The biggest news ahead of this game came from a few Oilers trades, including Cam Talbot for Philly’s Stolarz and Ryan Spooner for the Edmonton-drafted Sam Gagner from Vancouver. Stolarz will be in town to back up Mikko Koskinen and Sam Gagner draws into the lineup as well, after making the three hour drive from Providence earlier today. Jesse Pujuljarvi was the lucky recipient of Gagner’s entry into the lineup, serving as a healthy scratch. Let’s hope it’s just one night in the press box before he’s off to Bakersfield.
After a good first save on Eberle early, the Oilers take over for a few minutes and out-play/out-shoot the Isles. Connor doing everything he can to try and score for the Oilers, but no cigar.
The Rieder-Cave-Gagner line gets a fair amount of zone time with a decent chance at the end, which honestly comes as a bit of a surprise. I’m always a little surprised when it’s not McDavid’s or RNH’s line putting in the extended work in the attacking zone. Just as I wrote that, McDavid skated a circle around the entire New York team and almost scored. Woof.
Oilers are outshooting the Isles 13-3, but no finish to be found. Gagner also re-acquaints himself with an NHL penalty box, and he takes his first penalty as an Oiler this go around with his lazy tripping call on Lee. The Oilers penalty kill does it’s job, however, and they end the powerplay by earning a penalty against the Islanders… and the Oilers don’t generate a single shot.
Period ends in a tie. 0-0.
Early in the middle frame, Nurse takes a questionable holding call in the Oilers end. Pulock drills the perfect shot top corner from the top of the circle. 1-0 Islanders. With a hot goalie on the other end, I’m even pessimistic for the Oilers at this point.
Boychuk picks up an interference call on his pick play, and the Oilers are back to the PP. The backup powerplay unit of Cave-Gagner-Rattie is much more dangerous than the first unit, and gets the Oilers best chances of the game so far. Gagner with 2 SOGs.
McDavid gets held and tripped up on a big rush to the net - do you think there was a call? Don’t be silly, Connor doesn’t deserve calls in the NHL. The play goes back the other way, and Koskinen makes a huge save on a 2-on-1. Koskinen, who bodied Barzal earlier in the game, is having quite a few animated chats with the Islanders young gun after every whistle.
After some sloppy play in their own zone, which results in many turnovers, Filppula tips one up high on Koskinen. 2-0 Isles. Petrovic looks positively lost out there. He can’t play defense, he seems scared of having the puck on his stick... we traded for him WHY?
A wild little rodeo between Nurse and Lee while on the penalty kill, and Lee hacks Darnell is the mouth with a huge shot which leads to a full-fledged flight. Somehow, it’s all even? Oh wait, Nurse actually picks up an extra 10 min misconduct for informing the officials of their poor management of the situation. Jeez, every time I think NHL officiating can’t get any worse they pull something like this. Brutal. The linesman literally held Nurse in place so that Lee could throw a few more cheap shots, beyond the clear one with his stick already. Honestly, with Lucic on this team, I’d like to see him stand up for Nurse once Lee is back on the ice. Ridiculous.
With 2 seconds left, the Oilers make it a 2-1 game. Nuge tips Russell’s shot from the point, and Edmonton has a little life on his 18th of the year. Rieder picks up the other apple. Shots 23-17 Oilers.
Five minutes into the final frame, and Toews puts the Islanders up 3-1. The brief glimmer of hope has been snuffed out again. I’d really like a save on that one, but maybe that’s just being selfish.
A holding call to Komarov, who dangerously slew-foots Larsson, gives the Oilers an extra chance on the PP. McDavid and Draisatl create a little give-n-go magic, and its 3-2 Islanders. Leon’s 35th of the year brings the Oilers within a stone’s throw.
McDavid earns a penalty call... but did he score?? Doesn’t look like there’s anything conclusive. No goal. And the Oilers miss on the PP, now 1 for 5 with the extra man.
Anders Lee puts it away with 2 minutes left. His 19th makes it 4-2. The empty netter right after make it 5-2. That’s game.
Next up for the Oilers, the Coyotes on Tuesday.