As a group, the Oilers didn't play particularly bad last night. At times I would even say that they played pretty good. And still it never seemed like a game that they would win, despite being either tied or trailing by a single goal for all but 37 seconds of the game. There was just a feeling all night long, and by now Oilers fans are quite familiar with this feeling, that when 60 minutes had been played that the Ducks would come out on top. Best case scenario, the game would go past 60 minutes and they'd be able to at least salvage a point for their efforts. On this night though, they weren't luck and the Ducks won it in 60 minutes, much like we all expected.
The lone goal of the first period came in the final minute of the period courtesy of David Perron, a player who, if I'm to believe Twitter, the Oilers are better off without. On the goal Cam Talbot made a good first save, kicking out his left pad, but couldn't grab the rebound before Perron jammed it home to give the Ducks their first lead of the game. The goal was first reviewed by the NHL, and then it was challenged by the Oilers, in the end it remained a goal. I honestly don't care if they got the call right or not, if it takes ten minutes to review a goal, that's about eight minutes too long. I can't stand the coaches challenge and, to be totally honest, I could live without any sort of video review. Of course the NHL gives both a big thumbs up so nothing will change. Until they somehow make it even worse.
In the second period the Oilers would tie the game up on two occasions. First it was Leon Draisaitl tying the game at a goal apiece with his first goal and point in six games; coming off a snap shot from outside of the faceoff dot that beat Frederik Andersen through the five hole, not a great goal but after six games posting seros I'm sure he'll take it. Then shortly after Jakob Silfverberg restored the Ducks' one goal lead, thanks in large part to an ugly Nail Yakupov turnover at the Oilers blue line, it was Taylor Hall banging home a lose puck for his first point in six games and his first goal in eleven.
To start the third period Benoit Pouliot took his second stupid penalty of the night, a slash on Silfverberg. His previous penalty had also been a slash, and when the Oilers took a too many men penalty in the second period it was Pouliot who McLellan tapped on the shoulder to serve the penalty. It would appear that the coach wasn't thrilled with Pouliot's previous penalty and this one didn't make him any happier; after returning to the bench Pouliot wouldn't see the ice again until there were just three minutes left to play.
During those 14 minutes with Pouliot stapled to the bench the Ducks would once again retake the lead following a give-and-go from Hampus Lindholm to Rickard Rakell and back. On this goal it's Darnell Nurse that get's caught in no man's land after first trying to take Lindholm, then moving to take Rakell, and in the end not doing a whole hell of a lot to stop either. It's exactly the kind of play you expect to see from a rookie from time to time, just a case of trying to do too much rather than letting your teammates help you out.
In the dying minutes of the game there would be three more goals scored. The first a short-handed empty net goal by Andrew Cogliano. Then a goal that Pouliot gets credit for but actually bounced in off Cam Fowler's head to get the Oilers back within a goal, only to have the Ducks score one more empty net goal, this time off the stick of Corey Perry, to wrap up the scoring and the game. Make it a final, the Ducks 5, the Oilers 3.
The Oilers play host to the Minnesota Wild on Thursday night. This post game is late because I actually thought that I was writing the Thursday game, now that I know that evening's opponent, I also remember why I chose the Tuesday night game instead.