The NHL has another great night of action on April 17. Twelve games will be up on the board throughout Saturday. One of these matchups will be between the Edmonton Oilers and the Winnipeg Jets. These two teams have been strong this season and will look for a big win in this one. This game will drop the puck at around 10:00 PM Eastern time on NHL Network.
Edmonton has earned a record of 25-15-2 throughout this season, which has them sitting in third place of the North Division. The Oilers are five points back on Winnipeg with two games in hand. Edmonton is coming off a loss, but have not played in a week. The Oilers will look to come out after their break with a strong performance in this one.
The Jets have put up a record of 27-14-3 to this point in the season, which has them sitting in second place of the North Division. Winnipeg is three points back on the top seeded Maple Leafs. The Jets will look to move up in the standings with a win in this one. Winnipeg has won back to back games and five of their last six.
These two teams are sitting in playoff spots in the North Division so far this season, which should lead to an exciting game on Sunday night. The Oilers have had a big break off because of the Canucks Covid-19 issues and will look to avoid coming out slow. Winnipeg has played well as of late and will look to carry that momentum into this performance.
The Oilers and the Jets have met up six times throughout this season. Winnipeg hosted the first two games of the season series on January 24 and 26. Connor McDavid had three assists in the first game as Edmonton won 4-3. Andrew Copp had two goals and two assists in the second game. Nikolaj Ehlers added a goal and three assists as the Jets won 6-4 at home.
The third and fourth game of the season series shifted to Edmonton on February 15 and 17. Mark Scheifele had a goal and two assists in the third game. Kyle Connor and Blake Wheeler both had a goal and an assist as Winnipeg won 6-5. Leon Draisaitl had two goals, while Connor McDavid and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins both earned two assists in the fourth game. The Oilers bounced back with a 3-2 win.
Edmonton also hosted the fifth and sixth game of the season series on March 18 and 20. Connor McDavid scored twice for the Oilers in the fifth game as they earned a 2-1 win. Darnell Nurse and McDavid both had a goal and an assist in the sixth game. Mike Smith stopped 29 of 31 shots as the Oilers earned a 4-2 win at home.
These two teams have met in six exciting games this season, but it has been Edmonton that has come out on top in four of the six. The Oilers have won their last three games against Winnipeg entering this one and will look to keep it up. The Jets were able to earn both their wins against Edmonton with help from their depth and will look for it to step up again in this one.
The Oilers power play has been dangerous throughout this season. Edmonton has capitalized on 35 of their 131 power play chances, which is a 26.7 percent success rate. The Oilers have struggled a bit on the penalty kill though. Edmonton has given up 25 power play goals on 119 penalties against, which is a 79 percent penalty kill.
Winnipeg has been solid on both sides of special teams so far this season. The Jets have scored on 35 of their 131 power play opportunities, which is a 26.7 percent power play. The Jets have killed off 94 of their opponents 116 power play attempts, which is an 81 percent kill rate. Winnipeg will look to keep up their special teams success in this one.
These two teams have put up the exact same power play numbers throughout this season. The Jets have been slightly better on the penalty kill and will look to use that to their advantage. If either team can get the edge on special teams in this one, it could be enough to earn the win on Saturday night. Both teams will need to stay out of the box to avoid going on the penalty kill.
I expect Mike Smith to get the start in the crease for Edmonton in this one. Smith has earned a record of 14-4-2 throughout his games played this season. He has put up a .918 save percentage and a GAA of 2.47 through those games. Smith’s last start was against the Calgary Flames, where he stopped 27 of 32 shots in the loss.
Connor Hellebuyck will likely get the nod between the pipes for the Jets on Saturday night. Hellebuyck has started in 35 games so far this season, going 21-11-3. He has posted a save percentage of .920 and a 2.48 GAA in his starts. Hellebuyck finished with 31 saves on 33 shots in his last start against the Toronto Maple Leafs, which was enough for a win.
These two goalies have put up similar numbers throughout this season. Hellebuyck has been slightly better throughout this season and will look to earn a big win in this one. Hellebuyck is coming off a stronger start and will look to carry that momentum in this one. Smith has had a week off since his last start and will look to come out strong in this one.
Edmonton has been off for a week and I think they will come out fast on Saturday night. The Oilers have been strong against the Jets this season and I think they will keep it up in this one. I expect Mike Smith to have a strong start on Saturday night. If Edmonton can control this game on the power play, I like their chances to pull off the upset on the road.
BetOnline has Winnipeg listed as a -117 against the money line in this one. This implies that the Jets will win this game around 53.9 percent of the time. I think that this line should be closer to even with how these two teams have played this season. Edmonton has the added bonus of a week off, which I think will help them control the pace on Saturday.