FIVE KEYS TO THE GAME

Edmonton Sun - - SPORTS -

1 Net worth

Goaltendin­g was thought to be a con­cern head­ing into this sea­son, but so far Mike Smith and Mikko Kosk­i­nen, both 2-0, have been hold­ing up their end of the bar­gain. It might be a while be­fore the team set­tles on a No. 1 guy, but in the mean­time they are both mak­ing a strong case.

2 Crack­ing the lineup

When a team is win­ning, coaches are re­luc­tant to make changes, so Alex Chi­as­son, who scored 22 goals last year, and Josh Archibald, were both on the out­side look­ing in Thurs­day, as the team ex­tended its streak to four games. This is the kind of in­ner com­pe­ti­tion the Oil­ers have been search­ing for, for a long time.

3 There’s no ‘I’ in quit

The Oil­ers came back from three one-goal deficits in the 4-3 win over New Jer­sey and fought back from four one-goal deficits in the 6-5 win over Los An­ge­les. They trailed with less than 10 min­utes to go in the third pe­riod in two of their four wins this sea­son. That’s a good sign.

4 Slow start

While the rest of the NHL is up and run­ning, the Rangers are be­ing iced by the sched­ule maker for some rea­son. They’ve only played two games so far, and are com­ing off a six-day break be­tween starts. Then they get four days off af­ter the Oil­ers. That’s one game in 11 days. Then they play five in eight. Wow.

5 Lethal ad­van­tage

Ed­mon­ton’s penalty kill has been quite ef­fec­tive out of the gate, al­low­ing only one goal on 13 short­handed sit­u­a­tions (fifth in the league at 92.3 per cent), but it will be put to the test by a Rangers power play that has con­nected on three of its first five op­por­tu­ni­ties.

GETTY IM­AGES

Artemi Pa­narin joined the New York Rangers this off-sea­son af­ter two sea­sons with the Colum­bus Blue Jack­ets.

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