The Edmonton Oilers are back to take on the New York Islanders at home this time, and they’ll Connor McDavid back in the lineup after he missed Tuesday’s game against the Coyotes with a sickness. Must be tough to stay healthy when you’re carrying around 12-15 players of dead weight on your back on a nightly basis. Playing the Isles is also another reminder that the Oilers could have had Mat Barzal in the draft once upon a time.
Anyways, good luck to our boys, but I’m just banking on the highest possible draft pick now. Let’s see a good effort and try to split the season series.
Here we go.
RNH-Drai-Chiasson start this game together, and McDavid kicks things off with Kassian and Rattie. Kassian creates some chaos in the Isles zone early, and Boychuk is off for delay of game. A few great chances for top unit, who snap the puck around well and clock four shots, but they can’t put one behind Lehner who makes a couple of good saves.
The Oilers keep up the pressure, however, and RNH draws another call against the Isles. Pulock takes down Nuge and the Oilers look to continue their powerplay momentum. And after a beautiful pass across the seam from RNH, McDavid finds Draisatl in the slot for the deflection. 1-0 Oilers after Leon’s 36th of the year.
Cave, Rieder and Gagner then combine for a beautiful goal! Gagner’s first goal as an Oiler since 2014 is the result of a great pass from Tobi Rieder, who probably chose not to shoot for good reason, and some tenacity on the puck from Colby Cave. The Oilers are buzzing and it’s 2-0!
Ah, and the shutout is broken. Islanders resident bad guy (I didn’t like his treatment of Nurse) Anders Lee bats in the second rebound past Koskinen. 2-1.
The Oilers are in full scramble mode, with battles all over the ice, and McDavid drops Leddy with a shoulder to the head and the captain is in the box for two minutes. Leddy tried to stay on for the powerplay, and Trotz takes him off to get checked in the quiet room. If someone hit McDavid like that, chances are they’d still manage to give the Oilers a penalty.
Oh, and Nurse and Lee renew their fun relationship and are both sent off. And then Russell takes a phantom penalty in the same sequence as well. Huh? 5 on 3 for 1:12.
Nelson scores, 2-2. Koskinen was across in time, would have LOVED a save there. Guess not. And another PPG for Isles, with 10 seconds left, makes it 3-2 Islanders. Two goals in 28 seconds and the tables have turned. Draisatl wants blood. Shots 15-13 Oilers.
Only notable moments from the first few minutes includes Lucic being scared of holding onto the puck, Chiasson hitting the post and Larsson misses an open net. Then the Isles take another penalty and the Oilers are back to the PP. One shot and a lot of passing, but nothing dangerous.
Lucic then SPLITS (I know, crazy) the Isles D-men and gets a great chance on net. Of course, no goals but it was interesting nonetheless.
Overall, uneventful period that would have left me rather uninterested if it hadn’t been for McDavid dancing and dangling the entire Islanders. God knows he doesn’t earn penalties, though. He’s too good. Doesn’t deserve the extra advantage. It appears that the officials have put away their whistles for the night.
Shots 22-17 Oilers.
The Oilers are certainly coming after the Islanders early, with 9 shots in the first three minutes, including a great attempt by Russell and a dangling effort by Draisatl that comes oh so close.
Gagner is now playing with McDavid and Kassian, and I kinda like it. Also Clutterbuck tried to catch Lucic coming up the wing, big ol’ Milan laid him out. Didn’t upset me to see Cal get clocked like that.
The Oilers continue to buzz, as Chiasson draws a slashing penalty on Bailey. Edmonton LOVES to shoot at nothing on the powerplay. No goals, no nothing. Blah.
The Islanders’ first shot of the third period required an absolute doozy of save from Koskinen, as Lee and Eberle make minced meat of our D group and come in for a very dangerous chance on net.
I’ve seen some online speculation about this idea, but what if Nurse became a winger for the Oilers instead of a defenseman? He’s physically suited for the role, and has the offensive ability... I think he could be a very effective middle 6 forward. But, alas, I’m not in charge. Just a thought.
McDavid literally has to BATTLE out of the Islanders zone just to get on-side. Good lord. CALL A PENALTY, PLEASE. So frustrating. I think I get more and more worked up with each game I watch.
Anyways, OILERS SCORE. Klefbom snipes home a Lucic rebound with just under 3 minutes left. 3-3 game. Oilers outshooting the Isles 40-21.
Matt Martin buries Currie up high in the corner, but like I said before, penalties don’t exist anymore in this game. McDavid can’t even move in the Isles zone cause Mayfield has both of his ugly mitts on him.
Side note, will Russell ever complete a pass out of the zone ever again? Anyways, off to OT.
After not touching the puck at all for over a minute.... the Oilers SCORE! McDavid, from Draisatl, back of the net. Oilers win, 4-3, and snap a 6-game losing streak at home. McDavid and Draisatl each put up a goal and an assist, and the Oilers put away a game they deserved to win.
See you next time on Saturday, when the Oilers host the Anaheim Ducks.