It wasn’t a fun time for the Edmonton Oilers in Washington last night, as they took a loss in the second leg of their road trip. There is no time to swell on it, because they must take on another contender Tuesday night, the Tampa Bay Lightning. Every team in the league has to hit the tough spots on their schedule, and having to play the Capitals on the road, and then fly down to Florida to meet the Lightning, isn’t a good time for most players in the league.
The Capitals looked better with Copley in net last night, and they cruised to a 4-2 win over the Oilers. The Oilers made it a 2-1 game in the 1st, but that was the closest they came, with the 2nd and 3rd in complete control by the Caps. McDavid found the back of the net, with that being all the Oilers could get excited about on Monday night. After last season, Oilers’ fans want something to be excited about this season.
It was such a disappointment, as they failed to build on a playoff appearance the previous year. They were downed by the Ducks, but there was at least some promise going into the next season with McDavid steering the ship. So much for that, as the Oilers couldn’t even compete to reach the playoffs. There was blame to go around in Edmonton.
However, it’s a brand-new year and the Oilers can quickly put in the past with a strong season in 2018-19. The Lightning are coming off a 4-3 overtime win in Ottawa, as they stole one by tying things up with less than a minute remaining in regulation and then buried the Sens with a Yanni Gourde goal to put Ottawa out of commission. Get our free Oilers vs. Lightning pick below.
Edmonton Oilers vs. Tampa Bay Lightning Pick
Louis Domingue got a rare start against the Senators and it was good enough for the Lightning on Sunday. Any day the Lightning can get a win without Andrei Vasilevskiy in net, it feels extra nice to still get 2 points and have him on the bench getting the night off. Vasilevskiy is expected to be back tonight, so he’s had a bit of a break since Saturday night. He is tied for 3rd in the NHL with a strong 1.98 GAA.
After Cam Talbot got the start against the Capitals last night, look for Mikko Koskinen will see his forth appearance of the season. He’s been good, though we’ve only seen him in three games. When he made four starts as an Islander in 2010-11, the only other year he’s played in the NHL, Koskinen finished with a 4.33 GAA. He spent the rest of his career playing in Europe, before coming back to North American for this season. He’s looked much better, with a 2.02 GAA and 0.935 save percentage.
However, there is a disclaimer with Koskinen. His stats have been skewed thanks to a shutout against the Blackhawks, the 16th best offense. In his other two games, he gave up 3 goals to the Red Wings and Predators. With an average of 3.5 goals per game, the Lightning will be the best offence he’s had to play in the NHL in seven years.
That came against the Penguins, a 7-3 loss way back on February 11th of 2011. Note that the Oilers have struggled in Tampa, with a record of 0-6 in their last six trips here. In their last three meetings in Florida, the Lightning won 3-1, 4-1, and 6-4. With the Oilers on a back-to-back, having to chase around the sharpshooters in Washington, they must turn their attention to another team with talented goal scorers all over the ice. Fatigue will likely set in as this game progresses. At a favourable price of +150, the puck line on the Lightning looks attractive.