The Edmonton Oilers (16-5-0) were in Seattle tonight to take on the Kraken (8-13-2) for the first time in their (essentially) brand new building. Last time out, these two teams battled to a 5-2 Oilers win in the midst of their blistering 9-1-0 start. This time, Seattle comes in having gone 4-1-1 in their last six games with big wins over the Capitals, Hurricanes, and Panthers along the way. Stuart Skinner (2-3-0, 0.928%) was back between the pipes for Edmonton after a brief run for Mikko Koskinen, while Philip Grubauer (6-9-2, 0.890%) went for Seattle.
The Kraken started this one very quickly, scoring within the first minute. Yanni Gourde capitalized on a 3-on-2 from distance with a shot Skinner would surely like back. 0-1. The early goal propelled the hosts as they carried the play for the next couple of shifts. Thankfully, their momentum was interrupted by an Adam Larsson penalty for interference.
Edmonton’s league’s best power play (ever) hopped over the wall and tied it almost immediately. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins found Leon Draisaitl through the seam in one of his many offices, and The Great Doctor made no mistake. As you might expect from a surgeon. 1-1.
From there, the tides seem to turn in Edmonton’s favor, but it was Seattle who struck next. Former Oiler Adam Larsson made Zack Kassian look like Zack Kassian before sniping it by Skinner. Anoter he’d probably like back. 1-2.
The rest of the period saw Edmonton continue to get the better of it at 5v5, and they drew another penalty near the end of the frame. This time, the GOAT PP couldn’t tie it, and in fact took a penalty to nullify it. The score remained 1-2 after 20 minutes, with the shot counts level at 14 apiece.
The brief 4v4 period came and went, and before long the Oilers were on the PK. Fortunately, they were able to escape another GA. Seattle was able to gain a bit of momentum following the PK and drew another penalty a few minutes later. Once again, Edmonton was able to kill it off.
Not long after the successful PKs, Edmonton found the equalizer. A nice shift for the new-look second line of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Leon Draisaitl, and Jesse Puljujarvi culminated with Evan Bouchard absolutely pounding one beyond Grubauer after being denied just seconds prior. 2-2. RNH recorded his 500th career point on the goal.
Unfortunately, Edmonton didn’t seem to gain any momentum from their goal and Seattle began to take control once again. This time, they made their pressure tell.
First, from Colin Blackwell. Zack Kassian turned it over just outside the blue line and Kris Russell and Tyson Barrie both took the option on trying to stop him. The seas parted and Skinner couldn’t bail them out, which was turning into a bit of a theme at this point. 2-3.
Seattle continued to press and found an insurance marker a few minutes. Alex Wennberg found space on the on the right dot. He strictly outplayed Russell, and fed one through him and then through Skinner. 2-4.
Edmonton managed to draw another penalty with less than two minutes remaining in the period, but again they couldn’t capitalize. The Oilers went into the second intermission down two. Shots were 10-5 Seattle in the second period, 24-18 overall.
Edmonton had a few seconds of PP time to start the third, but couldn’t make anything happen with them. Dave Tippett opted to shuffle the top lines around once more, reuniting JP with the two MVPs Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl.
The move seemed to pay off in terms of 5v5 control, as the Oilers enjoyed their most dominant spell of the game at EV to start P3. Unfortunately, they couldn’t find a foot back into the game on the back of that pressure. But they continued to press.
Kailer Yamamoto took an interference penalty in front of the Kraken net for popping Kole Lind from the blind side. Luckily, Edmonton’s PK was able to hold the fort — in part thanks to Skinner’s best work of the evening — and the Oilers paid the penalty killers back almost immediately.
Leon Draisaitl worked the puck back to Evan Bouchard. His shot was deftly deflected through the legs of a sliding Grubauer by Connor McDavid, and the Oilers were back within one. 3-4. LFG.
Edmonton continued to push — shots on goal were 13-6 Edmonton in the third at this point — and they were spending a ton of time in Seattle’s zone. They went close a couple of times, but Grubauer and the reeling Kraken did enough to keep their lead.
Seattle stabilized a little bit after figuring that sitting back and letting Edmonton pound on them wasn’t a recipe for success. Warren Foegele aided their cause thanks to some ill-advised contact going back up ice, some acting from Vince Dunn, and some suspect officiating. Once more, the stout Oilers PK were able to fend it off and stay alive.
Adam Larsson hammered Leon Draisaitl in the face with a cross check late, so Edmonton would finish the game with a PP. They went 6-on-4, and gave Seattle everything they had, but couldn’t find the late equalizer. 3-4 final.
I don’t understand whose fault it is that Edmonton starts games so sluggishly before turning into a goliath when they’re down a couple goals in the third. I’d like to.
CF - 52.69%
FF - 51.39%
xGF - 55.29%
GF - 33.33%
OVR - 16-6-0
Edmonton heads back home to prepare for the LA Kings on Sunday evening. Puck drop a shade after 6PM MST.