Edmonton Oilers vs. Florida Panthers Pick & Prediction DECEMBER 16th 2023

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The Florida Panthers will try to end a two-game scoreless streak when they visit the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday night.

It’s the fourth game of a five-game road trip for Florida that started with a 5-2 victory at Columbus on Sunday. The Panthers sealed that win with a pair of empty net goals by Matthew Tkachuk and Eetu Luostarinen, the final one with 1:01 remaining.

That was the last time Florida scored on the trip. Seattle, behind 24 saves by Joey Daccord, blanked them 4-0 on Tuesday, then Vancouver’s Thatcher Demko made 36 saves in another 4-0 win on Thursday.

So the Panthers will take a 121-minute scoreless streak into Saturday’s game with the Oilers.

“The last two games, we obviously haven’t scored one goal,” said center Aleksander Barkov, who had a goal and two assists in the Columbus victory. “We’ve got to find a way. We’re putting enough pucks at the net. We have to find a way to battle for those second, third and even fourth chances.”

It’s the first time in 12 years that Florida has failed to score in back-to-back games dating back to Oct. 18 and 20 in 2011.

“We did some unusually foolish things that we just don’t do,” Florida coach Paul Maurice said. “We just weren’t right tonight. You have those games. I don’t think it’s related to the Seattle game. Prior to that, we had won three in a row.”

“We were a bit sloppy today,” center Kevin Stenlund said. “A couple of bounces didn’t go our way.”

Next up is an Edmonton team that had an eight-game win streak snapped by Tampa Bay, 7-4, on Thursday as Andrei Vasilevskiy turned aside 53 shots on goal and Steven Stamkos registered the first four-goal game of his career.

Edmonton has scored at least four goals in eight of its last nine games. Reigning scoring champ and MVP Connor McDavid has led the way with an 11-game point streak that has seen him score seven goals to go with 20 assists.

Evan Bouchard is in the midst of the second-longest point streak in Oilers history for a defenseman at 13 games with five goals and 15 assists. Hall of Famer Paul Coffey holds the team record at 28 games in 1985-86.

The Oilers lost to Tampa Bay despite firing a single-game team record of 57 shots on goal, including seven each by McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. Edmonton led the contest, 3-2, heading into the final period before the Lightning rallied to take a 5-3 lead on a pair of goals by Stamkos and another by NHL scoring leader Nikita Kucherov.

“Eight times out of 10, nine times out of 10, you probably win that game,” Draisaitl said. “Obviously, they’re an experienced team and they capitalized in the third, so sometimes you have to tip your cap.”

“Disappointed not to get the two points,” added center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, who had a goal and two assists. “I thought we worked all game and they obviously have some skilled players that when they get opportunities, they can make them count.”

This is the second of two meetings between the teams. Florida, behind a pair of goals by Niko Mikkola, won the first one, 5-3, on Nov. 22 in Sunrise, Fla.

–Field Level Media

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