|McDavid, Oilers hoping to start a winning streak|
PHILADELPHIA -- After four disturbing losses that had much of Edmonton wondering what happened to their beloved up-and-coming team, the Oilers arrive in Philadelphia with restored confidence following Thursday night's 2-1 overtime victory in Chicago.
"When you start losing three or four games it's very easy to get frustrated and almost a little panicked," Oilers defenseman Oscar Klefbom told the Edmonton Journal after Mark Letestu's overtime goal against the Blackhawks gave the Oilers (2-4-0) their second win of the season. "But the way we played last year and the way we had the same positive feeling in the room, it was just a matter of time before we were going to play some better hockey. There was no better time than to do it."
After opening the season with a convincing 3-0 win over the Flames, the Oilers dropped four straight games by a combined score of 19-8. However, goaltender Cam Talbot (1-3-0, 3.96 GAA) helped quiet some of his critics with a strong 30-save performance in Chicago.
That leaves Oilers coach Todd McLellan with an interesting dilemma. With less than 48 hours between games and a date with the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday night, does he go back to Talbot, or does he turn to backup Laurent Brossoit, who is 0-1-0 with a 3.65 GAA in three appearances?
Talbot is 4-2-0 in six career games against the Flyers and is expected to get the call.
Meanwhile, Oilers center Leon Draisaitl is expected to sit out his fourth straight game with a concussion suffered on a hit from Winnipeg defenseman Jacob Trouba on Oct. 9. With Draisaitl sidelined, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (2 goals, 1 assist) has taken a bigger role in the faceoff dot, where he's won more than 56 percent of his faceoffs. Last season he was well under 50 percent.
"Over and above that, he's played very hard and competitive minutes," McLellan told reporters at Friday's practice.
Edmonton captain Connor McDavid has five assists in his last four games but has not lit the lamp since scoring a hat trick in the Oilers' season-opening 3-0 win over Calgary.
McDavid and Flyers defenseman Brandon Manning have a heated history. Manning's collision with McDavid early in McDavid's rookie season forced the star to miss three months with a broken collarbone. The next time they met McDavid called Manning "classless" for saying he meant to hurt him in their first meeting, a claim Manning denies.
Manning has been a healthy scratch in four of the Flyers' first seven games and may not be in the lineup.
Flyers center Scott Laughton said he plans on playing McDavid, who has six points in four career games against the Flyers, extremely tight.
"He's a world-class talent," Laughton told the South Jersey Courier-Post. "At the same time, I'm going to try to limit his space and get in his face and make it hard for him to get going and get speed. I think I can try to keep up with him once I get my speed going."
The Flyers (4-3-0) are coming off Thursday night's 1-0 loss to the Nashville Predators, a game in which they went 0-for-5 on the power play.
Goaltender Michal Neuvirth (1-2-0, 1.36 GAA) played well in the defeat and has allowed just four goals in three appearances this season, but he is 1-4-0 against the Oilers in his career. Brian Elliott (3-1-0, 3.25 GAA), who has a career record of 9-6-1 against the Oilers, is expected to get the start.