Positive vibes abound on Tuesday (Jan. 17) at Rogers Place, where the Edmonton Oilers welcomed back Evander Kane and won their fourth straight game by defeating the Seattle Kraken 5-2.
Kane, playing for the first time since his left wrist was cut by a skate blade during a frightening incident on Nov. 8 against the Tampa Bay Lightning, returned to Edmonton’s lineup after missing 31 games and had a game-high seven shots and team-leading five hits.
Warren Foegele, Zach Hyman, Ryan McCleod, Connor McDavid and Derek Ryan all scored for the Oilers, who got a 29-save effort from netminder Jack Campbell in the victorious effort. After closing out their four-game road trip with three straight wins, they continued their momentum at home, a place where points have been hard to come by lately.
Only eight days removed from suffering a fourth loss in five games (6-3 to the Los Angeles Kings on Jan. 9), the Oilers are playing arguably their best hockey of 2022-23, and with Kane back, have plenty of reasons to feel good. Here are three takeaways from Tuesday’s game.
Campbell Continues Strong Play Since Christmas Break
Tuesday marked the fourth consecutive Oilers game started by Campbell, a season-high for the veteran netminder who rose to the occasion over the last week while fellow netminder Stuart Skinner was away from the team for the birth of his first child.
Edmonton has now won its last five games started by Campbell, who has completely turned his game around after going more than a week and a half without playing between Dec. 19 and Dec. 31.
Prior to Christmas, the 31-year-old was 8-6-1 with a 4.02 goals-against average (GAA) and .876 save percentage (SV%). Since then, Campbell is 5-2-0, with a 2.02 GAA and .915 SV%. After giving up three or more goals in all but two of his first 15 starts, he has allowed two or fewer goals in five of his last six.
Campbell couldn’t be counted on for even an average performance during the first 10 weeks of the season. Now he may have just taken back the job of Oilers’ No. 1 goaltender from Skinner, who is now back with the team but Edmonton coach Jay Woodcroft elected to continue with the hot hand between the pipes on Tuesday.
More likely, the two goalies will be splitting time close to 50/50 over the next while. There may be no clear-cut No. 1, but unlike the last couple of seasons when neither Mikko Koskinen nor Mike Smith…