After a few days of rest, the Edmonton Oilers are back in action tonight against the Winnipeg Jets. The Oil comes in on a three game win streak, while the Jets lost their last game and are hoping to get back on track.
Lines for tonight:
Biggest change to the lineup is Puljuljarvi drawing back in on the top line after his short stint in the COVID-19 protocol, in place of the recently waived James Neal (who I daresay, may not be the real deal anymore). Ethan Bear and Gaetan Haas remain unfit to play. I also do not think that Koekkoek and Lagesson are both better than Caleb Jones, but Dave Tippett does not seem to agree.
To start, you’ll see Smith (2-0-0, 0.50 GAA, .985 Sv%) and Hellebuyck (6-4-1, 2.36 GAA, .921 Sv%) between the pipes for the Oilers and Jets, respectively.
Here we go.
Slow start to the game, but Kahun takes an interference call on a questionable pick play in the Winnipeg zone. Scheifele snipes one in the top corner after a beautiful cross-ice pass from Wheeler. 1-0 Jets.
And some more excitement, as Darnell Nurse takes on Adam Lowry in a scrap in front of the Winnipeg bench. Nurse takes the worst shots of the fight, and then appears to be shaken up in the penalty, nursing (ha) a few sore digits. Hopefully not another fight injury, similar to Kassian’s hand-related absence.
darnell nurse's right hand seems to be bothered after his fight. something to keep an eye on. pic.twitter.com/ooOPTox8vH— zach laing (@zjlaing) February 16, 2021
The Oilers seem to gain some energy from the fight however, as the Oilers top two lines put together a few shifts and chances in the Jets’ zone. And then the fourth line comes out there and Alex Chiasson notches his first of the season, keeping and shooting on a 2 on 1 with Kyle Turris after a perfect pass from Devin Shore.
The tie is short lived, as terrible defensive play in the Oilers own zone has Kyle Connor potting home his first goal in a few games. 2-1 Winnipeg.
Following a failed 2 on 1 with McDavid and RNH, the Jets rush back down the ice for their own great chance. While no goals scored, Barrie takes a hooking call. No damage done, and the Oilers go into the first intermission down 2-1. Shots 14-8 Oilers.
The Oilers kill off the penalty remaining from the first period, but Mason Appleton walks in untouched and beats an unprepared Mike Smith. 3-1 Jets. Shortly after this goal, Ehlers scores off the Oilers turnover (which was the result of an uncalled trip) and it’s 4-1 with Smith to the bench and Koskinen coming in.
The Oilers are not in this predicament because of a poor offensive effort, however. Hellebuyck has shut the door on the Oilers onslaught of shots, which now results in a PP for the Oilers coming up. McDavid looks to be a little worse for wear after taking a heavy slash. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins pots home his sixth of the year to cut the deficit to 4-2.
Note: William Lagesson left the game after the first period.
Pionk tries to hit McDavid and levels himself. Serves Neil right, amiright? Pionk tried to knee McDavid, so I’m definitely glad the Winnipeg Jet defenceman took the worst of the hit.
Darnell Nurse fires a wrister towards the Winnipeg net and Kailer Yamamoto places the perfect tip behind the Jets netminder. 4-3 Jets.
Jets back up by two as Perrault tips one in the high slot. Koskinen gets a piece but not enough (have we heard that before?). 5-3 Jets. Immediately after the goal, the refs miss another call on the Oilers, but do get Scheifele for tripping.
A few glorious chances but no PPG, but Chiasson roofs his second of the net after a wonderful pass from Ennis. 5-4 Jets. Wow.
Shots are 36-17 for the Oilers going into the second break. Major difference is goaltending, again. Bouchard has two assists and seven shot attempts with the increase in minutes.
Early in the third, the top line comes through! Nuge puts an absolute rocket into the top shelf of the net after Pujuljarvi launched a pass across the seam. 5-5 game, which the Oilers trailed 4-1 at one point. With that assist, McDavid is one point away from 500.
And just as we feel good about this tie game, Wheeler tips the point shot past Koskinen. Costly mistake on the boards by Kahun and Bouchard forgot to take the Jets’ captain’s stick in front. 6-5 Jets. Six goals on 18 shots.
Since allowing the sixth goal, Koskinen has shut the door for the time being. Oilers have had a few good opportunities but stoned on the other end as well. Draisaitl not looking as dominant as normal right now.
The Oilers press for the remaining few minutes but are unable to find another tying goal. 6-5 final with the rematch coming on Wednesday.
My notes for Ken & Dave:
- My patience is running thin with our goaltending situation. Overpay for Gibson, please Holland. Does two 1st round picks and Koskinen not get it done? Maybe throw in Broberg too? To be out-dueled in net consistently this year is beyond frustrating.
- Jones and Bear need to be in the lineup for the rematch on Wednesday.
- Ennis deserved his promotion tonight, but I’d still like him on the third line. That line has stirred the drink for the Oilers a couple games in a row. Flip RNH and Kahun and see if DK sees a resurgence.