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McDavid shines with a goal and an assist as Oilers survive late surge to earn two points

Detroit Red Wings v Edmonton Oilers
Desharnais earned an assist in his first game as an Oiler
Photo by Codie McLachlan/Getty Images

Winning is good. I recommend winning as much as you can, whenever possible. Fortunately, the Oilers scored four goals against Detroit, who were able to amass one less, or three.

The Edmonton Oilers controlled the puck for large swaths of game clock. Really, it was something. There were times that the Detroit Red Wings actually looked like an eighth place team in the Atlantic Division, a team that looked like it dealt its second leading scorer to the Panthers for a pick and a first round bust just days prior.

THE GOOD

Four goals. That’s good.

  • Great horny toads. Smooth? Yes. Watch the boy genius blow by Detroit defenceman Xavier Ouellet. Fun fact about Xavier Ouellet, as I was having this nice discussion the other day about NHL players who hailed from France. I could only name Cristobal Huet, and promptly got told about five others. Ouellet is another one to add to the list (Bayonne represent!) as McDavid just shuttles by the poor guy. McDavid is Trans-Europe Express and Ouellet is lumpy oatmeal that’s been left in a single boot on a rainy night. Love the half-hearted hook at the end. The goal is McDavid’s 22nd of the year and his 73rd point. McDavid would later assist on a Patrick Maroon goal to give him 74 points in 65 games. He’s OK.
  • David Desharnais earned his first point as a member of the Edmonton Oilers after he won a faceoff and kicked it back to Adam Larsson. Larsson let one fly from near the blue line and Zack Kassian got a piece of it en route to the net. Kassian gets the goal, both Adam Larsson and Desharnais pick up the assists. Kassian’s goal gave the Oilers a 2-1 lead with 22 seconds remaining in the first.
  • Jordan Eberle scored his fourteenth goal of the year as he took a pass from Milan Lucic as they both entered the Detroit zone. Eberle’s still got the backhand, as Petr Mrazek stood no chance. This goal put Edmonton up 3-1 in the third. Eberle’s had a rough go of it this year, but he remains in the hunt for 50 points. He’s eleven shy with 17 games to go.
  • Patrick Maroon scored his 21st goal of the year shortly after Leon Draisaitl had a whack at it. Draisaitl fed Connor McDavid who was all alone in front of Mrazek. McDavid fed it back to Draisaitl who tried to stuff it above Mrazek’s glove. Draisaitl recovered the puck from behind the net, quickly feeding it in front where Patrick Maroon easily tapped it in with an out of place Mrazek having no chance.

THE BAD

  • Anybody ever have a flashback? I had one here to about 2006. It involved Marc-Andre Bergeron and Dwayne Roloson. Anyone care to guess why?
  • Oilers controlled a significant chunk of the play tonight. They even outshot the Red Wings by 38-25. So what’s the problem? They couldn’t deliver the final blow, and things got real weird when Dylan Larkin scored his 13th goal of the season with just 35 seconds remaining in regulation with Mrazek pulled. A couple of icings with ten seconds remaining in the game kept the play in Detroit’s zone, and time ran out with the Oilers up by one.
  • This. Whatever the hell this is, no more.

MISC

  • Drake Caggiula’s been catching some heat as of late. He looked good tonight with four shots on a line with Desharnais and Kassian. Soon, the goals start going in. At least, that’s how I have it written down on this napkin here.
  • Kris Russell was healthy scratched for tonight’s game. Eric Gryba was his replacement. Gryba also had four shots.
  • Darnell Nurse had four shots, and two bona-fide goal scoring opportunities. He wasn’t pleased when he missed the second of two solid chances.
  • How angry can you be when your team out-chances the other club by a wide margin? You can’t. The Oilers can’t allow a bad goal when they’re up by 2 with 35 seconds left in the game. Tonight, they did. Fortunately, they were up by two. Giving up this goal to Darren Helm should make you angry, but only because Darren Helm wasn’t called for shenanigans. The Red Wings played last night in Calgary, the Oilers defeated them tonight. It’s all you can ask for.
  • The Oilers are in action against the Islanders on Tuesday. Watch those scores.