Edmonton Oilers gear up for Panthers Thursday night – Edmonton


The Edmonton Oilers continue to try to shake off one of the most confusing trends of the NHL season.

The Oilers have allowed the first goal in 22 of their last 26 games.

“It’s the first time I’ve heard the stat. I didn’t think about it,” goalkeeper Mikko Koskinen said. “I hope I forget that when I get out of here. It’s not going to cross my mind.

“You can’t start thinking about things like that. We all know we need to get off to a better start.

Koskinen is expected to start in goal Thursday against the Florida Panthers.

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The Panthers, despite losing Tuesday night in Calgary, are one of the best teams in the NHL. They are 8-1-1 in their last 10 games.

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“It doesn’t matter who comes here right now. We had our full attention on everything. You recognize your opponent. You recognize their strengths, their weaknesses, but we have to care about what we’re doing here,” said head coach Dave Tippett.

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The Oilers are on the other end of the Panthers’ spectrum, going 2-10-2 since Dec. 3.

“We try to stay as positive as possible. It’s difficult at the moment because we don’t play a lot of games. We’re not in a rhythm,” defender Cody Ceci said.

“I really like what I’ve seen in the last few days in training. It was a very high level of competition. Hopefully we can translate that into tomorrow’s game,” Koskinen said.

The NHL released an updated schedule Wednesday afternoon. The Oilers have had nine games postponed due to COVID. The new dates are:

February 8 vs. Vegas

February 9 vs. Chicago

February 11 against the New York Islanders

February 14 in San Jose

February 15 in Los Angeles

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February 17 vs. Anaheim

February 19 in Winnipeg

February 20 vs. Minnesota

March 7 in Calgary

Defender Kris Russell is available to return from injury on Thursday. Forward Brendan Perlini did not skate after leaving practice early Tuesday. Tippett said Perlini was not ruled out for Thursday.

630 CHED will have all the action on Thursday, starting with the Show Face-Off at 5:30 p.m. The puck will fall at 7 p.m.

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