Winning streaks of at least five games have become commonplace for the Edmonton Oilers.
The New Jersey Devils? Not so much.
Two of the hottest teams in the NHL are slated to meet for the first time this season Thursday night, when the Oilers host the Devils.
Both teams were off Wednesday after extending winning streaks with resounding victories Tuesday night. The host Oilers won their fifth straight by beating the Nashville Predators, 7-4, while the Devils began a three-game road trip through Western Canada by defeating the Vancouver Canucks 5-2.
The five-game winning streak marks the seventh time since the start of the 2019-20 season the Oilers have earned at least five straight wins. Edmonton has one six-game winning streak in that span, which it recorded from March 28 through April 7, 2022.
The current winning streak has featured a little bit of everything for the Oilers, who have outscored the opposition 25-15 but have overcome deficits in four of the five victories. That includes Wednesday, when the Predators scored 34 seconds after the opening faceoff before Edmonton scored the next five goals over a span of less than 30 minutes.
Evander Kane collected a hat trick for the Oilers, Connor McDavid had two goals and two assists, and Leon Draisaitl finished with a goal and four assists. Draisaitl collected his goal shortly before the midway point of the third to extend Edmonton’s lead to 6-3.
“I thought it was really good offensively,” Draisaitl said. “Sometimes when you go up early in a game like that — by three or four goals — those games can be hard sometimes because you naturally just let off the gas. They are a good team that can score and make plays, but I thought we did a pretty good job.”
The Devils recovered from some jet lag and didn’t let up off the gas much against the Canucks. Nico Hischier and Michael McLeod scored in the first for New Jersey, which was outshot 10-7 in the first 20 minutes but put the game away by scoring twice in a span of 2:12 in the middle of the second.
“I think the sign of a good team is when you can find a different way to win,” Devils head coach Lindy Ruff said. “Our team started off — we were somewhere between Newark (N.J.) and Vancouver, I don’t know where. It might have been Newark, Arkansas.”
The Devils have outscored their opposition 19-5 over the last four games and have received impressively balanced scoring in the last two games, during which 11 players have scored the 12 goals New Jersey’s collected in beating the Canucks and Columbus Blue Jackets.
The Devils haven’t had a winning streak of longer than four games since winning five straight from Dec. 15 through Dec. 27, 2017. Only four of the players who played in the win over the Detroit Red Wings on Dec, 27, 2017 — Hischier, Jesper Bratt, Damon Severson and Miles Wood — were on the ice Tuesday night for New Jersey.
–Field Level Media