The Oilers slunk into Rexall Place tonight needing a win (so so so bad) after going 0-4-1 to start the season. The faithful were getting restless, and Connor McDavid chatter was starting much too early in Oil Country.
Also of note: Ben Scrivens was all class tonight as he sported a mask to raise mental health awareness. It's the first of four such masks he plans to wear over the course of the season, and all will go up for auction later on, with all proceeds going to mental health research.
First Period: In Search of a Win
0:50 The Oilers’ top line is off to a great start, fighting for loose pucks in the offensive zone. Nugent-Hopkins almost had a freebie at the side of the net, but lost the handle.
1:40 Yak to Schultz for a hard one-timer. Bishop is there with the stop.
2:00 Scrivens with a nice stop on Drouin, who got a quick shot off from the bottom of the circle.
3:30 Eberle with a giveaway right into the slot off the sidewall. You can’t do that.
5:00 Draisaitl shows good speed chasing down the puck carrier behind the net in the offensive zone and forcing a turnover.
5:45 Marincin takes away a pass with a good stick on Stamkos to the left of Scrivens.
7:00 Petry hits iron with a bomb from the point. After another SA from Ference, Petry goes on to check Drouin at the Tampa Bay blueline and keeps the puck in. A nice shift.
8:00 Nuge with a giveaway in his own zone.
9:00 Pouliot and Ference do a good job playing pitch and catch in their own end to set up the break out.
10:52 Connolly gets a quick shot past Scrivens. It’s called off immediately due to Brian Boyle making contact with the Oilers' goaltender in the crease.
12:15 Nikita Nikitin gets his stick on a cross-crease feed from Drouin and prevents a scoring chance.
12:41 Jesse Joensuu to the box for holding Drouin in the corner of the Lightning zone.
14:00 Jeff Petry with a beautiful play in the defensive zone to get position on Steven Stamkos on the half-wall and clear the puck.
15:11 Eberle shows great speed getting behind the defender, Matt Carle, in the slot. He gets a pretty feed from Nuge but can’t convert on the chance.
15:33 Taylor Hall is called for high-sticking.
16:30 Nuge makes a beautiful interception on Stamkos and carries the puck down the ice. He burns about 30 seconds of the PK on the sequence.
18:30 Hall is getting stick-checked furiously as he enters the offensive zone, but he maintains control of the puck, brings it around behind the net, and gets a shot off.
The period ends with the team’s deadlocked at 0-0 and 11 shot attempts a piece. The Draisaitl-Perron-Pouliot line is leading the pack for the Oilers with a 83.33 CF% at 5v5 (War On Ice). Nail Yakupov played just 2:13 seconds in the first—not at all in the final ten minutes. What gives?
Second Period: Oilers Go Up 2-1
1:00 Perron to Nuge to Hall for an absolutely beautiful cross-crease chance on the rush. Bishop robs Hall.
1:22 Twenty seconds later, Brian Boyle puts away an errant backhand off Justin Schultz. That’s a real buzz kill. 1-0 Tampa.
4:30 Yakupov with some supremely quick hands cutting out from behind the net. Ben Bishop has the pad down.
4:36 Justin Schultz takes the puck to the net from the half-wall and puts a backhand off the knob of Bishop’s stick. Assists to Hall and Yakupov. A nice sequence from Nail. Maybe Eakins will treat him to a little more ice-time?
Hall was off the ice for 30 seconds when he got that assist. IPP% ninja.— Woodguy (@Woodguy55) October 21, 2014
8:51 Connolly heads to the box for interference. Oilers to the PP. Nikitin catches a post on the man advantage.
11:40 Joensuu looks strong on the back check, stripping Stamkos of the puck with a little help from Mark Fayne.
12:30 Hall with a tasty pass to Petry who was gliding into the slot. He gets a shot on net but Bishop makes the save. The Lightning goaltender has been a difference maker.
14:04 David Perron is absolutely robbed on a rebound. He does some good work getting his stick free in front of the net.
14:55 Taylor Hall gets tripped up on a breakaway. He gets the penalty shot and beats Bishop with a quick backhand through the five hole. Great finish. Oilers go up 2-1.
16:34 Perron and Purcell go in on an odd man rush. Perron takes the shot and Purcell just about puts away the rebound. Very close to making it a 3-1 game.
The Oilers finish the period with a 53.85 CF% at 5v5 and go into the third with a one goal lead. That feels weird to type.
Third Period: A Nugemas Miracle!
1:40 Scrivens with a nice glove stop off another shot from the slot. Began with a misplay and a subsequent giveaway behind the net.
5:00 The top line nearly has a goal as Eberle feeds Nuge, who gets the bouncing puck across to Hall. He can’t get a handle on it, unfortunately.
8:00 Valtteri Filppula makes a huge save for Edmonton by blocking a shot from the point in the crease behind Scrivens. Oilers survive another brush with death.
9:54 Oilers are going back to the PP as Namestnikov is off to the box. The first line holds the zone and is passing well. The second unit struggles to establish themselves in the Lightning end.
13:54 Brett Connolly is wide open between the hashmarks and makes no mistake with a hard and accurate one-timer to tie it up. The area of in front of the net is a killer for the Oilers this season.
16:35 Eberle with an interception just inside the blueline. He passes it off to RNH who takes a perfect shot to put the Oilers up 3-2. It's a Nugemas Miracle!
18:00 The Gordon line has an excellent and timely shift, pinning Tampa in their own zone.
A strong game from Ben Scrivens and the Oilers' top line was the difference tonight. They could have had plenty more goals if it wasn't for a few monster saves by Ben Bishop. The Oilers put a damper on Jonathan Drouin's NHL debut and the Marincin/Fayne pairing managed to hold Steven Stamkos pointless on the night.
Let's do this again Wednesday, yeah?