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Oilers Don’t Break Losing Streak, Pouliot Does Break Foot

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The Oilers managed their eighth regulation loss in their past eleven games tonight against the New Jersey Devils.

Chris LaFrance-USA TODAY Sports

Eakins made the call to insert Martin Marincin into the lineup tonight while Keith Aulie took his station in the press box. Benoit Pouliot found himself on the top line with Nugent-Hopkins and Eberle once again, while Taylor Hall teamed up with Leon Draisaitl on the second unit.

And in the beginning, it was all working so well...

First Period

1:24 The referee in the neutral zone calls Teddy Purcell for tripping in the corner.

3:00 Pouliot and Nugent-Hopkins are killing penalties together now. They seem to be a good match.

4:30 Early impressions of the Hall-Draisaitl-Purcell line are good as they’ve been able to establish the cycle twice now.

6:30 Purcell misses a wide open net off a nice set up from Justin Schultz.

9:10 Nice set up from Purcell to get it to Hall on the rush. He cuts into the middle but can’t get the puck on net.

9:30 Pouliot makes a beautiful move as RNH finds him alone in front. He misses the net.

9:35 Gelinas to the box for holding.

13:00 As Ference and Schultz double team the first Devil’s player entering the zone, another is left wide open in front of Fasth. Close call for the Oilers.

16:15 Pouliot is tripped up right inside the offensive zone. Oilers to the PP for the second time this period.

17:30 Henrique has a clear breakaway during the Oilers’ PP, but Fasth gets a piece of his shot.

The first twenty minutes showed good balance in the Oilers forward lines as they spent most of the period cycling effectively in the Devils’ zone. The Oilers lead the way in 5v5 CF% with 81.48. I have to say, it always makes me uneasy to see such a successful period yield no goals for the good guys.

Second Period

1:00 Schultz does well by clearing the puck that’s behind his back in front of the crease.

3:30 After a lot of pressure from the Devils to start the second, the fourth line responds and plays some time in the offensive zone—off a Nail Yakupov controlled zone entry, no less.

5:30 Martin Marincin is shooting everything tonight. Taking a page out of former-NHLer Brad Hunt’s book.

6:31 Justin Schultz jukes out Jeff Petry at the Oilers’ bench and they get called for too many men.

10:00 Hendricks hustles back and takes a goal away from Mike Cammalleri on a 2-on-1.

10:39 Henrique beats Schultz up the middle at the Oilers’ blue and gets a chance in alone on Fasth. He puts it away. Devils are up 1-0.

15:07 Tuomu Ruutu beats Fasth with a perfect shot top corner. Justin Schultz gets caught on a goofy pinch.

16:00 Petry stretches out awkwardly to avoid an offside call. Hope there’s no injury there.

After the Oilers failed to get on the board despite a strong first period, the Devils came back with a hot stretch of their own and made the most of it, putting up two goals. Edmonton still has the edge in 5v5 CF%, though it’s been cut down considerably and now sits at 58.06

What’s worse is that recent bright spot Benoit Pouliot blocked a shot and left the Oilers’ bench during the second period. We’ll wait and see if he returns for the third.

Third Period

1:10 Arcobello has a beautiful crack at a rebound but Schneider gets his toe on it.

4:10 Draisaitl finds Hall trailing the rush, but Hall has to take the shot from a tough angle and it goes off Schneider’s shoulder.

4:27 Zidlicky goes off for four minutes after axing Nail Yakupov in the face. This seems like as good a time as any to mount a comeback.

8:00 Justin Schultz jauntily follows Zubrus into the Oilers zone during the PP, mustering a measly stick check and allowing him to drive the net.

12:00 Teddy Purcell is left all alone, but has to settle down the bobbling puck at the side of the net. Schneider comes over to make the save.

15:00 Jeff Petry breaks up a centring feed from Jaromir Jagr.

17:00 Elias nearly finds the empty net from the other end of the rink to make it 3-0.

19:15 Schneider doubly robs Leon Draisaitl at the side of the net.

In Conclusion

What is it to be a fan of the Edmonton Oilers?

Every season we arrive at this point, when things go from bad to worse, when this team finds a way to dig on deeper than rock bottom, when all the despairing a fan can do has already been done, and all that’s left to feel is hopeless apathy.

It’s a hard thing—to continue to support this team. It’s a damned hard thing to do.