This Tuesday, the Edmonton Oilers take on the defending Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins (7 PM ET on Sportsnet ONE). Touted as two of the top teams heading into the regular season, neither team has performed as expected. Those slow starts have caused both teams’ odds to hoist the Cup fall; currently, Pittsburgh is +1200 and Edmonton is +1400.
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The Oilers (2-5-0) haven’t been able to put things together yet, despite entering the fourth week of the season. What was the eighth-best offense last year, now sits 30th in the league. To no one’s surprise, Connor McDavid is just fine; he’s produced three goals and five assists through seven games, but after McDavid, the Oilers’ offense drops off significantly. Edmonton will be up against the league’s worst defensive team on Tuesday, so they should have opportunities to find the back of the net.
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In short, the 5-3-1 Pittsburgh Penguins have been a defensive nightmare in 2017-18. They have given up a shocking 4.33 goals per game, and the combined save percentage of Matt Murray and Antti Niemi sits below .900. Murray is expected to get the start at home, so he’ll need to be better if the Penguins hope to keep the Oilers’ offense down.