EDMONTON, Alberta — All eyes will be on Oilers goalie Laurent Brossoit when Edmonton hosts the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday night.
Brossoit has moved from the role of little-used backup to the main man in net since the Oilers placed Cam Talbot on injured reserve last week.
However, Brossoit’s play hasn’t exactly inspired a lot of confidence with sports fans in the Alberta capital. While the Oilers beat the visiting Calgary Flames 7-5 on Saturday, Brossoit allowed four late goals to turn a 6-1 third-period lead into a nail-biter, including allowing two very soft goals on hit-and-hope shots from the corner.
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So far this season, Brossoit has appeared in eight games. He has allowed five goals or more in four of them. His save percentage is a worrying .872.
Coach Todd McLellan gave Brossoit a vote of confidence, naming Brossoit the starter for the Wednesday game. That means that Nick Ellis, the former Providence College star who was called up from the team’s AHL affiliate in Bakersfield, Calif., will need to be a little more patient before he gets his first NHL appearance.
“It’s a good opportunity to go back out there and redeem myself,” Brossoit said. “To be honest, I’m a little bit excited to go back out there with a little fire in my stomach to prove to myself, to prove to my team and the staff and everyone else that I’m worthy.”
The Flyers, who snapped a 10-game losing streak with a 5-2 win at Calgary on Monday, clearly will be hoping that Brossoit’s issues from the third period of his most recent start spill over into the Wednesday game.
“It’s been a long stretch,” Flyers winger Jakub Voracek, who tops his team with 33 points in 27 games, said of breaking the losing skid that lasted almost a month. “Tough one. It’s one game. Now we fully expect to win on Wednesday. We have to play the same way. We have to be ready. It’s going to be a tough matchup again.”
Flyers center Scott Laughton said, “We came together as a group. It’s nice to get this one. We have to have a short memory and go into Edmonton, and I think we’ve got to start a little streak of our own and get back into the swing of things.”
The Flyers are at 9-11-7, the worst record in the Metropolitan Division. The Oilers are next to last in the Pacific Division at 11-14-2.
“They’ll be a desperate team,” said Edmonton center Mark Letestu, who has scored in each of the Oilers’ past two games. “They’re no different than us, they’re looking up at a lot of teams in the standings, whether it be league or division. They need points just as badly as we do. And we owe them one, they got one late on us in Philly.”
Letestu was referring to his team’s Oct. 21 visit to Philadelphia, where Wayne Simmonds scored the deciding goal with just 2:15 left in the game. The 2-1 squeaker clearly hasn’t been forgotten in the Edmonton locker room.
The Oilers’ roster swelled this week with the addition of defenseman Brandon Davidson and Welsh-born Australian winger Nathan Walker. Both were claimed off waivers, Davidson from the Montreal Canadiens and Walker from the Washington Capitals.
Davidson was traded by Edmonton to Montreal late last season in a move made to refine the roster ahead of the offseason’s expansion draft.
McLellan confirmed that defenseman Adam Larsson, who missed the Oilers’ two most recent games with an upper-body ailment, won’t be available for the Wednesday game.