Boston Bruins at Edmonton Oilers
When: 8:30 PM ET, Wednesday, February 19, 2020
Where: Rogers Place, Edmonton, Alberta
Preview for Digital Sports Desk by Gracenote
EDMONTON – No Connor McDavid? No problem, at least not yet for the Edmonton Oilers, who have survived the loss of their superstar captain by going 3-1-0 since McDavid suffered a quadriceps injury on Feb. 8. The Oilers cannot afford to take their foot off the throttle, however, as they return home to face the NHL-leading Boston Bruins tonight.
Edmonton has won four of five to move into a tie for first place in the Pacific Division, where the top five teams are separated by a mere two points. “We’re not a one-man team,” star forward Leon Draisaitl said after Sunday’s 4-3 overtime win at Carolina. “Obviously, our team is a lot better when Connor’s on it, but it’s nice that we’re able to grind out a few wins with him being away from the team.”
The Bruins have won three in a row and nine of 10 but have seen their lead trimmed to one point over white-hot Tampa Bay atop the Atlantic Division. “When we play well, we are going to win a majority of the games,” forward Brad Marchand said after Boston opened a four-game trek with a 3-1 win at Madison Square Garden. “We just hold ourselves to a high standard. We don’t accept losing in the room, or in the organization.”
TIME: 8:30 p.m. ET. TV: NESN, Sportsnet, TVAS
ABOUT THE BRUINS (37-11-12): Defenseman Charlie McAvoy struggled at both ends of the ice for the first half of the season, going 51 games before finally scoring his first goal. The third-year blue liner, who leads the team with just over 23 minutes of ice time per game, has come alive at the offensive end with three tallies in the last six contests. “I knew I hadn’t scored, but I wasn’t losing sleep at night,” McAvoy said. “It is nice to get a couple in a short amount of time, more importantly we got two wins on this back-to-back.”
ABOUT THE OILERS (32-21-6): Already without McDavid, James Neal (foot) and Zack Kassian (suspension), Edmonton announced that defenseman Oscar Klefbom will miss two to three weeks due to a shoulder injury. Draisaitl is running away with the league scoring race, collecting three goals and seven assists in the four games since McDavid was hurt to bump his season total to 95 points and earn NHL First Star of the Week honors. Draisaitl has scored five times in five games and had a goal and an assist in a 4-1 win at Boston on Jan 4.
- Bruins F David Pastrnak, tied for second in the league with 82 points, scored against the Oilers in January — his sixth goal in eight games against them.
- Oilers F Kailer Yamamoto has nine goals and nine assists in 18 games, including four of each in the past six.
- Bruins G Tuukka Rask has not allowed more than two goals since the Christmas break.