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Oilers look to bounce back while Kraken seek revenge

Dec 27, 2022; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid (97) scores a goal against the Calgary Flames during the third period at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Connor McDavid will aim to start a new points streak and the Edmonton Oilers will attempt to snap a four-game home skid when the Seattle Kraken visit Tuesday night.

McDavid had a 17-game run end Saturday in a 2-1 defeat to visiting Winnipeg. McDavid, the NHL’s leading scorer, had 16 goals and 21 assists during the streak, which matched his career-high.

“I think we played a pretty solid team game,” Oilers defenseman Tyson Barrie said. “We didn’t give up a ton of chances and we created some looks and had some chances to get one, two, three, four goals, but we just didn’t get it done. Some nights you play well and don’t get the result you are looking for. It is frustrating, but it is part of the game.”

The Oilers played a second straight game without second-leading scorer Leon Draisaitl, who was out with an undisclosed injury.

That might have hampered Edmonton’s league-leading power play, which went 0-for-5.

“I thought our team played a heck of a hockey game. Nobody used any excuse about the time we arrived last night, nobody talked about back-to-back or anything like that,” Edmonton coach Jay Woodcroft said. “I thought we asserted our game right off the bat. … We didn’t give up much, I thought we spent most of the game in their end, and in the end, we were unable to solve their penalty kill and their goaltender.”

The Oilers had no such trouble last Friday in Seattle, scoring three goals in a 1:11 span early in the first period to knock out Kraken goalie Philipp Grubauer. McDavid had a goal and four assists in a 7-2 victory.

The Kraken, who are beginning a seven-game trip, rebounded with a 4-1 victory against the visiting New York Islanders on Sunday.

“We faltered (Friday),” Kraken coach Dave Hakstol said. “It was an embarrassing night. That’s a hard one to play in this building, yet we’re able to recover from that (Sunday) and get an important two points.”

Eeli Tolvanen, a former first-round selection picked up off waivers from Nashville on Dec. 12, scored the deciding goal on the power play in his Kraken debut.

“That felt really good. It’s been a while since I played my last game, so it’s nice to get the first goal out of the way in the first one,” said Tolvanen, whose most recent appearance was Nov. 19 against Tampa Bay. “It was a power play, so it’s just getting pucks on the net and shooting right away when you get it in the zone. They told me right before to shoot it as soon as I got it.”

Added Hakstol: “The power-play goal, you can’t teach that — that’s an ability that he has. He got all of that, and he beat a good goaltender on that play, and that’s a real skill that he possesses. I know he can do that.”

The Kraken and Oilers are currently tied in the standings at 42 points, occupying the Western Conference’s two wild-card playoff spots.

–Field Level Media