The Oilers are at home tonight to take on the New York Rangers, with Ryan Strome making his return to his most recent stomping ground. A tribute video? Maybe not. Anyways, the Oilers find themselves seven points out of the final wildcard spot, current held by Minnesota, and Edmonton has a game in hand. If they’re going to somehow sneak, they’d better beat teams like the Rangers along the way.
Lucic is out, Koskinen starts against Georgiev for the Rangers.
Here we go.
The teams are slow to feel each other out, but McDavid and Draisatl team up for a great chance early on forcing Georgiev to be sharp. The Khaira-RNH-Gagner line looks to have a fair amount of chemistry as well.
OH NO. A narrow miss off the post from Nurse, and then Smith takes a cross-checking penalty against McDavid. The refs step in before Kassian can fill him in, and I didn’t like that. However, to lighten me up, McDavid SNIPES one by Georgiev on the powerplay. 1-0 Oilers. Draisatl extends his point streak to 14 games with his assist.
As Benning scores another shortly after, Kassian busts through the crease and roughs up Georgiev. BUT WAIT – Hitchcock challenges, saying it was the Rangers defenseman whose stick hit Georgiev in the head. And it is a goal!!!! 2-0 Oilers on Benning’s 3rd goal of the year. Great challenge by the Oilers head coach.
Kassian then makes a huge defensive play, breaking up a 3 on 1 that saw Russell lay down and the Rangers having a shot at the open net. His back check saved a sure goal and his strong start to the game continues.
And Klefbom goes down after taking a Smith shot to the… groin area. It didn’t look great. Fingers crossed he just needs to walk it off and we’ll see him in the second.
Relatively slow start to the middle period, which features the loss of Oscar Klefbom, and Koskinen has made a few nice saves. The biggest of which saw Mikko stone a low slot one-timer with a quick glove hand. Shots 12-9 Rangers at this point.
After Brendan Lemieux was giving McDavid some rough stuff, Khaira drops the gloves with him to let him know that it won’t be accepted. JJ lands a few right off the bat but Lemieux finishes him with a final punch and a tackle. Even tilt, but I like Khaira standing up for the captain.
The Oilers are faltering in the second, but Koskinen is holding down the fort for this sluggish Edmonton squad. The Oilers best chances both came from Colby Cave, who had two point-blank cracks at the puck – Georgiev was up to the task though.
Ah, and then Lemieux sneaks one under Koskinen’s outstretched pad. 2-1 Oil. Looked to be deflected along the way and it eluded the Oilers netminder.
Oilers turned it on a bit in the last 10 minutes, but nothing super noteworthy. RNH almost regained the two goal lead right at the buzzer, no dice though. Seems to be a chippy game out there. Oilers 61% on the dot tonight.
And bright and early into the final frame, Howden catches the Rieder snoozin’ on the puck and it ends up in the back of the net. 2-2.
Right after the goal, Brickley hits Benning in the head as he comes around the net. He only gets the minor, and Brodziak throws a few haymakers to try and even the score. Somehow though, Brickley isn’t tossed and it’s 5 on 5. I thought the NHL was cracking down on head shots? If McDavid got two games, I would also hope that Brickley got the same suspension.
Benning is gone to the room, and the Oilers are down to four D-men.
I write this in every recap, but Rieder cannot buy a goal this year. Unbelievably snake-bit. The game has gotten very rough, and the Oilers are battling hard to try and get the lead back.
Nurse draws a penalty after being sent in alone by RNH, and the Oilers are back to the powerplay. Midway through the PP, Hitch calls a timeout to settle the team down. It doesn’t seem to help, as the Oilers can’t even complete a pass. The Rangers are riling me up in this game though, so many hacks and whacks and crying after the whistle.
After being blatantly interfered with in the neutral zone, Sam Gagner takes a slashing penalty on Brendan Smith (the biggest crybaby on the Rangers), who bursts into tears after being tapped on the hands. It’s getting heated over here. Nothing doing for the Rangers on their PP.
Oilers putting the pressure on, with Chiasson, McDavid and others getting in on the fun. It’s turned into run and gun action however, and Koskinen is standing on his head the other end. Benning has returned to the Oilers bench, thankfully. Shots 27-26 Oil.
With less than three minutes left, Skjei trips up Rieder. Big PP here. RNH HITS THE BAR. And then Chiasson bobbles in front of the open net after he takes a two hander to the fingers. Can’t call em all I guess?
The Oilers are buzzing until the end of the period, but we’re off to OT.
And you guessed it, Leon from Connor!!!! Oilers win 3-2. Leon with his third point of the tonight closes the Rangers out.