It may be too early to dub the 2019/20 Edmonton Oilers the ‘Comeback Kids,’ but they have already staged some dramatic rallies.
In four of their eight wins, they’ve turned a third period deficit into victory:
- vs Vancouver on October 2, trailed 2-1 with 10:19 left, won 3-2
- vs Los Angeles on October 5, trailed 5-4 with 11:41 left, won 6-5
- at New Jersey on October 10, trailed 3-2 with 4:25 left, won 4-3 in a shootout
- vs Washington on October 24, trailed 3-1 after two periods, won 4-3 in overtime
“When you start doing that, you start to get confidence in yourselves to go do it,” said centre Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. “We were down 3-1 (to Washington) going into the third. We were still pretty up in here. We knew we had to push a little bit more. We stayed confident.”
“We have the mentality that we want to stay with it,” said head coach Dave Tippett. “Good teams have confidence that they can come back. But it’s more about how you’re playing. If you feel like you’re playing a decent game, you’re not just holding on, you feel like you can coming back.”
While the goal scorers often make the highlight reel after a late rally, goalies Mikko Koskinen and Mike Smith have done their jobs to keep games within reach.
“That’s a huge part of it, too. When you’re trying to claw you’re way into a game, you still need some stops,” said Nugent-Hopkins.
The Oilers host the Florida Panthers Sunday afternoon. Tomas Jurco will play in place of Josh Archibald, who will miss two to four weeks with a right foot fracture.
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“He played two games on that thing,” said Tippett of Archibald, who was hurt blocking a shot in Winnipeg last Sunday. “If you asked him, he still wouldn’t have had an X-Ray. He’s a tough kid.”
The Oilers expected lineup against the Panthers is:
Draisaitl – McDavid – Kassian
Chiasson – Nugent-Hopkins – Neal
Khaira – Sheahan – P. Russell
Jurco – Granlund – Gagner
Klefbom – K. Russell
Nurse – Bear
Manning – Benning
Catch the Oilers and Panthers on 630 CHED with the Face-off Show at 12:30 p.m. The game starts at 2 p.m.