This one wasn’t for the faint of heart.
The Blues were playing their second game in as many nights, fresh off a 3-2 win in Carolina on Saturday. The Oilers were looking to get Friday’s disappointing loss to Buffalo out of their minds. The result? Wild hockey.
The Oilers avoided going down 1-0 midway through the third when a goal was called back on an offside challenge. Jordan Kyrou would make the next one count for real on the power play. With less than six minutes remaining in the first, the Blues’ leading scorer helped the league’s second best power play convert. The Blues would have five opportunities on the power play, this goal would be the only one they’d convert.
The ice was firmly tilted towards the Oilers’ goal at this point, but it didn’t stop Connor McDavid from scoring his 600th point with seconds left in the first.
Connor McDavid becomes the sixth-fastest player in NHL history to score 600 points. That’s a beauty setup by Zach Hyman, who has been worth every penny so far during his short tenure an Edmonton Oiler.
The Oilers and Blues were at 1-all after the first period, which seemed like a small victory based on how the events unfurled on the ice.
The Oilers would get a power play chance early in the second period when Blues forward Robert Thomas would pick up a hooking penalty. It would take about 20 seconds for Leon Draisaitl to make it happen. You already know where he scored from.
The league’s best power play strikes one more time. Leon Draisaitl would end his night with three points (1-2-3), the goal is his 15th of the year. Including this one, the Oilers have played just 14 games.
Robert Bortuzzo would bring the Blues back to 2-all with a goal midway through the second. Confusion around the net become all too clear for the Oilers defence when Tyler Bozak was able to dig the puck out of a crowd and get it back to an open Bortuzzo.
Late in the second, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored his first goal of the season to go with his 17 assists. Leon Draisaitl fed an open Nugent-Hopkins, who put it through Jordan Binnington’s five hole. Binnington got a piece of it, but it wasn’t enough. The Oilers had the lead once again. Surely, they wouldn’t give this one up.
An insurance maker would go far in helping lock this one down. In comes Ryan McLeod, who scored his first career NHL goal exactly eight seconds after Nugent-Hopkins picked up his.
Credit Warren Foegele for going out there and getting this one started. The Oilers lose the draw and Foegele puts pressure on St. Louis’ Colton Parayko, who can’t get it out of the Blues’ end. Kyle Turris puts it on Foegele’s stick. Foegele tries to stuff it in the goal, but loses possession and the puck glides in front of the net to Ryan McLeod who buries it to make it 4-2. Foegele will probably tell you this is how he had it drawn up, but they all count.
Score is 4-2 after 2. The Oilers are going to play low-event hockey in the third period and tuck this one in the garage, right? Well...
Ivan Barbeshev made it 4-3 Blues early in the third on a cross-crease pass from Robert Thomas. Three minutes later it was Vladimir Tarasenko who stuffed one behind Koskinen when Evan Bouchard couldn’t tie him up. The Blues had come back to make it 4-4, and there were thirteen minutes remaining in the period.
Send in the DRY line.
With just over 30 seconds left to play, Leon Draisaitl streaks into the St. Louis zone and puts the brakes on, making room between himself and Blues defenceman Calle Rosen. Draisaitl hits Kailer Yamamoto on a one timer who rockets it past Jordan Binnington for Yamamto’s third goal of the season. It’s the game winner, the Oilers will ride this one out of St. Louis with a 5-4 victory and two points.
A wild game, two points for the good guys.
- The usual suspects did the usual suspect stuff. It seems like I’m not being serious when I say that, but you expect the big guns to carry the wagon. They did today. Leon Draisiatl having a power play goal and two assists (including the primary helper on the game winner) is what you need to see from this year’s Oilers club to secure a win.
- There’s a lot to be said about this club’s defence, but it comes down to one point: Don’t worry about the defence if the Oilers score five goals or more. You’ll drive yourself crazy.
- McDavid picking up his 600th point on a beauty feed from Hyman was exactly what the Oilers needed to knock the wind out of the Blues’ sails after a first period that was controlled largely by St. Louis. McDavid had the primary helper on Draisaitl’s power play marker, it’s just another night for the best player in the world.
- Hats off to Ryan McLeod for picking up his first career NHL goal. The puck probably was going in slow motion for Warren Foegele when he tried to stuff it past Binnington, but Foegele picks up an assist while McLeod gets his first. Just like they had it drawn up.
- Big boost for Kailer Yamamoto on the game winner. He doesn’t have the gaudy goal totals that Leon Draisaitl has this year, but his third goal is his biggest goal so far in 2021-22. Always a pro move to score the game winner with 27 seconds remaining in the third period.
- Anyone want to fault Mikko Koskinen on any of the four goals? You’re going to hear a lot of talk about how the Oilers are going to need another goalie between now and the end of the regular season. You’re always looking for an upgrade in any position (especially with how Mike Smith’s situation is currently playing out), but you can bet that any upgrade in net is going to come at a cost. The Oilers have both their second and third round picks tied down to a conditional part of the Duncan Keith trade so don’t be shocked if 2022’s first rounder is the asking price for an upgrade. The Oilers don’t have a bunch of cap space to work with either.
- Oilers finish their five game roadie with a stop in Winnipeg on Tuesday. They can come home winners of three in five if all goes well.