NBCSN’s coverage of the 2018-19 NHL season continues with the Wednesday Night Hockey matchup between the Edmonton Oilers and Pittsburgh Penguins. Coverage begins at 7 p.m. ET on NBCSN. You can watch the game online and on the NBC Sports app by clicking here.
Never beating the Pittsburgh Penguins when Sidney Crosby‘s been in the lineup is the least of Connor McDavid‘s concerns, but it’s one of the many ways you can remind people that the Edmonton Oilers haven’t really put him in a position to succeed.
It’s almost too fitting that McDavid’s been fantastic in the five Oilers losses against the Penguins, generating nine points in those games, but not yet getting the win.
[Comparing McDavid’s early days to Lemieux’s troubles]
Both superstar players are hurting for a win, but not really because of an easily packaged rivalry.
Instead, their teams simply need it. The Oilers are a Dumpster fire right now, with things being so bad that Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman discussed rumblings about Ken Hitchcock straight-up wanting to walk away.
Things aren’t as dour for the Penguins, but they don’t have a large margin for error when it comes to making the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs, so they’ll be keyed-in. With injuries mounting for the Pens, they might ask Crosby to do even more than usual. McDavid can relate.
One benefit for McDavid is that Evgeni Malkin won’t suit up, as he’s serving a one-game suspension for his wild stick-swinging at Flyers forward Michael Raffl.
Is it too greedy to hope that all of these circumstances will lead to another great duel between number 87 and number 97? Maybe, but let’s cross our fingers for that, anyway.
[WATCH LIVE – COVERAGE BEGINS AT 7 P.M. ET – NBCSN]
What: Edmonton Oilers at Pittsburgh Penguins
Where: PPG Paints Arena
When: Wednesday, Feb. 13, 7 p.m. ET
Live stream: You can watch the Oilers-Penguins stream on NBC Sports’ live stream page and the NBC Sports app.
Leon Draisaitl — Connor McDavid — Zack Kassian
Jujhar Khaira — Ryan Nugent-Hopkins — Jesse Puljujarvi
Milan Lucic — Brad Malone — Alex Chiasson
Tobias Rieder — Colby Cave — Ty Rattie
Alexander Petrovic — Kevin Gravel
Starting goalie: Mikko Koskinen
Jake Guentzel — Sidney Crosby — Bryan Rust
Tanner Pearson — Nick Bjugstad — Phil Kessel
Teddy Blueger — Jared McCann — Patric Hornqvist
Zach Aston-Reese — Matt Cullen — Garrett Wilson
Marcus Pettersson — Chad Ruhwedel
Starting goalie: Matt Murray
John Forslund (play-by-play), U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame member Eddie Olczyk (analyst), and Emmy Award-winner Pierre McGuire (‘Inside-the-Glass’ analyst) will have the call from PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh. Pa. Pre-game coverage starts at 7 p.m. ET with NHL Live, hosted by Liam McHugh alongside Mike Milbury, Keith Jones and Bob McKenzie. Additionally, Kathryn Tappen will be providing reports and conducting interviews on-site in Pittsburgh.
James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.