edmonton oilers vs vancouver canucks predictions and preview

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NHL edmonton oilers vs vancouver canucks predictions and preview


 

 

Image licensed from USA Today Sports

 

The Pittsburgh Penguins will be on the road and take on the Florida Panthers at BB&T Center. The Penguins won their season opener on Tuesday Night. The Panthers will kick off their season with a home opener. They finished last season with a record of 36-14-5.

 

Penguins Win Season Opener

The Penguins defeated the Stanley Cup Champions, Tampa Bay Lightning 6-2 on Tuesday night. Brian Boyle, Bryan Rust, Teddy Blueger, Danton Heinen, Evan Rodrigues, and Dominik Simon each scored a goal. Tristan Jarry was sharp between the pipes, stopping 26 out of 28 shots.

 

The offense was very good for the Penguins last season. The team finished the season ranking second in goals per game and 11th in shots per game. Sidney Crosby led the team with 62 points. The offense will look very different for the first part of the season. Crosby and Malkin will both miss the start of the season. Malkin has been placed on long-term injured reserve. Crosby’s status has been changed to injured non-roster. Crosby is expected to miss the first week of the season. Pittsburgh held their own in the opening game without Crosby or Malkin but that is not expected to continue to occur.

 

 

The Penguins finished last season ranking 13th in goals against per game and 15th in shots against per game. Tristan Jarry had a record of 25-9-3 with a 2.75 GAA and a .909 SV % last year. Casey DeSmith finished last season with a record of 11-7-0 with a 2.54 GAA and a .912 SV %. Both goalies remain on the Penguins. Jarry improved as the season went on last year after a rocky start but struggled in the playoffs, allowing four goals or more in four out of six games against the Islanders. He was solid in the opener against Tampa and will need to continue to play well with Crosby and Malkin out.

 

Panthers Kick Off Their Season

The Panthers were eliminated in the playoffs last year by the Tampa Bay Lightning in six games in the Central Division first round.

 

The offense was a strength for the Panthers last season. The team finished the season ranking fourth in goals per game, first in shots per game, 14th in shooting %, and ninth in scoring efficiency ratio. Jonathan Huberdeau led the team with 61 points. He finished the season tied for seventh in assists in the league. Aleksander Barkov recently signed an eight-year contract. Veteran Joe Thornton was signed in the offseason to a one-year contract. The Panthers traded for Sam Reinhart in the offseason. Reinhart and Carter Verhaeghe both re-signed to a three-year deal and look to be on Florida’s top line alongside Barkov.

The Panthers finished last season ranking ninth in goals against per game, 16th in shots against per game, and 10th in opponent shooting % and save %. Keith Yandle was waived in the offseason for purpose of a contract buyout. Chris Driedger had a 14-6-3 record with a 2.07 GAA and a .927 SV% for the Florida Panthers last season. Unfortunately for Florida, Driedger signed with the Seattle Kraken in the offseason. This leaves Sergei Bobrovski to take on the majority of starts with Spencer Knight being his backup. Bobrovski had a 19-8-2 record with a 2.91 GAA and a .906 SV% last season.





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