Streaking Oilers look to join rare company with 15th straight win
The Oilers matched the Washington Capitals (2009-10) and Boston Bruins (1929-30) at 14-straight wins with their 4-1 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday night. With a win against the Blackhawks, Edmonton would be tied for the third-longest winning streak in NHL history, tied with the 2012-13 Pittsburgh Penguins and 1981-82 New York Islanders.
The longest win streak in NHL history belongs to Penguins, who won 17 straight in 1992-93.
“We want to finish off this homestand in a good, positive way heading into a week break,” Oilers forward Evander Kane said. “We need to keep collecting points because there’s a lot of teams that are ahead of us that are winning as well. So, it’s great to have the streak, but points are important right now.”
The Oilers (27-15-1) have clawed their way back into playoff position following a slow start to the season and now sit third in the Pacific Division, two points ahead of the Los Angeles Kings, who sit in the first wild card spot. The team has two more games, one against the Blackhawks and against the Nashville Predators on Saturday before the NHL All-Star break.
Oilers goaltender Stuart Skinner set a franchise mark with his 11th consecutive win in Tuesday’s win, passing Grant Fuhr for the longest single-season win streak in team history. Stuart is now 18-2 in his past 20 starts with a .933 save percentage and 1.80 goals-against average over that span.
“It means a lot. I was feeling a lot of emotions, especially when I went out on the ice for the first star. It is pretty cool to be able to break a record from one of the best goalies to ever live,” said Skinner. "He is obviously a guy I look up to and have talked to. He is just one of the best. I am very fortunate to be able to break it.”
The Oilers have been firing on all cylinders since their streak started on Dec. 21, ranking fourth in goals per game, first in goal differential and goals against per game, and second in save percentage.
Connor McDavid has recorded six goals and leads the team with 19 points during the duration of the win streak. Zach Hyman leads the team with 10 goals over his past 14 games, with Leon Draisaitl not far behind with nine tallies and 17 points.
The Blackhawks (14-31-2) sit 31st in the NHL with just 30 points and are without star rookie Connor Bedard, who continues to recover from a broken jaw he sustained on Jan. 5.
Despite playing a team sitting lower in the standings, Oilers coach Kris Knoblauch says the team has to prepare to see every team’s best as they look to end the streak.
“The other teams are getting really excited to play us. We’re on a win streak, they know we’re playing well. They’re excited to end that streak. I think a lot of credit should be given to the other team. We’re getting the other team’s best now.”