Cam Talbot was nearly perfect, while the Oilers got goals from three different players en route to a road victory against the Wild. The Oilers pick up two points they desperately needed (they’re all desperate points now) against a Wild club that’s caused too much trouble for the Oilers in recent memory.
The Oilers started out by putting the puck on Wild netminder Alex Stalock a lot. At one point, the Oilers led the Wild in shots by an 11-2 margin. As you’ll remember from recent games versus Nashville and Toronto, the Oilers have had significant struggles against backup netminders as of late Those struggles would continue throughout the first period in this afternoon’s game, as the Oilers would score a mighty zero goals in the first period.
There’s fair reason to wonder if there is any rust to Cam Talbot after missing seven games due to a lower body injury. Cam Talbot’s first game back didn’t feature a lot of action for him to start, though the Wild caught up by the period’s end. The score was zero-all after one, nobody scored.
Oh my god, the Oilers finally scored a damn goal against a backup netminder. It was a goal from Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, it was shorthanded, and it came on a nice pass from Zack Kassian.
The Oilers took a 1-0 lead, but by the time I got to the fridge to crack open an Old Vienna, the Wild had tied it at 1. Alright, I’ll admit, I went to the bathroom first and picked something out of my teeth along the way as well. Then to the refrigerator, but it was already too late. Matt Dumba had done the deed. It was 1-1, but I did have a beer. Hi Haterz.
Milan Lucic would bring us all tidings of joy with less than four minutes remaining in the second period. Lucic would make it 2-1 on his eighth goal of the year, his 23rd point. Lucic would go on to have another assist later this game for his 24th point. As far as production goes, that’s pretty good.
Lucic gets a lot of hate for his contract, but it's not a bad contract until he's scoring under 50 points. Right now, it's fine.— Patrick Olsen (@PatrickOlsen21) December 16, 2017
The second period would end with the Oilers up 2-1. It’s in the bag, hey?
Jesse Puljujarvi takes a nice pass from Milan Lucic and makes it happen.
- Go to the net? Yes.
- Shot on goal? Yes.
- Slamming home your own damn rebound? Yes.
- Jesse Puljujarvi doesn’t say no. HE ONLY SAYS YES.
That’s Puljujarvi’s sixth goal of the year, his eighth point. Things are early in this young man’s career, but that’s a half point per game. Just think if he got half the power play time that say, oh, Ryan Strome got. More on that later. The Oilers are up 3-1 with eleven minutes remaining!
Matt Dumba would draw the Wild to a 3-2 deficit with his second goal of the game. It would come with five minutes remaining in the game on a one-timer with absolutely nobody within fifteen feet of him. Somebody throw a blanket on that dude. Go on and watch, it’s caca.
Matt Dumba could’ve had a picnic with himself and his teammates with all that open ice. Could’ve parked his ‘82 Cabriolet in the slot, too. They weren’t even on a power play. I’m used to that sort of thing by now, but sheesh. Oilers are up 3-2 at this point, and that’s how this one would end.
Jesse Puljujarvi with a team-low 9:49 TOI today but 4 shots & the game winner. He's now 5-2-7 over his last 10, all at evens, as underscored by +8 over that span. Coming on strong.— Bruce McCurdy (@BruceMcCurdy) December 16, 2017
- Game winning goal today for young 98. Under ten minutes of ice time? Who is he, Darcy Hordichuk? 9:49 of ice time is exactly one second less than Drake Caggiula who brought the noise with 9:50 of ice time. Put the Finn on the power play. Enough already.
- Speaking of the power play, the Oilers are back to their old tricks again. 0/6 on the man advantage? Thats abysmal. See the last paragraph.
- No rust for Cam Talbot, who stopped a bunch of shots this afternoon. 29 of them to be exact. That’s good for Cam Talbot, because those weeks he had off with an upper body injury are the most days he’ll have off during the season ever. Enjoy the next 27 games in a row, Cam!
- Two points for Lucic, one more assist for McDavid, and that beauty of a shorthanded goal from Ryan Nugent-Hopkins to start. That’s not too bad of a road game. Oilers are back home on Monday to face the Sharks.