The Edmonton Oilers have been unable to generate any consistency this season, producing back-to-back victories on only one occasion. Back home following a five-game road trip, the Oilers have a chance to duplicate that feat and turn around their season-long struggles at Rogers Place when they host the Arizona Coyotes on Tuesday night.
Edmonton was rocked in the first two games of its recent trek, surrendering 14 goals in losses at Dallas and St. Louis before recovering and sandwiching wins at Detroit and Boston around a setback in Buffalo. “We finished the trip off the way we wanted to,” Oilers coach Todd McLellan said after Sunday’s 4-2 victory over the Bruins. “We have to break the spell now and put two (wins) together.” The Coyotes own the worst record and fewest points in the NHL but have turned things around, winning four of five prior to Saturday’s 4-2 loss to expansion Vegas. Arizona has won only four of 15 games away from home (4-9-2) and has dropped the past three meetings against Pacific Division rival Edmonton.
TV: 9 p.m. ET, FSN Arizona-Plus, Sportsnet Oilers (Edmonton)
ABOUT THE COYOTES (6-17-3): Second-year forward Brendan Perlini is more than halfway to last season’s goal total of 14 after scoring in four consecutive games, including what coach Rick Tocchet called a “highlight-reel” tally in Saturday’s loss. Despite missing six games last month due to a concussion, the 2014 first-round draft pick (No. 12 overall) has eight goals through 20 games. “When you have a shot like that and you can skate like that, there’s not too many people in the NHL that have that kind of package,” Tocchet said.
ABOUT THE OILERS (9-13-2): Leon Draisaitl, who normally plays alongside Connor McDavid, was switched to center and wound up assisting on Ryan Strome’s go-ahead goal before scoring into an empty net. The team is trying to get him going after he established career bests with 29 goals and 48 assists last season. ”Leon skates, a lot of the time he just skates for Leon,“ McLellan said. ”Tonight he skated for his teammates and created open ice ... using his size and creating space. So that was nice to see. And we need him to continue.”
1. McDavid had a goal and four assists in five games versus the Coyotes last season.
2. Arizona recalled F Dylan Strome, the No. 3 overall pick in the 2015 draft, from Tucson on Sunday.
3. Edmonton is 0-for-7 on the power play over the past four games.
PREDICTION: Oilers 5, Coyotes 2