Sophomore sensation carries load for Oilers
Not only does Edmonton boast the NHL’s leading scorer in Connor McDavid, but it features arguably the hottest netminder on the planet.
That’s a sobering thought for Florida, which must visit Alberta tonight. Online sports book Bovada.lv gives the Oilers odds of -180 to take care of business at home. Conversely, the Panthers enter Rogers Place as +160 underdogs.
In just his second season, McDavid has 14 goals and 37 assists through 46 games. Slightly more surprising is the sudden brilliance of Cam Talbot. The 29-year-old journeyman’s allowed a mere four tallies in his past three starts — all Edmonton wins.
Florida’s No. 1 option between the pipes knows a thing or two about prolific runs. On Tuesday, four-time All-Star Roberto Luongo suffered only his third loss of 2017. Calgary coasted to a 5-2 victory over the Panthers, with Luongo surrendering four goals on 28 shots.
Whether the Montreal native gets an opportunity to bounce back this evening remains to be seen. Still, the road squad seems ill-equipped to handle the Oilers' array of upper-echelon forwards here. In addition to McDavid, Patrick Maroon and Leon Draisaitl have combined for 35 markers. That kind of firepower won’t go quietly.
WEDNESDAY NHL FREE PICK: PANTHERS/OILERS OVER 5 GOALS