Edmonton Oilers vs. New Jersey Devils Pick & Prediction DECEMBER 10th 2023

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For as well as the New Jersey Devils have fared as of late, the Edmonton Oilers are playing even better.

The surging Oilers will aim for a seventh straight victory while trying to keep the visiting Devils from their seventh win in eight games when the teams meet on Sunday afternoon.

Edmonton was perhaps the NHL’s biggest disappointment with its 2-9-1 start. However, the Oilers are 9-3-0 since then and have outscored their opponents 31-11 during their current six-game winning streak.

“I think guys feel good about themselves, but there isn’t any complacency,” said Oilers coach Kris Knoblauch, who is 8-3-0 since replacing the fired Jay Woodcroft.

“They know that we have a huge hole to get out of. I think there’s obviously the confidence of winning. … I like where our guys are at.”

Evan Bouchard’s second goal of the night on Friday broke a 3-3 tie 1:32 into the third period, and the Oilers held on for a 4-3 home victory over Minnesota. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins recorded four assists, while superstars Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl each had a goal and an assist for Edmonton, which has also won six straight games at home after opening 1-4-1 there.

“I think everyone is doing what it takes to be at their best, individually, and do what they can to contribute to the team’s success,” Edmonton defenseman Brett Kulak said. “Our hunger and intensity has grown.”

Bouchard has played a big part in Edmonton’s current surge, posting four goals and 11 assists during his 10-game point streak. He joins the legendary Paul Coffey as the only Oilers defensemen with a point streak of at least 10 games.

Meanwhile, McDavid has five goals and 16 assists during his eight-game point streak. He has recorded five goals and 18 assists in 13 career games vs. New Jersey.

The Devils went 1-6-0 from Nov. 7-24 but are 6-1-0 since then, and they now look to complete a perfect four-game road trip on Sunday. Nico Hischier scored twice and Jesper Bratt had a goal and an assist as the Devils won their third straight game overall, and fourth in a row on the road, beating Calgary 4-2 on Saturday.

“You have to simplify your game,” Hischier said. “That’s what we’ve done the last couple games. We’ve got some lucky bounces but if you’re not going there, you’re not getting them.”

Bratt has three goals and three assists in his past four games. Meanwhile, New Jersey opponents are 1-for-6 on the power play in four games this month. In two of those contests — including Saturday’s — the Devils were not whistled for a penalty.

They’ll look to continue that type of discipline against the vaunted Edmonton power play, which is 10-for-24 in the past seven games.

“(New Jersey is) a very good hockey team, looking at their lineup and their skill throughout,” Knoblauch said.

New Jersey’s Vitek Vanecek made 23 saves on Saturday to win his third straight start. However, teammate Akira Schmid could get the chance for a third straight road win in this back-to-back scenario.

Edmonton’s Stuart Skinner has a 1.82 goals-against average and a .931 save percentage during his current six-start winning streak.

–Field Level Media

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