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Oilers Out-Duel Ovechkin and the Capitals

Ben Scrivens plays lights-out in the third to keep the Oilers on top.

Walter Tychnowicz-USA TODAY Sports

On a day when hockey was far from the forefront of everyone's minds, the Oilers and Capitals still took to the ice to play their scheduled game.

Ovechkin was held to just two shots during the game, while Ben Scrivens, an Oilers player looking to get off the schneid, came up with a big game to get his team the win.

First Period: Keeping Up

1:30 Nail Yakupov is working a Capitals player over in the corner of the Oilers’ zone. Looks like he’s playing with a bit of that Nizhnekamsk swagger tonight.

4:30 Nicklas Backstrom hits the post. Andrew Ference needs to stand him up as he comes into the zone and cuts to the middle. Backstrom looked comfortable getting that shot off.

5:27Jesse Joensuu gets a quality chance and a shot on net after a give-away by Matt Niskanen.

5:45 Boyd Gordon nearly tips a pass from Hendricks on net. His line has looked good in the early goings of this game. Nice to see them sustaining their high level of play.

6:53 Teddy Purcell makes a great play from the corner picking up on Justin Schultz busting into the zone unchecked. Jultz puts it away to put the Oilers up 1-0. Perron with the other assist.

9:10 Hendricks trips up Alex Ovechkin with an errant stick. Capitals to the PP.

10:15 Carlson goes off the post and in. Scrivens had bailed out the Oilers penalty killers twice previously on the PK. The game is tied at 1-1.

13:00 The Oilers are caught running around in their own zone, leaving guys on the point and in the high slot unchecked. Scrivens somehow keeps out a Kuznetsov shot from in tight and gets the whistle. Eberle was caught on the ice for a long shift.

13:30 Liam O’Brien comes over and creams Hendricks miles away from the play, after 23 for the Oilers finished a hard check on Latta. The have a little scrap afterward. Oilers to the PP.

15:00 Both units show well on the man advantage, which is a particularly good sign for the second unit centred by Draisaitl, who have at times looked a bit lost at 5v4 this season.

16:10 Jesse Joensuu gets a little over-zealous in front of Braden Holtby after a period of sustained pressure after the PP. Oilers look to kill off the penalty.

18:00 Scrivens with a huge kick-save on a cross-crease play to keep the Capitals from scoring on the PP.

For the most part, the Oilers look to be connecting well with their passes in both ends of the ice, and have looked good exiting the zone with control—save for a three minute period following the Capitals PP goal when they appeared to be scrambling a bit.

The Jesse Joensuu train is rolling tonight.

Second Period: Going Up

2:00 Joensuu with a steal just inside the Capitals’ blueline. He gets a shot on net and an offensive zone face-off out of it.

4:23 Nail Yakupov does a good job to stand up a Capitals player inside the blue line after an Oilers giveaway in the neutral zone.

4:49 Joensuu isn’t tight on his point and Mike Green walks into the slot and gets one past Ben Scrivens off a very nice pass from Burakovsky. 2-1 Capitals.

5:09 Ryan Nugent-Hopkins picks the puck from Ovechkin after he misfires and takes it all the way on a two-on-one. Nuge opts to shoot with that beautiful quick wrister and ties the game at two a piece.

7:30 Fayne coughs one up at the Capitals blue line and Brouwer is off on a partial break. Both defensemen do a good job of back checking and make sure he can’t get much of a shot off. Scrivens is there with the save.

9:00 Yakupov shows great confidence carrying the puck into the zone through two Capitals players. He centres the puck but they fail to get a SA off the play. A nice sequence from him, though.

13:00 Yakupov showing good speed and confidence again as he breaks into the Capitals zone and into the slot with puck. They get an OZ face-off off the play, and a rare OZ start for the Gordon line.

13:50 Carlson catches the crossbar on a Capitals odd man rush. A nice break for Edmonton.

15:11 Jason Chimera takes Hall’s stick out of his hands with a slash and the Oilers are back to the PP late in the second. A big opportunity to go up before the intermission.

16:08 On the powerplay: a beautiful little play from Purcell to take a Draisaitl pass in traffic and redirect it to the point. Nikitin bombs it from the point and the Oilers go up 3-2.

19:30 Scrivens makes a big stop on a rebound off a Burakovsky shot. He does well to hold onto the puck, as he looked a little unsure of where it was hiding in his equipment.

The Oilers sputtered a little bit coming out of the second period as the Capitals are down 3-2 and are evidently pressing. Washington has the majority of shot attempts at 5v5 with a CF% of 64.71.

Third Period: Holding On

2:30 The Caps have the Oilers hemmed up in their own zone.

4:00 As Sportsnet makes a big dookie of the broadcast’s sound, Scrivens manages to shut the door on Ovechkin who came in and made himself a breakaway. Scrivens also did a good job of swallowing up the rebound.

4:45 Scrivens with another big blocker save on Johanssen, who was in on a 2-on-2 with Burakovsky.

5:30 Draisaitl shows some all-world hands in the Capitals zone, pulling the puck into the slot. He still needs to go back to junior. Despite brief moments of looking a step ahead, he’s most often a step behind.

6:20 Scrivens with another big stop on a point-blank shot on the rush.

6:40 Scrivens makes another clutch save. What a good guy, Scrivens is.

10:44 The Capitals are up to 68.12 CF%. The Oilers are desperately in need of a good OZ shift here. It’s been all Caps in the third.

12:30 Pretty obvious non-call on Joensuu, as he gets crosschecked and sandwiched as he crosses the Caps’ blue line without the puck.

18:10 Pouliot makes a great steal along the boards in the Caps’ zone and nearly springs Yakupov alone in the slot.

In Conclusion

The Oilers held onto a lead that they earned early and nearly undid it through their own nonchalance during the second half of the game. They can’t afford to sit back like this in the future if they want to continue winning hockey games. Ben Scrivens won’t always be capable of bailing them out with sublime third period performances.

That said, the boys in copper and blue won tonight. They improve to 2-4-1 on the season with four games left in their seven game home stand. It’s of great importance to this Oilers’ season that they right the wrongs they committed in their first five games before they go back on the road for five games on the US Atlantic coast.