The Oilers started out hungry in the first period. Pucks were on net early and often, the Oilers would end up finishing the period with seventeen total shots to Philadelphia’s meagre total of five. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins would be flagged for a goalie interference penalty early on, sending Philadelphia to the power play. Edmonton’s power play has struggled a little bit (they’re 25th in the league at 77.3%), and difficulties were soon to arrive.
The early goal agaist, nothing feels quite like it. The Flyers took a 1-0 lead early, but the Oilers would exhibit some pushback before the period was up. Ty Rattie would be the benefactor of a 2 on 0 scenario with Connor McDavid. Carter Hart’s eyes must have lit up like a Christmas tree when he saw all of that coming at him at once.
Hart got a piece of it, but not enough to keep Ty Rattie from scoring his third of the year. Lucic gets a helper here too for his eighth assist.
Things are good at this point. It’s 1-1, and Connor McDavid scores his 30th goal late in teh first period to make it 2-1. McDavid is being attacked by three Flyers on his way to the net. Oh, that’s just Connor McDavid keeping this team afloat again.
The Oilers end the first period up 2-1. Save for a goal scored while Philly had the power play, things looked OK. Seventeen shots for the Oilers. Just five for the Flyers. The puck was in the Flyers’ zone for 80% of the period. Good times.
It got even better. Adam Larsson scored a goal midway through the second period. The Oilers kept taking it to the Flyers (this is Edmonton’s 28th shot midway through the game). Things are again, good.
The Oilers are up 3-1 midway through the game. They’re taking it to Philly, they’re holding onto the puck, just keep the vehicle down the middle and things will be fine.
AND THEN WHAT HAPPENED
The Oilers did something that I can’t remember happening in recent memory, and that’s allow three more power play goals to the Flyers. That makes four goals on the day while Philadelphia was on the man advantage. You’ve been around long enough to know that’s bad news.
Claude Giroux scores late in the second period on the power play to cut the lead to 3-2. The second period would end with the Oilers still up. Zack Kassian made it 4-2 (!) early in the third with a shorthanded goa, but the power play goals would continue to haunt the Oilers. They’d yield one to Travis Konecny just thirty seconds after Kassian’s goal, and then one more to Wayne Simmonds midway through the third.
Regulation time would end with the Oilers and Flyers tied at 4 all. This is a game that the Oilers could really use two points in, and a McDavid-led club 3-on-3 usually spells good things for the Oilers, right?
James van Riemsdyk just swivels around Ty Rattie and is able to get the puck to Nolan Patrick. After a near-miss at the end of regulation, Patrick doesn’t miss twice. The Flyers are victorious, and the Oilers are sent to Montréal with a single point.
It’s mind-numbing to see the Oilers have such a dominant first half of the game, only to get pushed to overtime and leave with a single point instead of two. The Oilers need every point they can get their hands on over the next 31 games, and this is an opportunity squandered.
- Philadelphia was a near-perfect 4/5 on the power play. That’s a glaring number.
- Ty Rattie has a goal. Adam Larsson scores a goal. Zack Kassian scores a shorthanded goal. When these three things happen, you’ve got to pick up the two points. ‘Cause they ain’t happenin’ again any time soon.
- The Oilers badly miss Oscar Klefbom, they badly missed him today and they’re badly going to miss him tomorrow in Montréal. There’s a chance they will no longer badly miss him when the Oilers take on Chicago on Tuesday, but that remains to be seen.
- Milan Lucic picked up an assist on Ty Rattie’s goal, but it’s clear that the ship has sailed on him being a top six player. Unfortunately for the Oilers, they’re sorta out of viable options right now.
- Philadelphia is still seven points out of a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, but this afternoon’s win is their seventh in a row. Their confidence has to be through the room right now, but it’s also a testament to how far back they were in the standings seven games ago.
- The Oilers are almost certainly going to trade Cam Talbot before the February 25th deadline. A couple of wins won’t hurt his stock any.
- The Oilers have no time to rest, as they’re off to Montréal for another matinee game tomorrow. Mikko Koskinen will be in net for the Oilers, as they’ll try to pick up two more desperately needed points in the standings.