The Edmonton Oilers (22-21-3) (4th, Pacific Division) took on the Vancouver Canucks (21-21-5) (5th, Pacific Division) in their home barn this evening, with plenty of divisional and playoff implications afoot.
All the talk ahead of this game is the “full court press” that Edmonton’s scouts were supposedly taking in order to find the team another top 6 forward. Predominantly, the conversations have seemed to revolve around Mats Zuccarello of the New York Rangers and Wayne Simmonds of the Philadelphia Flyers. Neither of those options are particularly appealing to me, but heck, I’m not in charge, right? Especially if they’re shopping Jesse Pujuljarvi or our 1st rounder this year.
Anyways, back to the game. The newly acquired Colby Cave drew into the lineup this evening, and Kailer Yamamoto was ready to return from his injury. He figured to slot in on the second line, next to Nugent-Hopkins and the red-hot Milan Lucic.
Lucic isn’t looking bad early in this game, but after his productive game against Buffalo I’m surprised that Hitch took JP off of his line. Yamamoto has been generally invisible thus far. Chiasson had the best chance early as he tried to stuff one by Markstrom, but no dice.
The first penalty of the game is a solid high-stick on Sutter from McDavid, and I think we’re lucky Connor didn’t receive a double minor for stickwork there.
KHAIRA!! Beautiful short-handed goal for Oilers penalty killer. He spins and dekes through a few Canucks and then roofs it. 1-0 Oilers. I’d love to see a little bit more of that down the stretch from our role players. However, the joy was short-lived, as Brandon Sutter sneaks a PPG by a screened Koskinen. Both special teams strike and it’s 1-1. Edmonton only managed to hold the lead for 1:18.
Khaira and Pujuljarvi seem to have found some nice chemistry together, and they nearly tuck one in on an odd man rush before Bo Horvat drove it down on the Oilers and slid one through the crease, but neither team could find the twine again. The Canucks quickly followed that up with another golden chance after Virtanen crushed Jones in the corner, which resulted in Roussel hitting the crossbar.
Yamamoto had a great shift, bodying Gudbranson in the corner before dropping Louis Erikssen. All that pressure forced the Canucks to take a delay of game penalty!
Draisatl and McDavid play a give and go, Draisatl has a heater of a one-timer and Markstrom just gets a piece, Lucic almost gets one through the crease to Khaira… no goals though. Two shots and 0 for 1 on the PP.
Granlund, Leivo and Schaller almost tuck a tic-tac-toe in on the good guys, but Koskinen shuts the door. A little extra-curricular after the whistle, but nothing noteworthy. Not sure Leivo should be trying to mix it up with Lucic, though. Right after that, Roussel and Benning get after it a little bit but Roussel gets an extra two for instigating a useless scrap.
Towards the end of the powerplay, McDavid brings the puck into the Canucks zone and zips a shot through Tanev’s legs and into the far side top shelf. What a great shot… he needs to shoot more. 2-1 Oilers.
Rieder then tries to get in on the action with a great opportunity, but he can’t get it past Markstrom’s outstretched leg. He’s still goal-less on the year and the score is still 2-1.
Here we go. Shots 12-5 Oilers going into the middle frame.
In their first shift of the period, Khaira-Cave-JP get a few nice chances, with a Cave slot shot and a Pujuljarvi redirect nearly finding a way. Good start for them.
A scary moment as McDavid collides with one of the linesmen, and this created a great chance in the Oilers end and Koskinen dives to keep the Oilers ahead.
Nurse seems to be having trouble making/accepting passes so far in this period. One of his rougher passes took away a golden opportunity for a Chiasson one-timer. This turnover led to Draisatl having to take a hooking call, and the Oilers went back to the PK.
Colby Cave and others get it done on the penalty kill, and the Oilers come out of that one unscathed. McDavid had a nice shorthanded opportunity, but he gets hooked 13 times on his way and they can’t get a shot on net. If only the rules were the same for McDavid.
And there’s a brutal giveaway by Jonesin their own zone, and Granlund tucks one in the top shelf on Koskinen. Yikes. 2-2. Two goals on seven shots for the Canucks. The Canucks are really throwing the body around now, and it’s frustrating the Oilers. I would call some of the hits late and/or high…
Caleb Jones then covers the puck with his hand in front of the net, drawing a penlty. However, he may have very well saved a goal. Back to the PK. Some good penalty killing, by Draisatl especially, and the ‘nucks get nothing on their PP.
And immediately after that, Nurse gets called for cross-checking. Surprising that they call that one versus others, especially with the puck right there. Been a few other transgressions of a similar fashion that were not called.
Hutton gets one through, same shot as Sutter. Oilers can’t clear the screen and it’s 3-2 Vancouver with a minute left. However, the Oilers are challenge for offside… and the goal comes back!! Hitch comes through clutch.
2-2 heading into the break.
Not much to report early in this period. Russell and Beagle mix it up and bit and drop the gloves, but the linesmen step in to stop it. Koskinen also made a great glove save on Horvat – otherwise, a generally tame period so far.
And the Oilers draw a penalty! A slash on Edler. The Canucks are very aggressive on the penalty kill, and the Oilers are only able to manage one shot and drop to 1 for 3 on the PP. Still 2-2.
Not exactly sure how the Canucks didn’t take 12 penalties in this game. Yamamoto gets drilled in front of the net, without the puck… no call? Questionable officiating once again.
With six minutes left, Baertschi and Horvat almost bounce one by Koskinen but once again he’s up to the task. Not a ton of shots faced, but he made many very good saves.
Young Caleb Jones had a tough game. He got absolutely crushed by Gudbranson behind the Canucks net, and he had to head to the dressing room. I think it’s safe to call that a late hit, but with two minutes left no one was going to take a penalty and go after the ‘nucks D-man.
With 18 seconds left in the game, Virtanen broke through both Oilers defencemen and had a great attempt to win the game, but Koskinen was up to the task. Headed to overtime. 2-2. Shots 25-20 for the Oilers.
Overtime was wild. The Canucks had three cracks at a WIDE open net, but couldn’t put it in. Nurse with the beautiful goaltending. Then Drai got a breakaway and couldn’t beat Markstrom, and then Leivo marched it on the Oilers right after that.
Bo Horvat also embarrassingly walked Khaira and made a move on Koskinen, but couldn’t score one. Russell also had a very valid complaint about Edler interfering with him in the neutral zone before Horvat got the puck. But it’s OT, there’s no penalties (c’mon Kris, you know that).
Nurse and Draisatl get a few great chances at the end but neither can finish these poor Canucks. An action-packed OT leads to the shooutout.
VAN: Granlund; No goal.
EDM: Nugent-Hopkins; No goal. Markstrom pulls off the scorpion save on RNH. Bah.
VAN: Boeser; No goal.
EDM: McDavid; No goal. Connor did his signature move and Markstrom didn’t even move.
VAN: Horvat; No goal. None of the Canucks have even hit the net.
EDM: Draisatl; No goal. Lost the handle.
VAN: Leivo; No goal.
EDM: Khaira; No goal.
VAN: Roussel; No goal.
EDM: Chiasson; GOAL. His snipe earns the Oil 2 big points.
The boys are jubilant about this one. I’m just relieved we’ve started another winning streak.
Anyways, see you next time. Goodnight!