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Oilers crack the Canadiens again

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Oscar Klefbom and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins were instrumental as the Oilers snatch the game back in the dying seconds and then take it away in overtime 4-3.

Oscar Klefbom, Anton Lander, and Nail Yakupov celebrate after Lander's game-winning goal in overtime.
Oscar Klefbom, Anton Lander, and Nail Yakupov celebrate after Lander's game-winning goal in overtime.
Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

With only seconds left in the game, the Oilers prevented the Canadiens from winning and creeping their way into the top spot in the Eastern Conference. The Oilers ended up leaving Montreal with another overtime win.

Montreal is aiming for nothing less than the Stanley Cup, and the buzz is Montreal GM Marc Bergevin is actively shopping for a top-six forward and is listening to offers of a top-four defenseman. But, hey, who isn’t?

They have lost only two of their past ten games. One was a 7-1 blowout courtesy of Tampa Bay. The other was when they were shutout by Ben Scrivens and the Oilers 3-0 last October.

The Oilers came into this game after a heartbreaking loss to the New York Islanders. The Oilers dominated the third period only to give up an unfortunate goal to the Islanders. Nevertheless, it was some of the best hockey we’ve seen the Oilers play all season. Thankfully, the Oilers managed to bring that same third period energy in the dying seconds to come from behind against the Canadiens.

Highlights

First Period

18:34 - MTL Penalty P.K. Subban Tripping, drawn by Jordan Eberle. Eberle enters the zone and Subban drops to the ice to block a pass. Subban slides a little too hard into Eberle and Eberle trips over Subban’s stick (perhaps selling it a little).
16:48 Jordan Eberle great pass into the crease to Teddy Purcell. Only shot of the powerplay.
11:20 Jordan Eberle tries to pass rather than shoot to Teddy Purcell who has nothing to look at, Dustin Tokarski is down, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins comes in to whack at it, but the play is moot.
5:03 Rob Klinkhammer gives great backhand pass to the Derek Roy in crease, but Roy fans on it.
4:33 Max Pacioretty’s line starting to pour on some mustard. Fasth makes a short series of key saves.
3:35 MTL Goal Christian Thomas. Iiro Parkarinen can’t settle the puck on a pass exiting the zone and it is turned over. Thomas brings it back and puts it in top corner from inside the circle. Thomas’ first NHL goal. 1-0 Canadiens
1:36 Matt Hendricks throws a great pass to the slot to Klinkhammer, saved by Dustin Tokarski.

Shots Oilers 11 - Canadiens 9

Second period

18: 54 MTL Goal Alex Galchenyuk assisted by P.K. Subban. Subban carries it in from his own blueline singlehandedly and snaps the puck across the ice over to Galchenyuk who one-times it past Victor Fasth. 2-0 Canadiens
15:56 EDM Goal Matt Hendricks assisted by Jeff Petry. Rob Klinkhammer in corner, back to Andrew Ference, who sends it over to Jeff Petry. Petry stands his ground through some pressure and rather than ditching the puck, gets free and slaps it at the net where Hendricks tips it in. 2-1 Canadiens
13:30 Max Pacioretty enters the zone, Martin Marincin does a great job of getting in his way and gives up no opportunities
13:14 EDM Penalty Martin Marincin tripping, drawn by David Desharnais
5:51 EDM Goal Ryan Nugent-Hopkins assisted by Jordan Eberle. Eberle is checked on the boards. Oscar Klefbom keeps it in at blueline. Eberle recovers the puck, shoots, Nuge streaks into crease, grabs the puck for just long enough to get it around Tokarski. The puck flutters around and in. Teddy Purcell does good job running interference in front of Canadiens’ defense. Tied 2-2
3:15 EDM penalty Jeff Petry tripping, drawn by Jacob de la Rose. Petry hauls down de la Rose as he enters the zone.

Shots Oilers 9 - Canadiens 11

Third period

19:30 Jeff Petry with a great look at the net but misses.
17:45 HIT Nail Yakupov trying to streak across the blue line and Alexei Emelin hits him square on and gets a knee-on-knee.Yakupov stays down for a couple minutes. Later returns to the game.
14:44 Oilers on the ropes as Montreal have kept it in for over a minute. Fasth freezes the puck at 14:07
12:19 MTL Penalty Tomas Plekanec highsticking, drawn by Iiro Pakarinen. Plekanec tries to shoot the puck down the boards as they battle and his stick goes high on the follow through, catching Pakarinen in the face.
11:51 EDM Penalty Ryan Nugent-Hopkins Closing hand on the puck.
10:43 MTL goal Max Pacioretty picks up a loose puck, skates in and straight up snipes the top corner. 3-2 Canadiens
7:55 Nail Yakupov two-on-one with Ryan Hamilton. Beautiful pass over to Hamilton, Hamilton hits the post.
3:14 MTL Penalty Tomas Plekanec Closing hand on the puck
1:00 Victor Fasth comes out of the net for extra attacker. Tomas Plekanec has a shot at one point at the open net and Oscar Klefbom blocks it.
00:25 EDM Goal Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Lots of pressure by Oilers. Oscar Klefbom shoots (shortly after his key block) and Nuge picks up the rebound in the slot and spins to shoot it past Tokarski. Tied 3-3

Shots Oilers 15 - Canadiens 5

Overtime

3:13 EDM Goal Anton Lander. Nail Yakupov takes the puck from end to end. His shot goes wide but draws Tokarski out of position. Oscar Klefbom shoots one into the crease and Anton Lander pops it in for the win. Oilers win 4-3

Total shots Oilers 38 - Canadiens 26

Parting shots

Edmonton picked up a much deserved win, despite continued, astounding bad luck in front of the net.

That’s not to say there weren’t ugly stretches of time where Montreal had them completely on the ropes. There were a couple times where Edmonton had serious trouble getting it out of their own end and the Canadiens certainly deserved every goal they got.

Nevertheless it’s like where Rambo is sent on a suicide mission but survives only out of defiance of his superiors and fights his way back. The Oilers capture an enemy radio and get MacTavish on the line, "You wanted us to fail. You set us up to tank." And MacT is all like, "No, listen, it’s more complicated than that. I can’t believe you’re alive." And then the Oilers steal a helicopter and fly back to Edmonton and shoot up the administration office with a machine gun. Or something like that.

Nugent-Hopkins was deservedly the first star of the game, but it is Jeff Petry and Oscar Klefbom who continue to impress. The TOI leaders were Justin Schultz playing 28 minutes and Oscar Klefbom with 26 minutes. Jeff Petry was reigned in at a little over 17 minutes.

What you will find if you look at the TOI graph at war-on-ice.com, as the Edmonton Journal’s Bruce McCurdy has pointed out, Justin Schultz eats up minutes but is sheltered from facing first line goal scorers. In this case it appears to be Jeff Petry pitted against Max Pacioretty, then Schultz goes in when Pacioretty is off the ice.

Up next…

The Oilers head to Ottawa to face the Senators this Saturday, February 14th for a noontime game. Who’s your Valentine? Mine’s Klefbom. Total dreamboat.