The Oilers led this one by a 2-1 margin coming into the third period. Like the game against Philadelphia and the one that followed against Montréal, it sure looked like there was at least a chance that the Oilers could make good and take two points against the Chicago Blackhawks.
Against the Flyers, Edmonton yielded four power play goals. The Oilers took the Flyers and the Canadiens to overtime before giving it up in the extra frame. Unfortunately for the Oilers, they had the worst third period I can think of in recent memory by allowing five goals en route to a 6-2 loss to the Blackhawks.
This game began like many before it. Erik Gustafsson scored for Chicago before two minutes had elapsed in regulation. A power play goal, it put the Blackhawks up by a 1-0 margin. No sweat, they’ve got Cam Ward in net. Cam Ward is prime real estate to allow some meatballs later in the game.
Leon Draisaitl would help the Oilers push back. Draisaitl scored two goals towards the end of the first period on the power play, including this one while the Oilers enjoyed a five-on-three power play.
Edmonton would take a 2-1 lead into the dressing room after the first period. The Oilers badly needed this points, as it was a perfect scenario for Edmonton to make up some ground. The Canucks lost to the Capitals, while the Minnesota Wild lost in OT against Buffalo. The Canadiens took care of the Ducks. It’s prime time to gain some ground in the Western Conference Wild Card race.
Both Edmonton and Chicago didn’t score in the second period. All the Oilers had to do was escape the third period without letting the wheels fall off, and they’d gain two valuable points in the standings. Unfortunately for the Oilers, the wheels could not have fallen off any harder in the third.
The Blackhawks scored five unanswered goals in the third period, which is kind of impressive. They scored four goals in under three minutes, including a goal from former Oiler Drake Caggiula.
You know Caggiula is pumped.
Look at Kris Russell diving at Jonathan Toews like it’s going to mean anything. Toews just keeps skating past the outstretched Russell once Russell has taken himself out of the play. An open Drake Caggiula fires it pasts Mikko Koksinen (Koskinen came in after Patrick Kane scored to make it 4-2 Blackhawks) The goal is Caggiula’s second since becoming a member of the Blackhawks in late December. You’ll recall the trade that sent Caggiula to Chicago along with Jason Garrison and Brandon Norell, right?
Five different Blackhawks scored in the third period, including a power play goal for good measure from Dominik Cahoon midway through the third to make it 6-2. Instead of gaining ground in the Pacific, the Oilers are tied with Arizona and Anaheim at 51 points. The Kings are three back of the Oilers.
- Oscar Klefbom played in his first game since injuring his finger in December. Klefbom played the third most minutes on the club with just under 21 minutes on the night (20:56). Those minutes are likely to go up in the near future.
- Not a great look for Cam Talbot, who got the hook after the fourth goal allowed. The Oilers have committed to Mikko Koskinen through the 2021-22 season with a three year contract and will be looking to move Talbot to a team that he will accept a trade to before the trade deadline. Talbot could benefit from a few wins.
- Scoring a goal against your old club has got to be a pretty good feeling for Drake Caggiula. It’s a shame that the Oilers can’t make any headway with the spare parts they acquired during Chiarelli’s last month of his reign of terror.
- Leon Draisaitl’s two goals put him at 30 and 31 on the year, so there’s some good news there. There’s a legitimate chance that Leon becomes a 40 goal scorer for the club this season, which is unfortunately getting buried under Edmonton’s overall struggles.
- Two more assists for Connor McDavid put him at 78 points on the season (along with Chicago’s Patrick Kane). They trail Tampa Bay’s Nikita Kucherov by three points (81).
- The Oilers will meet the Minnesota Wild on the road tomorrow, they’ll look to snap their six game winless streak (0-4-2) along the way.
- There are nineteen days until the NHL trade deadline. Any veteran drafted before 2016 that isn’t 97, 93, 29 or 77 should be on the table. Who’s buying?