A little over a week ago, I was sitting at my computer, writing a very depressing game recap, following a boring Oilers loss.
Now I'm writing a game recap while riding a gravy train with biscuit wheels, metaphorically of course. After a Tuesday overtime win, which featured a heroic effort by the incomparable Connor McDavid, the Oilers stuck to their winning ways on Thursday. Tonight's game marked the Oilers' third straight victory. And while it didn't have the drama of Tuesday's victory, it was arguably much more fun from start to finish.
The Oilers came out flying in the first period, dominating the Flyers in terms of shots and scoring chances. Shots were 14-6 Oilers after 20 minutes, and they would have been even more lopsided if not for a Flyers power play to end the first.
The lone goal of the opening 20 came on a spectacular rush by the previous game's hero. McDavid outskated the Flyers defense, and though he wasn't able to convert on the rush, Nail Yakupov won the race for McDavid's rebound, and put the Oilers on the board.
The Flyers came out with a lot more jump in the second. They outplayed the Oilers, and forced them to take some penalties. Cam Talbot was able to stop everything that the Flyers threw his way. His stellar play allowed the Oilers to keep the lead during a rough stretch of play.
Following a couple of successful penalty kills, Taylor Hall created a turnover at his defensive blue line, and beat Shayne Gostisbehere in a footrace on his way to a breakaway goal, which ended in Hall crashing head first into the end boards behind the Flyers' net. Thankfully, Hall wasn't injured on the goal.
Less than two minutes later, Hall's line struck again. Patrick 'Big Rig' Maroon, playing in his first game as an Oiler, battled off defenders before pouncing on a loose puck in front, and shoveling it top shelf. The initial point shot was taken by another deadline acquisition, Adam Pardy. Both Maroon and Pardy recorded their first Oilers point on the goal.
The third period was full of physical play and scrums after the whistle. Maroon, Pardy and Zack Kassian refused to let the Flyers take liberties on Hall, who was a thorn in the Flyers' side all night. As a result, the Oilers were shorthanded for much of the third. But Talbot stood tall, and Korpikoski scored a shorthanded goal on a pass form Letestu.
When it was all said and done, the Oilers had given fans of offence, physicality and goaltending a lot to cheer about.
The Oilers actually lost the shot-attempt battle quite decisively, even after adjusting for score-effects. However, most of the differential was due to the fact that the Flyers had seven power plays to the Oilers' one. In fact, the Oilers won the score-adjusted possession battle at 5 on 5.
Adam Pardy led the way for the Oilers in the Corsi department. He was on for 20 even strength shot-attempts for, compared to only 12 against. He and Brandon Davidson played the most of any Oilers tonight. Davidson played over 25 minutes, including 7:29 on the penalty kill, while Pardy nearly played 22. The two normally unheralded players looked very capable as a shutdown pair. In addition to their steady defensive play, each recorded an assist on Maroon's goal.
Corey's Game Puck
I'm tempted to give my imaginary puck to one of the aforementioned defensemen. But since I can't decide between the two, I'll give it to Patrick Maroon, who had a very memorable Oilers debut.
Maroon had a goal and three shots, plus a two-minute roughing minor defending Taylor Hall against Wayne Simmonds. Big Rig only played a shade over ten minutes, but it seemed like more, as he drew the ire of the Flyers on multiple occasions. He brought the combination of skill and edge that Oilers fans hoped they were getting. With any luck, Maroon can repeat this performance with some regularity in the future.