Always love a good comeback!
The Edmonton Oilers secured their third consecutive win on Thursday night as they beat the Montreal Canadiens by a score of 4-2.
Edmonton found themselves in a 2-0 hole early in the second period but was able to mount an exciting comeback with goals from Riley Sheahan, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Alex Chiasson, and Josh Archibald. The win brings the Oilers one point within Vegas and Arizona for top spot in the Pacific division.
At times it seemed hopeless, but you can never count the boys out this season! Let’s take a look at how this all came to be:
Things started off fairly sloppy for the Edmonton Oilers in this one. A very frustrated and desperate Montreal team took control of the pace of play for the majority of the first 10 minutes, not letting Edmonton a shot on goal for the first 9 minutes of play. This pressure eventually resulted in a power-play for the Canadiens, but Edmonton was able to kill it off without much trouble. Shortly afterwards the Oilers got their turn with the man-advantage after Leon Draisaitl was able to bait Jeff Petry into a hooking call. This was a chance for Edmonton to pushback after a strong start by Les Habitants.
The power-play started off fairly rocky but got better as time went on. Connor McDavid had the best chance as he found the puck on his to the left of Carey Price, but he opted to force the pass across rather than a shot on goal and the play fizzled out. Edmonton would pay for that missed opportunity as Philip Danault would get Montreal on the board shortly after killing the penalty.
Poor rebound control was to blame on the goal as Danault’s first shot would off the pad of Mike Smith right back to Danault. He wouldn’t miss out on the second chance and roofed it past the Oilers net minder to give the Canadiens the 1-0 lead.
It was an overall sloppy period that saw some atrocious defensive zone plays. The only legitimate chance the Oilers would see in this period would be a pass by McDavid to Neal in front of the net that Neal deflected wide. When the best chance is a wide shot....that isn’t good.
The Oilers were behind 1-0 on the scoreboard and 14-6 on the shot clock after 20 minutes of play.
The beginning of the second period seemed to be a different story for the Edmonton Oilers as they came out with much more urgency than displayed in the 1st. The top line was able to pen up the Canadiens in the offensive zone to start the period and it looked as though Edmonton would take control. It was all for not, as a 3-on-2 odd man rush by the Canadiens would result in a slick goal off the stick of Jesper Kotkaniemi. 2-0 MTL.
From here it looked like a replay of the first period. Montreal gained momentum and the Oilers were having all sorts of trouble moving the puck up the ice. It wouldn’t be all bad for Edmonton as some good work along the boards by Joakim Nygard would lead the puck to Riley Sheahan in the slot, who let loose a quick shot over the shoulder of Carey Price to get Edmonton on the board. 2-1.
The rest of the period would be a back and forth affair with both teams trading chances. Nate Thompson would get a fabulous chance to extend Montreal’s lead late in the period as he deked out Mike Smith and had a wide open net.....only to hit the post. A huge break for the Oilers as they went into the third period down by only one.
The Oilers started the exactly like they started the 2nd period: motivated. However, rather than Montreal killing the momentum, the Oilers kept pouring on the pressure. Yamamoto would get a fantastic chance on the first shift of the frame but Price would deny him.
McDavid would then draw a hooking penalty soon after, giving Edmonton the chance to tie things up. They power-play wouldn’t falter this time as McDavid found Ryan Nugent-Hopkins in the slot who let loose his patented snapshot in the slot through the five-hole of Price. 2-2 with plenty of time left on the clock.
The goal took some life out of the slumping Canadiens as a blown 2 goal lead had to be weighing heavily on their minds. Edmonton would continue to push for the go-ahead goal and it would eventually materialize after Oscar Klefbom let loose a shot-pass to Alex Chiasson who was able to perfectly deflect it past Price. 3-2 Oilers and boy was I feeling good!
Montreal would get a power-play chance and pour on the pressure late in the period but it was all for naught. Josh Archibald was able to find the back of an empty net to seal a 4-2 victory for the Edmonton Oilers.
WE’VE GONE STREAKING!
- Mike Smith provided a good performance once again tonight. He made the saves he needed to make and that’s really all you can ask of your goaltender on any given night. I do have some big concerns about his rebound control....led to a goal and a few chances. Something he should focus on improving as the season goes on.
- Joakim Nygard had a fantastic game for the Oilers tonight. He was all over the ice and had a few very solid chances. He was rewarded with an assist on the Sheahan goal and it feels like he is due to explode.
- I’ll risk sounding like a broken record and praise Edmonton’s second line once again. They are clicking on all levels and I am loving every minute of it!
- Tippett was making some line changes late in the game in this one. Can’t quite remember the exact changes but I do believe that Kassian was demoted to the team’s third line for a bit. I’m curious to see how this plays out in the days to come.
- Special teams have been a major story for the Oilers all season and the same can be said for tonight. A timely PPG by Nugent-Hopkins tied things up in the third and a key penalty kill late in the game helped solidify the victory.
- Jujhar Khaira had a rough game tonight. A bad change lead to Montreal’s first goal of the night and he was fighting the puck all night long. Rumour has it that he is close to playing himself out of the NHL...and he didn’t make a strong case against that tonight.
- The Nate Thompson open net miss at the end of 2nd period was a enormous break for the Oilers and it really paved the way for the comeback. If that goes in Montreal has a 3-1 lead heading into the third.
- Goal differential is down to just -3....funny how much a good road trip can change things up in that department.
- A 4-2 Edmonton win + a Vancouver loss = Edmonton all alone in third place with 53pts! A Calgary loss to Minnesota will ensure that we are sole possession of that spot by nights end...Only 1 point separates the Oilers from first place in the division! LETS GO OILERS!