The funny thing about tonight's game is if the Oilers had played back to back games and had to face the San Jose Sharks people would be calling the game a scheduled loss. Instead the Sharks, who went to a shootout last night against the Flames, woke up in the second period and didn't stop.
The Sharks moved from the 26th power play in the league to 19th thanks to 3 power play goals against. The Oilers on the other hand moved from the 13th penalty kill in the league to 18th in one game. On the plus side the Oilers were able to keep pace with the Sharks 5v5 or at least that's what Dallas Eakins said.
"You could argue which team was better five-on-five tonight... It was one of those nights where we came up short on the PK." - Coach Eakins— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) March 26, 2014
The first period summary may be a little disjointed. I have two boys under 5 and their bed time is 7:30. My wife, who usually puts them to bed on Oilers' game days, had to work late today so the first period is a bit out of whack.
0:00 - Logan Couture would not play in the game after an injury he suffered the night before in Calgary
0:24 - Taylor Hall collides with the linesman but it leads to chance when he is able to pick off a pass in the offensive zone
3:15 - Ryan Jones negates an icing call
4:11 Goal - David Perron scores on a great drop pass from Hall
5:33 - Mark Fraser gives up the puck to Mike Brown (ya the same waste of a player that used to be an Oiler) who almost scores on wrap around as Ben Scrivens is completely out of position but Brown loses the puck behind the net and the Oilers catch a break
5:49 - Jones blocks a shot by Marc-Edouard Vlasic and gets injured but whistle doesn't blow for 11 seconds because the Oilers can't gain possession of the puck
10:45 - The second line presses. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins gets two chances on net within a couple seconds of eachother
13:47 - Nugent-Hopkins' gets another chance on net but the puck bounces up in the air and is batted away by a Sharks defender
14:10 - Tommy Wingels gets a great chance but Scrivens makes a great glove stop on him
15:19 - Mike Brown is able to beat Fraser once again and gets a good shot on net
19:50 - Dan Boyle gets a one time shot off but Scrivens makes a great glove save to keep the Sharks off the board
This was a really good period by the Oilers. The beat out the Sharks twice to negate icing calls. The first line of Hall, Gagner and Perron were flying and the second line had some good shifts as well. After blocking a shot Ryan Jones returned to the game with a minute left in the period.
2:11 - The Oilers' net get knocked off
2:31 - Strange call as it appeared to be icing against the Sharks but the official call offside but the face off goes to centre ice
2:41 - The 4th line gets some chances and really push as both Ryan Jones & Andrew Ference get some great chances
3:48 - Sam Gagner gets the Oilers' best chance of the period to score but the puck floats wide
6:28 Goal - Joe Pavelski scores on the power play. The open player Patrick Marleau was Ryan Nugent-Hopkins' check but Hopkins was kind of floating also if Andrew Ference would have stayed with his check instead of trying to cover both his & Hopkins' check Pavelski wouldn't have had the wide open net to score on. By the way the next shift, the fourth line was out on the ice.
8:28 - Andrew Ference called for holding
9:57 Goal - Patrick Marleau scores on the power play from Pavelski
11:43 - Anton Lander driving through the crease draws a penalty on Brad Stuart
12:08 - It wouldn't be an Oilers power play without a short handed chance against. In an effort to gain the zone Hall & Smyth get mixed up and it causes the puck to turn over to Jason Demers who is able to spring a 3 on 2. Luckily Justin Schultz is able to block the shot attempt
14:05 - Anton Lander gets a great chance but fires the puck wide - Adam Burish got injured (broken finger) on the play and had to leave the game
16:00 - Eberle, Nugent-Hopkins, Lander, Fraser and Klefbom go out for a neutral zone face off but get caught in their own zone for 45 seconds and ice the puck. Dallas Eakins uses his time out to rest the group. Hopkins' loses the face off and they are trapped for another 58 seconds and ice the puck again. The full line can't change until the 18:32 when Lander is finally able to get off the ice. That was a 2:32 shift for Lander and 2:22 shift for the rest of the line.
19:29 Goal - Martin Havlat makes a move on Jeff Petry and scores from about 35' out
0:31 - With the Sharks power play batting 1.000 Taylor Hall takes a holding penalty
1:17 - And as expected the Sharks score and Pavelski gets his second of the night. Andrew Ference realizing that neither Smid not Nick Schultz is around to make a stupid laying on the ice play decides its time for him to try it making it easier for Pavelski to score.
13:00 - Pavelski scores the hat trick goal and the hats came flying
14:56 - Taylor Hall scores on a very nice move but its a little too late
19:08 - Matt Nieto gets called for hooking but the Oilers aren't able to get anything going on the power play
Eakins made some adjustments in the third. Here is what the top 9 looked like Hall-Nugent-Hopkins-Eberle, Lander-Gagner-Perron, Smyth-Gordon-Hendricks. The fourth line didn't make much of an appearance after the 5 Sharks goal.
Game Rating: 2 out of 10
I'll give the Oilers 2 for scoring more than once in this game. In the past 3 home games the Oilers have been out scored 16-4 at least they were able to muster 2 goals tonight.
The penalty kill. I don't think much more needs to be said the Oilers lost this game by allowing the Sharks to go 3 for 3 on the power play tonight.
The first line in the first period. The first line was flying creating chances and making things happen but after the first period they faded away and were unable to much more.
Tonight I'll focus on Anton Lander. Lander is definitely a player that is in the right spot at the right time. He drives to the slot continually and seems to be the only Oilers player that does it. The biggest knock against him is his inability to capitalize on those attempts. His defensive responsibility seems to be right on and again his position is almost perfect. The question will be does Oilers management take note of it or do they only care about his offence.
Lander seems to be a top 3rd line forward that can move into a 2nd line role. I'm not sure if he can slide up any more than that though.
Once again the Oilers are sitting still at 59 points on the season and trying to get any more points in the remaining games of the season is going to be tough.
The Oilers play the Anaheim Ducks another Paciffic Division rival that the Oilers haven't been able to win against. At least the season is almost over.
On the Bright Side
The OKC Barons are now 1 point out of the playoffs after their win against San Antonio tonight. The Alberta Golden Bear won the CIS championship over the weekend. The Edmonton Oil Kings are up 3-0 in their playoff series against the Prince Albert Raiders. And the Edmonton Rush are undefeated so far this season with a 11-0 record.