Matinee games are usually terrible. This one was not. Connor McDavid had a three point outing (1-2-3) as the Oilers put a dent in Florida’s playoff aspirations.
It wouldn’t happen until the second period, but The Panthers would score first. Eight minutes into the second, Frank Vatrano would score his fourth of the season on a breakaway. There’s one rule in goaltending when it comes to playing the puck out of your crease: get to it before the other guy does. Vatrano had an entire stride on Talbot, and he’d pop it into a yawning net for a 1-0 Panthers lead.
Three minutes later, the Oilers would get even. Midway through the second, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins would score his 20th of the season while the Oilers were shorthanded.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins missed six weeks with cracked ribs. He’s third in goals scored on the Oilers (20), I think RNH would tell you he got a little lucky on this goal as it swallows Luongo up in the net. They all count, and it’s 1-all midway through the game.
One of our KEYS TO THE GAME was for someone to get a handle on Panthers forward Vincent Trochek. The guy burned the Oilers for three goals when Florida visited the Oilers earlier in the year. As the second period would expire, he’d get one more to make it 2-1 Panthers. Trochek is a monster. This goal is his 28th of the year which leads the team in goals scored.
Connor McDavid would make it 2-2 early in the third on another ridiculous goal. I ran out of superlatives to describe Connor McDavid earlier in the season, but this shot is simply bananas.
Ty Rattie gets involved on this one for his first career point as a member of the Oilers. Just an incredible goal for McDavid. We are not worthy. It’s 2-all.
Adam Larsson would make it 3-2 on what surely looked like a pass to the front of the net. Ty Rattie swatted at it in front of Luongo, but Adam Larsson would get credit for this one. It was another bad angle goal, but pucks on net and all of that. Rattie would secure his first goal with the Oilers when he dumped the empty netter with the last minute winding down.
- The Oilers win!
- Oh my God, they won!
- Connor McDavid scored three more points (1-2-3), he now has 89 points on the season. By now, you’re aware that we are counting down the days until he reaches 100 for the second consecutive season. He’s got 11 points to go, he might hit that next week with Carolina and Ottawa on the roster.
- Ty Rattie had a two point game. If you can keep up with the first line, you’re going to do OK.
- Jesse Puljujarvi had 9:53 in ice time. What are we doing here?
- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins picked up his 20th goal today, which is good for third on the club. Not bad for a guy who missed a dozen and a half games during the season.
- Cam Talbot looked to be his regular old self stopping 40 of 42 shots.
"This team is my family. The way I was raised you always stick up for your family... Guys would do that for me. If I can help out, I will." @jujhar94 on challenging Clutterbuck after the hit on linemate @IPakarinen pic.twitter.com/xS4fEbUgB6— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) March 9, 2018
- Jujhar Khaira is now “the guy” who answers the bell. Michael Haley laid quite a questionable hit on Zack Kassian midway through the first period only to have Jujhar Khaira step up and throw down.
- Oilers get a chance to make it 2-for-2 in Florida with a visit to the Lightning on Sunday.