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Oilers Drop OT Decision in New Jersey

Mike Smith struggles as the Oilers are unable to close out tight game against Devils

The Edmonton Oilers dropped a thrilling 6-5 OT loss against the New Jersey Devils on Friday afternoon. Connor McDavid and Kailer Yamamoto each had a couple of goals while Devin Shore got one in the loss.

Jack Hughes led the Devils as he had two of his own, including the game-winner in overtime. The Devils had the lead four separate times before finally putting the game to rest in the extra period.

If you missed the New Year’s Eve battle, don’t panic, I got all the details right here...

First Period:

Things started off fast and furious for both clubs in this afternoon affair. The Devils and Oilers both had early chances but it was New Jersey that capitalized on a powerplay chance.

Jack Hughes blasted a one-timer from the right circle that beat Mike Smith clean. Edmonton gives up the first goal once again and it’s 1-0 Devils less than two minutes in.

Don’t hold your breath as Edmonton would come right back. Ryan McLeod sent a beautiful pass to Connor McDavid who had an open net to pot his 18th of the year. 1-1. Once again, that didn’t last long as Nico Hischer bounced a puck off of Smith’s skate on the next to regain the lead. 2-1 New Jersey and a total of three goals less than four minutes into the game.

The goals kept coming this time for the Oilers. Kailer Yamamoto deflected a point shot from Slater Koekkoek that soared through Mackenzie Blackwood’s five-hole. It was a shooting gallery out there and we had a 2-2 tie game.

If you thought the teams would put on the breaks, you’d be wrong. Dawson Mercer smacked home a bouncing puck that beat Smith on the short-side. 3-2 Devils.

An absolute defensive disaster for the Oilers as they are lucky to get out of the period down by just one.

Second Period:

The scoring-fest died down in the opening 10 minutes of the second period. Edmonton seemed to have a little more urgency in their game but were unable to get any quality chances on net.

That eventually changed as Duncan Keith sent McDavid on a breakaway where he would make no mistake. A few moves in tight and he’d roof it over Blackwood. The game was tied at 3-3.

A notably less notable period following a hectic first period. The Oilers clawed back to even things up but would have to find a way to get another if they wanted a chance at the victory.

Third Period:

New Jersey denied Edmonton of the lead for the fourth time early in the third. Janne Kuokkanen wired a long-range slapper that clanged off the crossbar and into the net. 4-3 Devils as Smith continued to let in less than ideal goals.

Yet, the Oilers responded AGAIN. McLeod made a very nice centring pass to Devin Shore who tipped it over the shoulder of Blackwood. 4-4 as the scoring parade makes its return. Edmonton finally got the lead that evaded them all game soon after.

Leon Draisaitl fed a wide-open Yamamoto for a wide-open net who made no mistake. Yamo has his second of the night and the Oilers a 5-4 lead. Or did they? The goal was scored on a delayed penalty and the Devils thought the play should have been called before the goal because they regained possession.

They would challenge for a ‘missed play stoppage’ and after a lengthy review, it was ruled that it wasn’t challenging. Good goal and the Oilers officially have their first lead.

A last-minute push with the net empty resulted in a point shot by Dougie Hamilton being tipped by Yegor Sharangovich and we had a 5-5 game that would go to OT. Oilers were close to the regulation win but are unable to get it done.

OT:

Leon Draisaitl nearly ended it on the first shift as he was denied on a breakaway chance by Blackwood. The Devils would get possession and Jesper Bratt would have a partial break of his own denied. Jack Hughes followed that up with a breakaway chance of his own that was again stopped by Smith. A thrilling start to the extra period.

Hughes would get redemption soon after as he squeaked a shot through the arms of Smith.

Devils take this one 6-5 in overtime.

Takeaways:

  • Connor McDavid was a man possessed this afternoon. He was absolutely flying the entire 60 minutes and was easily the best player on either team. It isn’t surprising, but the captain has been struggling these last few games. Nice to see him back to his usual amazing self.
  • Please please play Ryan McLeod with some skilled players! He made a fantastic pass to McDavid for Edmonton’s first goal and he was flying all night. Foegele is a good linemate but Shore is less than ideal. It was fun to see McDavid get double shifted with him.
  • Speaking of double-shifting...why was McDavid being double-shifted? The team had enough players available. Reeks of a desperation move by a coach scared for his job.
  • Darnell Nurse made one of the worst plays I’ve seen from an NHL player this year. Instead of actually playing defence he decided to abandon everything to go after Damon Severson for hitting Hyman. This allowed New Jersey to get a 3-on-1 and a chance on net that Smith had to stop. On top of that, Nurse got a penalty. I get sticking up for your teammates and all, but just take a number in that situation. Not a $9 million play at all.
  • Mike Smith had a few really good moments but the goals against were ugly. He came up big in the overtime period before eventually allowing the game-winner on a VERY SOFT one.
  • What the hell happened during that challenge? NHL doesn’t even know what their own rules are. Then we saw a faceoff violation call in the same period. Some deep cuts from the NHL rulebook being featured during the third period.
  • Super pumped to see Yamamoto get a few goals. The kid has been doing everything but scoring goals and it looks like that is finally starting to go his way.
  • Concerning that Shore was on a line with Draisaitl and Yamamoto in the final stretch. Hoping it isn’t due to an injury to RNH. That being said, Warren Foegele was the guy you promote, not Shore.
  • Oilers lose their second straight and their 7th straight with Dave Tippett behind the bench. Their record falls to 18-12-1 on the season as they remain just a point behind the Calgary Flames for third in the Pacific. They won’t have long to wait for redemption as they are back in action against the New York Islanders for an afternoon matinee at 2pm MTN.