 38 - Panthers: 37
Wins: Oilers: 18 - Panthers: 15
ShutOuts: Oilers: 3 - Panthers: 1
Power Play Rank: Oilers: 26 - Panthers: 7
Penalty Kill Rank: Oilers: 3 - Panthers: 15
Win % When Leading After 1: Oilers: .769 - Panthers: ..667
Win % When Leading After 2: Oilers: .929 - Panthers: .769
Win % When Trailing After 1: Oilers: .250 - Panthers: .067
Win % When Trailing After 2: Oilers: .105 - Panthers: .063
The above info was copy/pasted from here and here.
My keys to the game: The oilers must get an early lead and keep that lead. When leading after 2 periods the oilers are 13-0-1, when trailing after 2 they are a whopping 2-17-0. The Oilers MUST stay out of the penalty box, at home their penalty kill is tied for 21st with 81.1%. The Panthers powerplay on the road is ranked 3rd overall with 19.8% accuracy. Special teams will be a big part of tonights game.
My American satellite finally went down for good (at least I think it's down) so it's looking like I'll have to go to the girlfriend's house to pay for the pay-per-view tomorrow. Alas, I'm expecting a big rebound game so hopefully the money is well-spent.
I can honestly say, this team will need a massive slump-buster, now Florida are a good team, but arent there yet in terms of players etc etc, so i think we might just win tonight, the boys better be pissed!
Probably how else are they going to sell a PPV game against the Panthers with the current state of the team?
That's freakin Hilarious... I was just thinkin to myself "NO way am I wasting 12 bucks on the Oilers right now, especially since they NEVER win when I buy PPV" (seriously, does anyone know thier PPV record?) Then I find out the Oilers pick up Nedved and I'm kinda curious.
I think we are very close to a significant deal.
The farts have just started and thankfully the boyfriend has already headed home. -LadyJet