Edmonton Oilers vs Pittsburgh Penguins

Arguably the two best players in the world will lead their teams into battle Wednesday night as Connor McDavid leads the Edmonton Oilers into the PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, PA. to take on Sidney Crosby and his Penguins. Puck drops at 8PM EST. The game will be televised via Sportsnet, TVA, and NBC Sports. Radio broadcast provided by WXDX and AM630.

How to Watch

Where: PPG Paints Arena - Pittsburgh, PA.

When: Wednesday, February 13, 8PM EST.

How (TV/Radio): Sportsnet, TVA, NBCS | WXDX, AM630.

Edmonton Oilers (Away)

Head Coach: Ken Hitchcock {All-Time 838-522-88-123 EDM, DAL, STL, CBJ, PHI}

It’s been a rough go this season for Edmonton. After the firing of general manager Peter Chiarelli, the team was called out by heach coach Ken Hitchcock last week about their play and passion. With a record of 24-26-5 this season and being 3-5-2 in their last ten games at the time of writing, the Oilers have plenty to work on and will definitely have their hands full with Pittsburgh.

Luckily for the Oilers, they are coming in as the healthier team, as the Penguins are looking to be without Evgeni Malkin and Justin Schultz. That being said, there is still plenty for Edmonton to worry about - mainly staying out of the penalty box.

Not only do the Oilers rank 27th in the league in penalty minutes (averaging over nine minutes per game) - their penalty kill is ranked second-last in the league at 30th. The Pittsburgh Penguins are ranked sixth-overall in the league for powerplay - averaging a 23.5 per cent success rate. Special teams will be no joke when these two teams collide Wednesday night.

Goaltender Mikko Koskinen is expected to get the nod in the crease for this one. Koskinen is 14-11-2 on the season with a goals against average of 2.89 and a save percentage of .906. He has three shutouts on the season.

Pittsburgh Penguins (Home)

Head Coach: Mike Sullivan {All-Time 228-142-15-52 PIT, BOS}

As mentioned above, the Penguins offense is their strongest weapon in this game. To go along with their powerplay, the Pens are also sixth in the league in goals scored - averaging 3.42 per game - and that goes along with their seventh overall shooting percentage.

Pittsburgh also ranks eighth in the league for fewest penalties taken and will most likely be the only team with any powerplay time this game.

The Pens will also have an extra jump in their step as they’ve dropped their last four games. They are 3-6-1 in their last ten. But the excitement of being back in their home arena where they are 15-10-2 should get them fired up. The Oilers are just barely over .500 on the road this season.

Goalie Matt Murray is likely to get the start against the Oilers. Murray has a season record of 15-9-1. His numbers are not unlike those of his counterpart in this game. Murray’s goals against average sits at 2.97 while his save percentage is .909. He also has three shutouts on the season.

These two teams last faced-off on October 23, 2018. The Penguins edged out a victory over the Oilers with a score of 6-5.

What's At Stake?

Potentially Ken Hithcock’s future with the team. Former GM Peter Chiarelli may no be the only one to have his tenure with Edmonton come to an end in 2019.

For the Penguins, every game from here on out in crucial and every two points is essential to staying in the playoff race within one of the more competitive divisions. The Penguins are currently fourth in the Metropolitan division (eighth in the Eastern conference) with 63 points. That’s only two points back of the final playoff spot and only four points back of defending Stanley Cup champions the Washington Capitals.

Questions to answer

How can the Oilers stay out of the box? If they don’t, how do they plan to contain such an imposing powerplay as the Penguins’ - if at all?

With two goalies with almost identical stats going head-to-head, will this game ultimately come down to a battle of the netminders?

Which captain will step it up and dominate the faceoff circle?

Edmonton Oilers Injury Report

F Ty Rattie - day-to-day (lower-body).

D Matt Benning - day-to-day (upper-body).

Pittsburgh Penguins Devils Injury Report

F Nick Bjugstad - day-to-day (undisclosed).

F Evgeni Malkin - IR (upper-body).

F Zach Auston-Reese - IR (fractured hand).

D Justin Schultz - IR (fractured leg).

Edmonton Oilers at Pittsburgh Penguins Predictions and Odds

The Pittsburgh Penguins (-190) are the favorites over the Edmonton Oilers (+155) in this match-up.

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