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Oilers Fall Short In 5-3 Loss To Wild

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Nugent-Hopkins had 2 goals but Jared Spurgeon gets 3 as Oilers fail to recapture first in the Pacific

What happened?

The Edmonton Oilers dropped a 5-3 decision to the Minnesota Wild on Friday night. Nugent-Hopkins notched two of the Oiler goals while Leon Draisaitl scored a weird one. It was Jared Spurgeon, however, who would be the hero as he netted a natural hat trick to help stifle Edmonton’s quest to the top of the Pacific Division.

It was a disappointing result after a valiant effort against the Boston Bruins on Wednesday but that is the way it goes sometimes. I got the details right here.

1st Period:

The Oilers wasted no time at all getting on the board in this one. Less than a minute in Kailer Yamamoto battled through multiple hits along the right-side boards and was able to find Ryan Nugent-Hopkins all alone in the slot, who let loose a shot that beat Stalock on the blocker side. 1-0 Oilers.

The Wild would come back shortly after with some pressure of their own. After a nice cycle in the zone Kevin Fiala was able to pick up a rebound off a point-shot and deke around Mikko Koskinen to knot things up with about 12 minutes left in the period.

The tie game wouldn’t last, however, as Yamamoto connected with Nugent-Hopkins once again about 5 minutes later. 2-1 Oilers.

Koskinen would make a few key saves to preserve the lead and, other than a bit of a battle between Caleb Jones and Jordan Greenway, the period would end without any further action. The Oilers held a 2-1 lead on the scoreboard but trailed 17-10 on the shot clock.

2nd Period:

The Oilers came out with a jump in their step for this period. Nugent-Hopkins had a couple of very good chances at the hat trick early on but couldn’t find a way to beat Stalock. That would cost the Oilers as the the Wild would come back and Carson Soucy would fire a one-timer past Koskinen to restore the tie. 2-2 with 14 on the clock.

Once again the tie wouldn’t last long. Leon Draisaitl would try put the puck into the slot but would instead hit Jordan Greenway’s heel which would deflect the puck into the Minnesota net. It was a strange one but it gave Edmonton their third lead of the game 3-2.

Minnesota would, however, respond once again as some prolonged time in Edmonton’s end resulted in Jared Spurgeon letting loose a slapshot from the top of the circle that beat Koskinen clean. 3-3.

The period would end deadlocked at three goals apiece but not before Koskinen was forced to stop Zach Parise on a breakaway with less than five seconds to go. We headed to the final frame at 3-3.

3rd Period:

Things fell apart for the Oilers in this one. It started off with a penalty going to Larsson, which the was killed off. Jared Spurgeon then got the Wild ahead after a backhand shot deflected off of Larsson’s stick and past Koskinen. 4-3 Minnesota.

The Oilers would get a chance to tie things up late in the period with a power-play but was unable to generate any solid scoring chances. Spurgeon would come out the box and complete the natural hat trick after scoring on the open net. 5-3 Wild and that is how we would end it. A disappointing loss for the Oilers.

Takeaways:

  • Koskinen wasn’t at his best tonight. He battled hard but had a few goals that weren’t too pretty. Opens up the door for Mike Smith to take over the starter role as we head into the stretch.
  • Kailer Yamamoto looked like a man possessed in the first period tonight. He was all over the ice and picked up two assists in the process. He’s a gamer alright.
  • Speaking of great offensive players tonight, I gotta acknowledge how well the Nuge has looked recently. He was the beneficiary of both of Yamamoto’s assists and came very close to recording a hat trick on multiple occasions.
  • The defensive group struggled tonight and was a big reason why the Oilers lost this one. A little too loose led to the Wild having way too much time to get shots on net. Spurgeon’s first goal of the net is a prime example of this.
  • Josh Archibald and Sam Gagner both left the game momentarily in this one after getting dinged up. They both returned to the ice thankfully.
  • Reffing....was not great tonight. I’ll leave it at that.
  • It was one of those days for the Edmonton Oilers. Their record drops to 32-22-7 and remain all alone in 2nd place in the Pacific Division with 71pts. Vegas is ahead with 72pts while Vancouver is in third with 70pts. Tough sledding in this division. Edmonton did get some help from Boston as they defeated Calgary in regulation.
  • The Oilers will try to get back in the win column this Sunday as they head to California to take on the Los Angelas Kings! Let’s Go Oilers!