|6:00 PM PT7:00 PM MT8:00 PM CT9:00 PM ET1:00 GMT9:00 6:00 PM MST8:00 PM EST5:00 UAE (+1)21:00 ETNaN:� BRT, November 3, 2017
Rogers Place, Edmonton, Alberta Attendance: 18,347
Resurgent Devils take on low-scoring Oilers
New Jersey Devils at Edmonton Oilers
- The Oilers won each of their two games versus the Devils last season, beating New Jersey in overtime in each game. Each of the last three meetings between the two teams have been decided by a single goal.
- The Devils won, 2-0, at Vancouver on Wednesday, their first shutout of the season. New Jersey is now 9-2-0 on the season, its most wins through 11 games in a season all-time.
- The Oilers lost, 3-2, at home versus the Penguins on Wednesday, their fourth loss by a single goal this season (tied with six other teams for most in the NHL). Edmonton allowed two power-play goals in the loss and has now allowed 13 on the season, third most in the NHL.
- Jimmy Hayes had a goal on Wednesday, his third of the season (in his 10th game played). Last season with Boston, Hayes lit the lamp just twice (in 58 games played). He is one point shy of matching his 2016-17 season total (has four points this season).
- Taylor Hall recorded his 11th and 12th assists of the season on Wednesday, his fifth and sixth points in his last three games. Only Steven Stamkos (18) and Jakub Voracek (14) have more assists than Hall this season.
- Connor McDavid had two assists on Wednesday, his third multi-point game of the season and his 33rd since the start of last season (most in the NHL). McDavid has recorded a point in nine of 11 games played this season.
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EDMONTON, Alberta -- The resurgent New Jersey Devils boast a spotless 5-0-0 road record. The Edmonton Oilers are a disappointing 2-5-0 on home ice.
So, when former Oilers forward Taylor Hall and his Devils teammates visit Rogers Place on Friday night, they will have road-ice advantage, correct?
The Devils (9-2-0) enter the game on a three-game win streak. The Oilers (3-7-1) have dropped two in a row, both on home ice.
New Jersey, which has endured a five-season playoff drought, is off to its best start in franchise history. For a team that always was known as a defense-first organization, it is stunning to see the Devils scoring an average of almost four goals per game.
"I think we want to continue to build an identity and try to get stronger and stronger as the year goes on," Devils coach John Hynes said.
"We don't seem to break too often or too easily," New Jersey goalie Cory Schneider said. "There might be some moments where we get running around or are on our heels a bit, but I think mentally we've had that resolve this year. We don't get down, we don't get discouraged, we don't look lost and just wait for something bad to happen. When we've needed responses, we've gotten them."
Meanwhile, with just 24 goals in 11 games, the Oilers have the worst offensive ledger in the league. This was a team that was expected to light it up with the league's top scorer from last season, Connor McDavid, leading the offensive charge.
The Oilers' penalty kill is running at a dreadful 68.3 percent. The power play is at 13.2 percent. The wisdom in hockey is that your penalty-kill and power-play percentages should add to more than 100; that means you're scoring more with a man advantage than you're giving up short-handed. The Oilers' total barely adds up to more than 80.
Edmonton has scored two goals or fewer in eight of 11 games. Eleven of the players on the Oilers' roster have yet to score. It is not as if the Oilers have one major issue that is leading to such a disappointing start; the team has a large number of things to address -- but the special teams come first.
"We're still trying to solve the special teams issue," Edmonton coach Todd McLellan said after practice Thursday. "There's improvement, but not where it needs to be. We've only won that battle once this season, and we happened to win that game. And if you're not winning (the special-teams categories) you've got to at least be able to tie. A lot of our time was spent dealing again with situational play on penalty kill and power play."
"It's a sore spot, for sure," Oilers veteran Mark Letestu said of the team's poor penalty kill. "We've got to fix it, and fast. It's costing us hockey games. There's nobody coming, the guys in this room can fix it."
Adding to the Oilers' woes, Hall, traded by Edmonton to New Jersey before the start of last season in exchange for defenseman Adam Larsson, is off to a flying start. Hall has 15 points, a total that would put him on top of the Oilers' scoring chart.
Also, Devils rookie defenseman Will Butcher has 11 assists in 11 games. That's more assists than McDavid has right now.
The status of Devils forward Marcus Johansson is unclear for Friday. He left the team's 2-0 win over the Canucks on Wednesday after crashing into boards and did not return.
Friday will mark Brian Boyle's second game as a Devil. The center made his debut Wednesday after missing all of New Jersey's October games following a leukemia diagnosis. He is still taking medication.
Updated November 2, 2017