The NY Islanders return home to UBS Arena on Thanksgiving Eve to host the Edmonton Oilers.
After dropping consecutive games to the Predators and Stars, the Isles ended their four game road trip on a high note with a win in Toronto. Noah Dobson got the scoring party started, by netting his sixth goal of the season to give New York a 1-0 first period lead. The Maple Leafs came back with two goals in the second, one from former Islander captain John Tavares, his team leading 11th goal of the year, giving the Leafs a 2-1 advantage heading into the final period. In the third, it took the Isles more than 17 minutes to get things tied until Josh Bailey did just that, burying his fourth of the year. With the game evened at two in overtime, it was the struggling Anthony Brauvillier who played hero, scoring the game winner. It was also another strong night for Ilya Sorokin in net, as he stopped 30 of the 32 shots he faced in the 3-2 victory.
For the second time in the month of November, the Edmonton Oilers ran into the team that nobody in the NHL can stop right now. That team would be the New Jersey Devils, who entered Monday night’s contest with the Oilers on a 12 game winning streak. In the first, the two squads traded goals, as Jesper Bratt and Leon Draisaitl each found the back of the net. The Devils gained some breathing room in the second with goals from Dawson Mercer and Damon Severson to take a 3-1 lead. Early in the final frame, Edmonton got one back off the stick of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, his ninth of the season, but it wouldn’t be enough as New Jersey tacked on two more in a 5-2 win. Stuart Skinner struggled between the pipes, allowing five goals on just 28 shots.
In two meetings a season ago, each team found themselves in the win column once. The first meeting came on New Year’s Day at UBS Arena when the Isles got a game winning overtime goal from Noah Dobson to beat the Oilers 3-2. A little over a month later, the teams would meet again in Edmonton, with the home team picking up another victory. Goals from Cody Cici, Zach Hyman, and Jesse Puljujarvi led the Oilers to a 3-1 win.
The Islanders are 23-8-9-2 all-time in the regular season against the Oilers. The two teams have also met twice in the Stanley Cup Finals. The Islanders raised the cup in 1982-83 after a four game sweep of Edmonton, but the Oilers got their revenge the year after in 1983-84, winning that series in five games.
Player to Watch
Following his game winning goal on Monday night, Anthony Beauvillier is going to be looking to build off that momentum and become a consistent contributor to the Islanders’ offense. Beauvillier scored a goal in each of the two meetings against the Oilers last season so this seems like a great matchup for him at the perfect time.
It’s almost impossible to talk about anyone other than Connor McDavid when referring to the Edmonton Oilers. As expected, McDavid leads the National Hockey League in both points (35) and goals (16). He also has 13 points in nine career games against New York, including three points (all assists) in the two meetings last year.