It was a record setting night for the Edmonton Oilers. They scored a club record of two goals against Devan Dubnyk in one game.
The Oilers played an absolutely splendid five minutes at the end of the first period. Particularly the first line of Benoit Pouliot, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, and Jordan Eberle. The first line eventually got their mojo working for two Pouliot goals, both assisted by Eberle.
Then came the grind. As the game wore on it grew more and more into the Wild battering at Ben Scrivens, who managed to hang on through 28 shots throughout the second and third periods for the win. The Wild doubled the Oilers total shots 34-19 this game.
The absence of Nail Yakupov was evident. Yakupov was placed on the Oilers’ Injured Reserve carousel earlier today. Every time the Pouliot-Nuge-Eberle line returned to the bench, the remaining Oilers lines became virtually invisible and the Wild were able to glide into the zone unimpeded. As shown by the good war-on-ice folks here, the higher position of the Minnesota players (right) has them collectively spraying pucks at the lower positioned Oilers (left).
Midway through the second period Pouliot-Nuge-Eberle formed a little island higher up in the For Minus Against while the rest of the Oilers formed a dark shadow far below the zero line.
This could have been an entirely different game if the Wild showed up ready to go. Thankfully both teams spent the first ten minutes of the game holding hands and skating around like family night at the city centre outdoor rink. This will likely lead to another viral video of Wild coach Mike Yeo losing his noodle during practice again. Yeo strikes me as the kind of guy who has no sense of humour and will methodically explain to you why a joke doesn’t make sense.
Not our problem Yeo can’t take a joke. Oilers win!
…. zzzzzzz …
13:21 There’s a stick on the ice! Watch out!
11:53 PENALTY Zach Parise hooking, drawn by Justin Schultz. Both Parise and Schultz chase after the puck behind the net. Schultz kind of falls down. "Well, I’m bored," says the ref. 5 on 4 for the Oilers.
11:00 short handed breakaway shot for Erik Haula
9:48 GOAL Benoit Pouliot assisted by Jordan Eberle. An uncalled high touch by Pouliot in the slot brings the puck down. Passes to Eberle by the boards, he passes it back to Pouliot next to the net and in. 1-0 Oilers.
4:46 GOAL Thomas Vanek assisted by Jordan Schroeder. A shot into the crease. Schroeder picks it up and hangs on as the Oilers scramble after him. He skates around the net and puts it back to Vanek in the crease who jams it in. 1-1 tie.
4:14 GOAL Benoit Pouliot assisted by Jordan Eberle. Quick response as Nuge to Pouliot to Eberle back to Pouliot and in. 2-1 Oilers
2:25 PENALTY Zach Parise, drawn by Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.
19:30 PENALTY Jeff Petry tripping, drawn by Jason Pominville.
Pouliot comes on the ice and immediately breaks up an almost sure goal by Thomas Vanek.
10:40 TIMEOUT Todd Nelson calls a timeout as Wild have been pouring on the pressure. After the timeout, the Wild continue to bring the heat.
3:06 BREAKAWAY Thomas Vanek picks up a giveaway by Eberle, tries to go five-hole and Scrivens makes the save.
17:22 PENALTY Eberle slashing, drawn by Stephane Veilleux. After a big hit on the boards, Eberle retaliates with a slash.
11:05 PENALTY Boyd Gordon, delay of game. Flips the puck over the glass.
Coming up next…
The St. Louis Blues visit Edmonton on Saturday February 28.