Zach Hyman [1296x729]
Zach Hyman [1296x729] (Credit: Photo by Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images)

Adams agents call trade speculation baseless

The Florida Panthers aren't going to lose four straight games this postseason. You know it, I know it, and (deep down) the members of the Edmonton Oilers also know it. So, if the Oilers hope to make anything of this series, without question, they need to win Game 3. Which means you can expect to see a group of fairly desperate and determined skaters hit the ice Thursday evening, looking to feed off the uproarious crowd expected at Rogers Place. Having last change doesn't hurt either.

Also working in Edmonton's favor is having two full days off to mull over Monday's substandard performance in Game 2. They need to figure out how to get more pucks on net (seven through two periods is not going to cut it) and rediscover their patented pace. Finding space and moving the puck around quicker would also help. A tall ask against Florida's physical play and aggressive forecheck, but that's the hand dealt. Never mind the task of reinvigorating a power play that's 0 for 7 this series. As Connor McDavid said himself, it's supposed to be hard.

Fortunately, for both the Edmonton faithful and fans who want a longer series altogether, McDavid and Co. showed us they can compete against Paul Maurice's Panthers. If not for Sergei Bobrovsky playing out of his mind, they had a good opportunity to win Game 1. Now it's time for Edmonton's star players -- no matter how banged up -- to replicate that display, and claw back into this series. Otherwise, we'll be talking "sweep" over the weekend.

Injury notes: Edmonton defender Darnell Nurse is expected to play Thursday, while forward Evander Kane (sports hernia) remains questionable. Whether Kane suits up or not, Corey Perry is pegged to draw back into the lineup after sitting out Game 2. Panthers captain Aleksander Barkov traveled to Alberta and according to Maurice, "looked good" in practice. Barkov remains a game-day decision for Thursday evening.

All odds accurate as of publish time. For more, go to ESPN BET. 

Edmonton Oilers at Florida Panthers

Rogers Place Edmonton, AB; Thursday, 8 p.m. ET 

Game 3 Puck line: Oilers-1.5 (+190), Panthers +1.5 (-265) Game 3 Over/Under: 5.5 (-105/-115) Game 3 Money line: Panthers (+115); Oilers (-135)

Game 3 Odds Boosts:  Matthew Tkachuk, Evan Bouchard and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins each to record an assist (+800)

Neither Tkachuk (14) nor Nugent-Hopkins (14) have earned an assist in four games, so you might argue they are due. Bouchard is much more likely to register an assist than not, ranking second in the league with 22 in 20 games this postseason. This offer should appeal most to those who feel the Oilers' power play will show improvement in Game 3 after two full days off.

Both teams not to score (+550)

Bobrovsky is one five-hole goal from Mattias Ekholm removed from total perfection this series. Does he have another shutout in him? If the Oilers again fail to generate quality scoring chances like in Game 2, Bob's bid for the Conn Smythe Trophy would further improve. Or perhaps Stuart Skinner is poised to put in a star turn and earn his second shutout of the playoffs? Edmonton could use a hero in this pivotal, near-must-win game. Perhaps their netminder is ready to don that cape.

Parlay (+250): Zach Hyman over 0.5 total goals (+110) and Bouchard over 2.5 shots on goal (-150)

Sure, maybe a member of the Oilers' bottom-six serves as a difference-maker in such a vital contest. We have seen such unlikely protagonists emerge in similar cases before. But I'd rather back the more prominent figures who helped get Edmonton to where they are. Hyman still leads the league in playoff goals with 14 and no defender has more shots on net this postseason than Bouchard. The Oilers will have a much greater chance at making this series 2-1 if the club's best players continue to contribute.

EDM Oilers to lead after the 1st Period and win (+240)

A strong start from Edmonton, including potting one past Bobrovsky early, would certainly aid in securing their first win in this series.