Sign me up for more of that!
The Edmonton Oilers put on a show in Toronto as they beat the Leafs 6-4 on Monday night. The win bumps Edmonton ahead of Vancouver for sole possession of 3rd in the Pacific Division.
Connor McDavid led the Oilers with a goal and 3 assists while Yamamoto, Draisaitl, Klefbom, Chiasson, and Darnell Nurse got the other goals. Mike Smith was solid tonight as well, making 32 saves.
It was a barn-burner of the best variety and a game you certainly didn’t wanna miss out on! Don’t worry if you did miss because I got all the details on how Edmonton took this one home!
You could feel the excitement in the air as the puck dropped in this one. No matter who you are you have to get pumped up every time McDavid plays against the Leafs. The feel of the game matched the pace of play in the first period as both teams were moving their feet.
In the first five minutes it looked like Edmonton had the advantage as they strung together a few good shifts in the Toronto end early on. I also noticed that Edmonton’s defence was shooting the puck a lot more than usual, with good results.
A fantastic (extended) shift by Connor McDavid led the puck to Oscar Klefbom at the point. With traffic forming in front of Andersen, Klefbom let loose a wrister that whizzed past everyone and into the back of the net. Oilers lead 1-0 less than 10 minutes in.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins would nearly extend that lead 2 minutes later but slid it right across the open cage, missing the stick of Yamamoto. From there Toronto would string together a few good shifts of their own in search of the equalizing goal. The best of these chances was a shot in the slot by Auston Matthews that would hit Smith in the helmet.
The Oilers would get 2 power plays that would generate a few top notch chances, including a shot by Draisaitl hitting the post, but nothing else would beat Andersen. John Tavares would have an absolutely amazing chance in the final minute of the period but the pad of Mike Smith would deny the Leaf captain.
At the end of 20 minutes the Edmonton Oilers held a 1-0 lead. The Oilers also led the shot clock with 17 shots to Toronto’s 11.
The second period was.....busy for both teams to say the least.
The goals came fast and furious in this frame with the Oilers potting the first two in the first 2 minutes of the period. The first was the result of a fantastic cross ice feed from McDavid to Darnell Nurse who wristed it past Andersen to extend Edmonton’s lead to 2-0 less than a minute in. Caleb Jones then found a wide-open Yamamoto a minute later who one-timed it into a wide open net. Just like that it was 3-0 Oilers.
This would spell the end of the night for Andersen as he was pulled in favour of Michael Hutchinson. This seemed to give Toronto some motivation as Jason Spezza would get the Leafs on the board on the ensuing shift. Less than 5 minutes in we went from a 1-0 game to a 3-1 game.
The period would get even wilder as Toronto would enjoy a lengthy 5-on-3 after Yamamoto and Sheahan took penalties. Toronto would push but Edmonton’s penalty-killers would stand tall and deny the Leafs of a goal.
This kill would inject some more life into the Oilers as Alex Chiasson would get a feed from Joakim Nygard on the rush and unleash an absolute snipe over the shoulder of Hutchinson to restore Edmonton’s 3-goal lead. 4-1 Oilers.
You would think this would deject the Leafs, especially after failing to score on a lengthy 5-on-3, but you would be wrong. The Leafs would hang around all period long and would get goals from Frederick Gauthier and Pierre Engvall to cut the lead to 4-3. The Engvall goal came in the last minute of the period and would be the last of the action in the second...setting up a very interesting third period.
With the Leafs scoring in the final minute of the second period the Oilers were hard-pressed to stop a surging Leafs team from coming back in the third period. This is a team that has been on an absolute tear of late and it seemed as though they would be coming into the final period throwing everything they got at the Oilers.
It didn’t quite end up like that. The Oilers were able to get a few calls in their favour and Leon Draisaitl was able to snipe one past Hutchinson to give Edmonton a 2 goal cushion early on in the period. It wasn’t soon after that when Connor McDavid completely undressed Morgan Reilly and went upstairs on Hutchinson to once again restore Edmonton’s 3 goal lead.
Auston Matthews would get a power-play goal with about 6 minutes left to cut the lead to 6-4 but that was all she wrote for Toronto. The Oilers finally win 2 consecutive games (against Boston and Toronto of all teams) and are all alone in 3rd place in the Pacific division.
- Mike Smith was actually pretty good tonight...which surprised me. He was solid when he had to be and made a few critical saves in the first period that paved the way for Edmonton’s second period goal explosion.
- Connor McDavid showed up against his home-town team tonight. A highlight reel goal capped off an excellent 4pt performance from 97!
- Edmonton’s second line of RNH-Draisaitl-Yamamoto is legit. They played fantastic all night long and were a big reason why Edmonton won the way they did. Yamamoto was also able to pot his second of the year on a sweet feed from Jones...love to see it!
- Darnell Nurse is playing very well in 2020 so far. He scored in Boston on Saturday and had another one tonight...I still don’t think he is worth 5+ million dollars but he is going to make it hard for Edmonton if he keeps this up.
- Staying with defencemen, I noticed that there were a lot more shots from the point than usual in tonights matchup. It resulted in Edmonton’s first goal of the game and, overall, it is something I hope they keep up! I’d love it if the defensive group came into each game with a shot-first mentality.
- Tonights win marks the first time that the Oilers have won in Toronto since March 12th, 2010, where Edmonton took home a 5-0 win. It also broke Toronto’s 10 game point steak....a few interesting stats to take note of.
- How about that second period though! What an absolutely electric period of hockey! Chances for both sides and goals galore! Wish every period of hockey was as exciting as that!