In what is becoming a bit of a pattern, the Oilers gave up a lot of shots tonight, 40 in total, but Cam Talbot stood his ground and allowed just one of those shots to beat him. This was also the sixth game in a row that Talbot has face more than 30 shots, and in those six games he's allowed six goals total, posting a 0.967 save percentage. Once again Talbot was the single biggest reason that the Oilers came away with a 2-1 win over the Jets, in fact he was the only reason that the game was even close, and was very deserving of the game's first star.
But because thing for the Oielrs can rarely be all good, they also lost Brandon Davidson to what appeared to be a knee injury in the first period, following a collision with Dustin Byfuglien. Byfuglien wasn't trying to injury Davidson on the play, the two simply collided in just the right way and it was Davidson's knee that ended up bending in a way that you would prefer to not see a knee bend. After the game Todd McLellan didn't have much of an update other than it "is not looking good" and that it'll be further assessed tomorrow.
In the first period the Oilers carried the play early on before the Jets got their feet moving, after which they dominated the latter half of the period. By the end of the period the shots would be tied at seven, the Oilers would hold a 6-3 edge at even strength though. In the final minute of the period, with Yakupov in the penalty box for tripping, a Tyler Myers slap shot put the Jets ahead of the Oilers in shot attempts, 18-17. The Oilers never drew even again with the final Corsi tally being 78-56 in favour of the home team.
The highlight of the first period was a Connor McDavid breakway that came shortly after the Oilers killed off the games first penalty. In a couple of strides McDavid was at full speed and the Jets defenders were left behind. He wasn't able to beat Ondrej Pavelec with a backhand though and the score remained tied at zero.
The Oilers got on the scoreboard first in the sixth minute of the second period. Patrick Maroon went to the front of the net with his stick on the ice and Taylor Hall, standing below the goal line, found him in right in front of the net. A nice simple goal for the big man, and his second goal and fourth point in three games with the Oilers. I'm not sure that you should expect a guy like Maroon to consistently play top six minutes alongside guys like Hall and Leon Draisaitl, but if he can make simple plays like this it'll make finding him the ice time a whole lot easier.
Less than a minute later - sound familiar - Winnipeg would tie the game at a goal apiece when Mark Scheifele's shot from the slot beat Talbot through the legs. This is probably a goal that Talbot will tell you that he should have had, but if the only lets in one goal a night I don't care if good, bad, or ugly, because he's giving the team a damn good chance to win and you can't ask for more than that.
Before the end of the second period the Oilers would retake the lead and amazing wouldn't immediately allow another goal. Pavelec stopped a backhand of the stick of Andrej Sekera's but Lauri Korpikoski was at the edge of the crease to bang home the rebound for his eighth goal of the season. It worked in the Oilers favour here, but Byfuglien might want to trying moving guys away from the front of the net instead of looking in his feet for the puck on occasion. Or not, like I said, it worked out nicely for the Oilers on this occasion.
With a one goal lead I expected the Oilers to sit back and spend the game's final 20 minutes trying to protect their lead. With only five defenceman it might not have been the worst strategy either, but they didn't, in fact the Oilers actually directed more pucks at the Winnipeg net during the third period than they did during either of the previous two periods, 20 in total, but failed to find that insurance goal. A goal that almost certainly go into protection mode.
As you would expect the Jets pushed hard for the equalizer, especially in the final minute of the game after Pavelec left his net for an extra attacker, but like the Oilers, they could not find the back of the net during the final period. With tonight's loss the Jets fall to 0-23-3 when trailing after two periods this season and are one of only two teams in the NHL without a third period come from behind win this season, the other is the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The Oilers are back on home ice on Tuesday, taking on the San Jose Sharks.