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Mike Smith Powers Oilers To 2-1 Win Over Penguins

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Edmonton survives a relentless onslaught from Penguins; win the game in overtime

Uh....how did we win that one?

The Edmonton Oilers picked up the 2-1 win after a thrilling overtime period that saw Leon Draisaitl pick up the game-winner on a breakaway. It was an afternoon game where nothing came easy for the Oilers, as they were outshot 52-29. It doesn’t matter how you do it, as long as it gets done. Let’s see how this one broke down.

First Period:

It was evident from the drop of the puck that Pittsburgh was the better team. They were generating chances left, right and center as the Oilers were very loose in their own zone. Mike Smith was a major reason why the Penguins were held off the board in the first 10 minutes of this one.

Ethan Bear was taken down mid-way through the period and was off the ice for a period of time. There was a lot of concern as Bear has been among the team’s best defenders so far. He would be fine and stay in for the remainder of the game.

The shot clock would favour the Penguins 18-8 at the end of the 1st, but the score would remain 0-0.

2nd Period:

The second period saw more of the same from the Penguins. The injection of Evgeni Malkin into their lineup seemed to give the roster a bit of extra jump in their game. Edmonton would continue to struggle to get the game moving in their direction, but Mike Smith continued to hold them in it.

Edmonton would eventually get a break in the form of Colby Cave’s first goal of the year. It was beauty as Cave beat out Marcus Petterson on the right-side boards, brought the puck to the net and slid it past Matt Murray. Despite being outplayed for most of the game, Edmonton got on the board first. 1-0 Oilers after 40.

Pittsburgh was still throwing everything at Smith as the shots read 35-15.

3rd Period:

At this point in the game it was a surprise that Edmonton held the lead heading into the final period. The Penguins were relentless on the puck and had the majority of grade-A scoring chances all night long. The only difference? Mike Smith was dialled in. Smith’s shutout would eventually be spoiled, however, as Brian Dumoulin would put a short-handed marker past Smith with 7 minutes left in regulation.

The rest of the game would feature brilliant chances by Connor McDavid and Darnell Nurse as well as the Penguins but nobody was able to take the lead. We were destined for some overtime hockey.

The final tally on the shot-clock in regulation? A whopping 51 for the Penguins and 22 for the Oilers.

OT:

This overtime period ranks among the best that I have ever seen.

It was as HECTIC as hockey could possibly get. The overtime started off slow but things opened up quickly after a flurry of chances by the Penguins. Evgeni Malkin would get the only shot on goal for the Penguins, a quick snapshot that Smith got the toe of his pad on. The game would eventually come to an after Leon Draisaitl hustled down the ice on a breakaway and put a shot over Murray’s blocker to win the game!

The Good:

  • Mike Smith had a god-like performance in net for the Edmonton Oilers. Without him this would have been a very different game. He handled the pressure with poise and was locked in all game long. It is starting to get really difficult to get a pulse on who has the inside edge on the Oilers starting position. Both goaltenders have given the team a chance almost every single night.
  • The penalty-kill was as good as you could have asked it to have been. They went a perfect 5/5 against a very deadly Pittsburgh power play. It wasn’t always pretty but they got the job done nonetheless.
  • I though Gaeten Haas had his strongest game of the year so far. He was engaged all game long and used his speed to his advantage. He also had a few good defensive plays that made notice him. I am starting to get more comfortable with the idea of him as the team’s third-line center.

Other Takeaways:

  • The Oilers won the game, but they shouldn’t have. They cannot expect to walk into every game with this sort of effort and get the win. The Penguins were in control of the game from start to finish and if it wasn’t for Mike Smith they would have demolished Edmonton. Dave Tippett undoubtedly noticed this as well so hopefully it gets figured out.
  • Colby Cave was able to give Edmonton some much needed depth scoring in the 2nd period....and thank god for that. It didn’t seem like Edmonton had much going for them until that goal was scored. I though Cave looked alright tonight....hopefully we can see some more consistency from him.
  • Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid are absolutely amazing. I know this shouldn’t come as a surprise to any hockey fans but wow, did they ever prove it in that overtime period. Draisaitl showed off some wheels on the game-winner as well. FYI: Leon Draisaitl sits atop the NHL standing in both points (27) and goals (14).....is he better than Auston Matthews yet?
  • We might’ve been outplayed, but at the end of the day a win is a win. The Oilers now sport a sexy record of 10-4-1 and sit alone in 2nd place in the entire league with 21pts! The boys return to Rogers Place on Monday to take on the Arizona Coyotes!