The Edmonton Oilers suffered their first loss of the season on Sunday. The Buffalo Sabres, playing without Jack Eichel, stormed into Edmonton and posted a huge 6-2 win over the Oilers. The loss was an embarrassing resultfor Edmonton on home ice, one that promises to hurt their power rankings when hockey writers start to offer their early-season viewpoints.

Edmonton face Carolina on Tuesday

The Oilers will host the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday, a team in the midst of a swing through western Canada. Over the weekend the Hurricanes lost to Vancouver in a game that probably should have gone Carolina's way from one point of view.

The 'canes jumped out to a large three-goal lead before surrendering it and losing in overtime in a game from downtown Vancouver.

I see Edmonton as the team under pressure in the Tuesday-night game. The Oilers are the ones playing at home and a lot of attention has been directed Edmonton's way because of Connor McDavid. The first-line centre and 19-year-old captain had six points through the first two games. However, he was kept on the scoresheet in Sunday's loss to Buffalo.

When it comes to dealing with the pressures of the NHL season, bouncing back after a bad loss is key. Nearly all teams in the league will have bad nights at some point in the season, however the good teams are the ones that don't take baggage from the losses into their subsequent outings.

I think this game is one that will have a considerable amount of attention in Edmonton, a hotbed for hockey interest in North America. If the Oilers fall to 2-2-0 instead of improve to 3-1-0 then early-season opinions on Edmonton could sway.

Goaltending and defense under microscope

Despite winning two of three games, Edmonton's defense has yet to show up this season.

They allowed seven goals in the opening two games against Calgary. With Buffalo scoring a half dozen, that's 13 goals against in just three games for the Oilers. Only the Flames have given up more goals so far in this young season. That promises to put Cam Talbot, Edmonton's regular starter under some scrutiny.

If he's not on his game then there is little in terms of a 'Plan B' for the Oilers in net. Back-up goalie Jonas Gustavsson is out after he suffered an injury last game, one that took place after he replaced Talbot. 23-year-old Laurent Broissoit is up from the AHL but the inexperienced goaltender has just a .896 save percentage in six career NHL appearances.

Game time tonight from Edmonton is 9pm ET/7pm MT. Not a lot is expected out of Carolina this season, so if they come into the Alberta capital and take two points away that promises to open some floodgates for Oiler criticism. I see the head coach, Todd McLellan, and Cam Talbot taking some heat if the Oilers aren't strong defensively in this one.

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