The NHL is set up with an action packed slate of games throughout March 12. Five games are up on the board throughout Friday night. One of these games will be between the Ottawa Senators and the Edmonton Oilers. These two teams have had opposite starts to the season, but will look for a big win. This game will drop the puck at around 9:00 PM Eastern time on ESPN+.
The Senators have started out the season with a record of 9-19-1, which has them sitting in last place of the North Division. Ottawa has lost two straight games and four of their last five. The Senators have struggled throughout this season, especially against the Oilers. Ottawa will look to get going quickly in this one after a tough loss on Wednesday night.
Edmonton has put up a record of 17-11-0 throughout this season, which has them in second place of the North Division. The Oilers have earned three straight wins, but had lost three in a row before that. Edmonton will look to close out this series with Ottawa with another sweep. I expect the Oilers to come out strong again in this one.
These two teams are sitting on opposite sides of the division, but will look to earn a win in this one. I expect both teams to come out fast in this one. The Senators have struggled against Edmonton throughout this season, but they will look to finally break through. I expect Ottawa to try and take over early as they look to erase Wednesday’s loss.
The Senators and the Oilers have met up six times throughout this season. Edmonton hosted the first two games on January 31 and February 2. Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid combined for 11 points in the first game as the Oilers won 8-5. Jesse Puljujarvi had two goals in the second game to help lead Edmonton to a 4-2 win at home.
The third and fourth game of the season series shifted to Ottawa on February 8 and 9. Evgenii Dadonov scored twice in the two games, but it was not enough. Leon Draisaitl had a goal and an assist in the third game as the Oilers grabbed a 3-1 win. Jujhar Khaira had two assists in the fourth game of the season series to lead Edmonton to a 3-2 win.
Edmonton hosted the fifth game of the season series on March 8. Thomas Chabot had two assists on the night, but it still was not enough. Connor McDavid finished with two assists on the night. Alex Chiasson, Leon Draisaitl and Kailer Yamamoto each scored for the Oilers. Mikko Koskinen stopped 26 of 28 shots as Edmonton earned a 3-2 win on the night.
The sixth and most recent game of the season series also stayed in Edmonton. Evgenii Dadonov had another goal for the Senators, but Ottawa could not get the win. Leon Draisaitl had three goals and two assists, while Connor McDavid had a goal and two assists. Tyson Barrie had three assists on the night and Mike Smith finished with 21 saves on 22 shots. The Oilers were able to dominate Ottawa with a 7-1 win.
Ottawa’s special teams have struggled heavily throughout the season. The Senators have scored 14 power play goals on 98 attempts, which is a 14.3 percent power play. Ottawa’s penalty kill has given up 25 goals on their opponents 95 power play chances, which is a 73.7 percent kill rate. The Senators need to get their special teams unit going if they want a chance in this one.
The Oilers have been dangerous once again on the power play so far this season. Edmonton has capitalized on 25 of their 94 power play opportunities, which is a 26.6 percent success rate. The Oilers have not been quite as good on the penalty kill though. Edmonton has killed off 66 of the 86 penalties against them, which is a 76.7 percent penalty kill.
Edmonton has the edge on special teams entering this one. The Oilers have the better power play and penalty kill entering this game. Edmonton’s penalty kill has not been great though, which could allow the Senators to get their power play going. If Ottawa can score a power play goal or two in this one, it could finally help them knock off the Oilers.
I expect Matt Murray to get the start in the crease for the Senators in this one. Murray has started in 20 games this season, earning a record of 7-12-1 through his starts. He has put up a .880 save percentage and a GAA of 3.84 in his games played. Murray’s last start was against the Oilers on Wednesday night, where he stopped 29 of 36 shots in the loss.
Mike Smith will likely get the nod between the pipes for Edmonton on Friday night. Smith has earned a record of 8-2-0 in his starts so far this season. He has posted a save percentage of .927 and a 2.18 GAA in his games. Smith’s last start was also on Wednesday night. He finished with 21 saves on 22 shots, which was more than enough for the win.
The Oilers have the edge in net as well in this one with Mike Smith getting the start. Smith was not tested early in the last game though, which was Ottawa’s downfall. Smith faced 10 shots through the first two periods of play on Wednesday night. If the Senators can get pressure on Smith earlier in this one, it could help them grab the win.
Ottawa has struggled throughout this season, but they will look to finally break through on the Oilers in this one. Edmonton is coming off a dominant win against the Senators, but I think that Ottawa could earn a win in this one. The Senators will need Murray to bounce back after a tough performance in this one. If Ottawa can come out much quicker though, I think they can finally knock off the Oilers.
BetOnline has Edmonton listed as a -225 against the money line in this one. This implies that the Oilers will win this game around 69.2 percent of the time. I think that this line is way too big for this game. Ottawa is looking to finally beat Edmonton and I think they will come out hot in this one. I really like the value on the Senators to earn a win against the Oilers on Friday night.