Featured Video from Scott Reichel
Arizona Coyotes vs. Edmonton Oilers
NHL: Saturday, January 18, Rogers Place, Edmonton, Alberta, 3:00 PM ET
The Arizona Coyotes head to Edmonton on Saturday afternoon to meet the Oilers for the third time this season. The series is tied after the first two encounters between these two Pacific Division foes, as each club has been successful on the road. The Coyotes beat the Oilers 3-2 in overtime as -105 road dogs and lost 4-3 in a shootout as -125 home favorites.
Arizona has been poor over the last ten days, losing four of its last five games overall including the previous three contests away from home. On the other side, Edmonton has won four its previous five games overall including the last tilt on the home ice.
The Coyotes continue to struggle offensivelyA 6-3 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday was just a flash, and the Coyotes returned to their inefficient mode Thursday night when they lost 3-1 at the Vancouver Canucks. Arizona took the lead after eight minutes of play in the first period when Christian Dvorak netted his 12th goal of the season. However, that was all from the Coyotes who had 35 shots towards Jacob Markstrom who finished the game with a .971 save percentage. On the other side, Adin Hill had a good game, too, turning aside 22 of 24 shots, but the Coyotes’ offense was terrible once again.
Arizona scores just 2.76 goals per game (22nd in the league), while their power-play percentage is 14th-best in the NHL (19.9). Over their last five outings, the Coyotes have failed to find the net on two occasions. They’ve lost at Tampa Bay 4-0 and Carolina 3-0, while the Coyotes have scored just a goal in their previous three showings on the road.
On the other side, the Coyotes are one of the best defensive teams in the league. They allow just 2.56 goals per contest (3rd), and their penalty-killing percentage is 10th-best in the NHL (82.0). Arizona has some serious injury problems with goaltenders. Darcy Kuemper will be sidelined for at least a couple of weeks, while Antti Raanta practiced Friday and is questionable to play against the Oilers. Adin Hill could get another start, and he’s 2-2-1 this season with a 2.52 GAA and a .917 save percentage.
The Oilers are building up their formAfter snapping a three-game win streak with a 4-3 defeat at the Calgary Flames, the Oilers returned home Tuesday night and outlasted the Nashville Predators 4-2. They overcame a 2-1 first-period deficit thanks to another great game by Leon Draisaitl. He scored a pair of power-play goals and assisted to Ryan Nugent-Hopkins for the opening goal of the game. Mike Smith was terrific between the pipes with 30 stops and a .938 save percentage.
"We went with the mindset that we wanted to check for our success today," Oilers head coach Dave Tippett said. "We wanted to check hard all the way through the ice. We wanted to stay on our toes and keep moving and we checked well and it ended up in the right spot for us."
Mike Smith has guarded the cage in five of the previous six games, recording four wins in that span. He should get another start against the Coyotes, and Smith is 11-9-3 this season with a 2.96 GAA and a .901 save percentage. Edmonton is tied-19th in the league in goals against (3.10), so Mike’s good form is encouraging sign. The Oilers are tied 13th in the league in goals scored per game (3.04), and their offense has been doing a solid job all season.
The top supporting trends for this game, found on Oddsshark.com, are: Arizona:
- 1-4 in the last five games overall
- 1-5 in the last six games on the road
- 4-1 in the last five games overall
- 9-4 in the last 13 games against Arizona
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The Coyotes have dropped five of their last six games on the road including the previous three, so I think they will be in big trouble in Edmonton. The Oilers have been playing very well recently, winning five of their previous seven games overall. They’ve won two straight contests at home, scoring 11 goals in that span, while the Oilers have also outlasted Boston, Toronto, and Montreal on the road. Furthermore, Mike Smith has been terrific between the pipes, and the Oilers’ defense has finally done a good job over the last two weeks. Therefore, give me the hosts at money line odds.
Prediction: Edmonton Oilers (-130)
Full-Game Total Pick
First, I think the Coyotes will score at least twice in this clash despite all their offensive problems. As I’ve mentioned above, the Coyotes have netted only once in their last three outings on the road. Before that three-game skid, the Coyotes scored five goals against the Carolina Panthers who are one of the worst defensive teams in the league. On the other side, the Oilers have improved lately, and their offense looks good, so I expect them to continue with a strong performance. Although the under is 5-1 in Arizona’s last six games on the road and is 4-1 in the previous five encounters between the Coyotes and Oilers in Edmonton, I’m backing the over.
Prediction: Over 5.5 goals (-105)