It’s been another lost season for the Edmonton Oilers.
They are one of the worst teams in the NHL and sit near the bottom of the Pacific Division standings, looking straight up at the Vegas Golden Knights.
The Oilers, led by 21-year-old sensation Connor McDavid, have lost four in a row and five of their last six as they travel to Las Vegas to battle the Golden Knights on Thursday at T-Mobile Arena. Vegas is a -225 money line favorite as these two teams meet for the third time this season (odds provided by Bovada).
The Oilers, who made the playoffs last season for the first time in 11 years, have a perfect record against the Golden Knights — an 8-2 victory on Nov. 14 at Rogers Place and a 3-2 victory on Jan. 13 at T-Mobile. The division rivals have two games left against each other this season.
McDavid is having another stellar year for Edmonton (23-28-4). The captain led the NHL with 100 points in his second season in 2016-17. He has 23 goals and 43 assists for 66 points this year, which ties him for third among the league leaders.
Leon Draisaitl is the only other player with more than 31 points on the Oilers, who stand at -27 in goal differential. Only five teams in the league hold a worse mark.
Cam Talbot gets the bulk of the starts in goal. He has a 19-20-2 record and a 3.17 goals against average for the Oilers, whose longest streak of the season was four wins in a row just before Christmas.
The Oilers won the Pacific Division last season at 47-26-9 before losing in the second round of the playoffs.
The Golden Knights (37-15-4) improved their record on Tuesday with a 5-2 victory over the slumping Chicago Blackhawks, who have now lost seven straight.
Four third-period goals sealed the win for the Golden Knights, who have the best home record in the league at 20-4-2. Vegas, which swept the season series 3-0, got goals from Reilly Smith, Brad Hunt, David Perron, Tomas Nosek and Ryan Carpenter.
Marc-Andre Fleury had 29 saves for the Golden Knights, who snapped a two-game home losing streak. The team has also scored a power-play goal in 10 of their last 11 games.
Vegas is 7-4 in their last 11 games and +38 in goal differential for the season. This is the third matchup of a seven-game homestand.
The Oilers rank 30th on the power play and 31st in penalty killing, while the Golden Knights are 13th in both categories.
Even though the Oilers have struggled throughout the season, they have upset the Golden Knights twice this year and are a surprising 10-5 against division opponents. Hopefully, all the action on the Las Vegas Strip isn’t too much of a distraction.
VGB’s pick — Edmonton (+185), Under (6.5)