The Jekyl and Hyde act continues for the Edmonton Oilers as they erase a 3-0 deficit only to allow 3 late goals to lose 6-3 to the Hurricanes on Tuesday night. It was a game that was both incredibly exciting to watch at times and extremely frustrating.
Edmonton got two goals from Kassian who was having quite a good game before penalty trouble tarnished it in the third period. The other marker belonged to Ryan Nugent-Hopkins who was the beneficiary of a sweet pass from Leon Draisaitl on the power-play.
Standings wise the Oilers were lucky as they remain tied with the Coyotes, who lost to Calgary, for the division lead.
If you didn't watch this one, you missed out on a rollercoaster, so let’s go through it.
Just like Sunday’s matchup against the Sabres the Oilers came out of the gate flying. The newly formed first line of Nygard-McDavid-Kassian got to work right away as McDavid had a good chance down low that was stopped by Reimer. However, just like Sunday’s game as well, the Hurricanes came back with a very good chance of their own, as a wide-open Teravainen sent a one-timer over an open net.
One of the things I put in my notes as I watching this game was that Connor McDavid was feeling it early on in this one. The captain was showing off his impressive speed and had an array of chances. It wouldn’t be McDavid who got on the board first though, as the puck would find Sebastian Aho at the side of the Oilers net making it an easy tap-in goal. 1-0 for the Hurricanes less than 5 minutes into the game.
The Oilers would nearly tie things up on the power play with a dynamite chance by Leon Draisaitl but Reimer would be up to the task. Edmonton had two chances on the power-play in the opening period but failed to generate much outside of that Draisaitl chance.
This would cost them later on in the period as the Carolina Hurricanes would add to their lead on a power play of their own. Nino Niederreiter would tip home a point shot to give the Hurricanes some insurance.
To add insult to injury, Zack Kassian would take an reckless penalty with less than 10 seconds left in the period, which Carolina took advantage of. Ryan Dzingel would hold onto the puck and beat Koskinen far-side.
3-0 Carolina at the end of 20. Oh boy.
Once again the Edmonton Oilers came out surging in the early minutes of the period. They were able to get a few good chances on net but were denied by the crossbar. Then, as the first period went as well, the Hurricanes started to fight back. The teams traded chances for awhile until Zack Kassian was able to get Edmonton on the board.
Caleb Jones sent a point shot onto Reimer which was tipped by Kassian. Reimer couldn’t control the rebound and Kassian was able to track it down and slide it into the net. 3-1 Hurricanes about 8 minutes into the second. This goal would give Edmonton a surge of momentum as Jujhar Khaira nearly got his 7th goal on the ensuing play.
Carolina would get one more chance on the power play late in the middle frame. After scoring on their first two opportunities the vibe in Rogers Place was noticeably tense. It was Edmonton that came out on top this time as they killed it off.
Nothing more would come to fruition in this one. The Oilers played a better period than the first but still found themselves down by 2 heading into the third period.
The third period started with absolute chaos.
Edmonton was awarded their 3rd power-play of the game off of a delay of game penalty. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had a good look at the beginning of THAT part of the power play but it was denied by Reimer. This play would be followed by a high-stick on McDavid which resulted in the Oilers getting a 5-on-3 for nearly a minute and a half.
On this 5-on-3 a Carolina defender covered the puck in the crease with their glove, which awarded a penalty shot for Edmonton. Connor McDavid was chosen to take it and, with speed, he took the puck toward Reimer.....only for it to bobble off his stick with not shot on net.
Edmonton would be able to score at 5-on-4 as Leon Draisaitl was able to find Nugent-Hopkins in front of the net for an easy tap-in. 3-2 Carolina with 17 minutes on the clock. About 3 minutes later McDavid would find Kassian in front of the Carolina net where he was able to tuck home his second of the game. All of sudden it was a 3-3 game!
Things were looking up for the Oilers, but things soon fell apart. The Hurricanes would get a lucky break after the puck bounced out in front of the Edmonton net, over Jujhar Khaira’s stick and onto the stick of Jordan Martinook. Martinook would make no mistake and fire home the go-ahead goal. 4-3 ‘Canes.
This would be followed by a powerplay goal by Aho to make it 5-3 for Carolina and then by a long-range center ice slap-shot by Dougie Hamilton that fooled Koskinen. We will be seeing that one of the misplays of the month for quite awhile. 6-3 Hurricanes.
That’s all she wrote. A terrible result for a valiant comeback.
- Another off night for the superstars. Leon Draisaitl was fighting the puck all night and Connor McDavid, while he had a few good looks, just couldn’t find his groove. The big guns need some help if this team is serious about playoffs.
- Second straight game where Edmonton had to crawl out of a hole...this cannot continue. You won’t win games when you are constantly trying to get back on even terms. They have to start games much better than they have recently.
- Koskinen was not great tonight. He let in 3 goals in the first period, albeit he didn’t have a chance on two of them, and he let in a goal from centre ice...which is bad. Goaltending is starting to falter a bit.
- I liked Nygard on the first line with McDavid, he’s a feisty player with some speed and talent. I’d like to see him get another chance.
- Special teams were absolutely brutal tonight. They allowed the Hurricanes to score on their first two kills and couldn’t generate anything on their own power-plays. This has been hurting them quite a bit.
- Kassian scored 2 goals tonight but he will only be remembered for the penalty he took after getting into a scrap with James Reimer. I disagreed with the call, believing it should have been off-setting minors, but Kassian shouldn’t be in that position in the first place. The team was down by one with plenty of time left...killed all momentum.
- An obvious trip on Nugent-Hopkins shortly after the game-tying goal was missed by the officials somehow. It was exactly the type of play you see called 9 times outta 10. It might’ve cost Edmonton the game as Carolina scored shortly after.
- This one sucked. Edmonton played great for a 10 minute stretch in the third, but otherwise it was a total wash. They got lucky that Arizona lost in Calgary tonight but that doesn’t change the fact that other teams, including Calgary, are right behind them. They'll look to break the slump on Thursday as they head to Minnesota to take on the Wild.