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Oilers Blank Canadiens

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Mike Smith shines in his first shutout of the season as the Oilers win their third straight road game

NHL: FEB 08 OILERS AT SENATORS Photo by Steven Kingsman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Edmonton Oilers shut out the Montréal Canadiens by a score of 3-0 on Thursday night. Mike Smith looked solid as he recorded his first shutout of the year while Jujhar Khaira’s first period marker stood up as the game-winner.

The win moves Edmonton to 9-7-0 on the season and pulls them into a tie with the Montréal Canadiens for second in the North division.

It wasn’t the most exciting of games to watch but it was a pitch perfect road game for the Oilers! I got all the things you need to know right here...

First Period:

Things had the potential to go awry quickly for the Oilers in this one. After a pretty solid first shift by the McDavid line, Jonathan Drouin was able to find Nick Suzuki on a breakaway pass. The Montréal star had time to pick his spot but was stonewalled by Mike Smith with a huge bail-out for his team early on.

The Canadiens would pick up the pace as the period went on, having a few extended shifts in the Edmonton end, but the Oiler defence did a good job at limiting scoring chances. The solid defence would eventually turn into some offence, as a quick transition play by Tyler Ennis led to Josh Archibald finding Jujhar Khaira on a 2-on-1. Khaira lasered his second of the season past Jake Allen to give Edmonton the first goal of the game. 1-0 Edmonton.

Tyson Barrie would nearly get some insurance on a wide-open shot from the slot, but the post would deny him.

A solid road period had the Oilers up 1-0 after 20 minutes.

Second Period:

The second period picked up where the Oilers left off, albeit with the help of some puck luck.

Darnell Nurse picked up his sixth goal of the season less than two minutes into the period after his shot was shot in by Shea Weber as he tried to clear the rebound. It wasn’t a pretty goal but it was goal nonetheless. The Oilers had some insurance with a 2-0 lead.

Edmonton would get on their heels at times during this period but it wasn’t too often. The team did a good job at limiting shots on Smith and spent the majority of the period in the Canadiens’ end.

William Lagesson would hit the team’s second post of the game with a point shot. Inches away from giving Edmonton the 3-0 lead.

Smith stood his ground and the Oilers held Montréal off the scoreboard through two periods.

Third Period:

The final frame needed to be a shutdown period for the Oilers and that they did. Before they got that, however, they needed to add to their lead.

Barrie would handle that as he blasted a powerplay point shot over the shoulder of Allen to give Edmonton a commanding 3-0 lead early in the period. It was truly a cannon by the PP QB.

From then on it would be the defensive show as the Oilers completely shut down the Canadiens. Like the previous periods, they only allowed Montréal shots from the perimeter and made sure that Smith saw each and every shot on net.

The team would kill off a late penalty and run out the clock to give Mike Smith his first shutout of the season and Edmonton’s ninth win of the year!

The final score would read 3-0 Edmonton!

Takeaways:

  • Wonderful things happen when you play a full 60 minutes. The Oilers played a very complete game tonight and, while they weren’t perfect all night, it was enough to give them their third straight win. Their defensive play was solid and it allowed Mike Smith to see nearly everything.
  • Speaking of Smith, did anyone expect him to be this good this quick? The 38-year-old goaltender had a lot of question marks swirling around him when Ken Holland resigned him last offseason. So far, the early returns are looking extremely positive. He was great tonight as he recorded his second win in as many games.
  • The story of the game was secondary scoring by the Oilers once again. After winning in Ottawa in a game that didn’t see points from either McDavid or Draisaitl, they win in Montreal with only one point each from the duo. Those points came on assists on Barrie’s goal.
  • I honestly don’t have much else to say about this game other than the fact it was a solid all-around by effort by the Oilers. They kept the Canadiens to the perimeter and were bailed out by Smith when things got dicey. Fantastic closer to a solid 3-1-0 road trip.
  • The Oilers win their third in a row and improve to 9-7-0 on the season! The win moves them into a tie with the Canadiens for second in the North Division with 18 points apiece! Next up is a date with the Winnipeg Jets next Monday!