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Edmonton Oilers finally finding success on the penalty kill

Edmonton Oilers' Andrej Sekera (2), Milan Lucic (27), Connor McDavid (97) and Matthew Benning (83) celebrate a goal against the Arizona Coyotes during first period NHL action in Edmonton, Alta., on Monday March 5, 2018. .
Edmonton Oilers' Andrej Sekera (2), Milan Lucic (27), Connor McDavid (97) and Matthew Benning (83) celebrate a goal against the Arizona Coyotes during first period NHL action in Edmonton, Alta., on Monday March 5, 2018. . THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Edmonton Oilers: penalty-killing experts. OK, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration, given that the Oilers continue to be last in the NHL on the PK at 73.9 per cent. At home, they’re an historically awful 59.8 per cent. However, there has been progress lately.

Over the last 10 games, the Oilers have gone 27/29 on the penalty kill.

“We made some systematic changes. We also made some personnel changes. We also looked at practice at practised differently. Meetings were adjusted,” said head coach Todd McLellan.

“I think we’ve been getting some key saves and key bounces on our penalty kill where the puck has gone the right direction instead of the wrong direction.”

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Ryan Strome and Jujhar Khaira are two players who have helped the penalty kill. They combined for a shorthanded goal Monday against Colorado and have helped with face-offs and clearing the puck.

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“I like to be on it. I’m a right-handed shot,” Strome said. “I can read the play. I’m not a pit bull out there who is going to block shots and run through guys. It’s more my smarts and being in the right areas.

“I’ve found my niche there and it’s nice to be involved.”

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Strome will be going up against his former team, the New York Islanders, Thursday night at Rogers Place.

Strome was traded for Jordan Eberle in June. It will be Eberle’s first game back in Edmonton.

Catch the action on 630 CHED with the Face-off Show at 5:30 p.m. The game starts at 7 p.m.