The Edmonton Oilers have hit a wall on the east coast with back-to-back losses. Now instead of enjoying some sunshine, the Oilers will be trying to get their season back on track when they visit the Florida Panthers on Thursday night. Edmonton had won five of six before dropping back-to-back losses at the hands of the Washington Capitals and Tampa Bay Lightning. The Oilers were outscored 9-4 in those games. The Panthers have opened the season with a 3-5-3 record so they could be playing with even more urgency than Edmonton as they attempt to get back in the win column on home ice. Will Florida hand the Oilers another loss? Or will Edmonton end its four-game road trip with a victory?
Oilers vs Panthers Betting Analysis
The Oilers couldn’t do much of anything right in their losses to Washington and Tampa Bay. Edmonton’s offence was held to just two goals in each loss, while both the Capitals and Lightning were able to light them up at the other end of the ice. The Oilers are 5-4-0 on the road this season but just 3-6 on the puck line in those contests.
Meanwhile, the Panthers haven’t been able to do much of anything on home ice where they are 0-2-1 this season. A trip to Finland for back-to-back games with the Winnipeg Jets resulted in a split, but now they will have to find their legs after travelling back home on the weekend. Florida is 6-5 on the puck line overall this season.
Frustrations finally boiled over for Edmonton in Tuesday’s loss to Tampa Bay. The Oilers lacked composure all game, including Milan Lucic getting handed 14 minutes in penalties for going after Mathieu Joseph. Edmonton’s depth scorers have chipped in with Ryan Strome, Drake Caggiula, Kyle Brodziak and Alex Chiasson combining for eight goals over their last three games. However, the top line has hit a bit of a wall with so much weight being put on the shoulders of Connor McDavid and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Those two will be expected to play big minutes again on Thursday night, along with Leon Draisaitl, who is centering the second line and playing on the top powerplay. Meanwhile, with the offence struggling Edmonton will need more from its goaltending. Mikko Koskinen gave up five goals against the Lightning, but it would be hard to put all of the blame for that loss on him. Cam Talbot will likely be back between the pipes for the Oilers on Thursday. Talbot is 5-5-1 with a 2.93 goals against average and a .899 save percentage this season.
Florida received a boost from its No. 1 goaltender in its 4-2 win over Winnipeg last Friday as Roberto Luongo turned aside 32 of 34 shots. Luongo was excellent last season and if he can stay healthy he could be in for a solid year. Meanwhile, the offence showed signs of life in that game with Mike Hoffman, Evgeni Dadonov, Frank Vatrano and Keith Yandle all chipping in goals. The Panthers have a ton of weapons up front but it might take time for them to develop chemistry and play to their potential. The top two centers in particular will need to do some heavy lifting with Aleksander Barkov and Vincent Trocheck playing big minutes. Edmonton is capable of scoring goals in bunches so it will be interesting to see whether or not Florida can counter with its own offensive punch. If the offence produces and Luongo plays well, the Panthers should be able to get their first home win of the season on Thursday night.