It was the Connor McDavid show on Hockey Night in Canada!
The Edmonton Oilers routed the Calgary Flames by a score of 7-1 on Saturday night. Oilers captain, Connor McDavid lead the way with three goals and five points on the night. Mikko Koskinen turned aside 43 of 44 shots sent his way en route to Edmonton’s third straight win.
The win gives the Oilers a 12-8-0 record on the season which is good enough for 24 points and second in the North Division. The win will give Edmonton some breathing room from the third-place Jets who currently have 21 points.
It was a helluva game if you were an Oilers fan, an awful one if you were a Flames fan. I got the complete recap of tonight’s goal-fest right here...
If yesterday’s game was docile, tonight’s was anything but.
The animosity of the Battle of Alberta was evident at the drop of the puck. Matthew Tkachuk, who was on a five-game pointless streak coming into this one, tried to set the tone after a few nasty slashes on Kailer Yamamoto off the opening draw.
The first big hit of the game was courtesy of Sam Bennett as he blindsided Slater Koekkoek less than two minutes in. The hit would knock Koekkoek out of the game but also sent Edmonton to the game’s first power-play, where McDavid would gift Alex Chiasson a picture-perfect tap-in. Oilers lose a defender but gain the first lead of the game.
McDavid wouldn’t stop there. Two minutes later the captain sent a beautiful cross-crease pass that evaded three Calgary defenders to a wide-open Nugent-Hopkins. The Nuge wouldn’t miss and he roofed it to extend the lead to 2-0.
It looked like a great start for the home team but things would get a little bit hairy soon after. The Flames would go their first power-play where Mangiapane clipped it over Koskinen. Edmonton would challenge the goal for goalie interference as Tkachuk was draped over Koskinen, but the NHL would blame Darnell Nurse for pushing him into the net. Good goal, we had a 2-1 game at the midway point.
Calgary would put the pressure on for the next several minutes as they pushed for the equalizer. Some shoddy defence by the Oilers would cause a few close calls but Koskinen stood tall.
Edmonton would then get their second PP chance of the period late where a Barrie point shot was tipped by McDavid en route to the back of the net. The Oilers restore their two-goal lead and McDavid picks up his third point of the period.
An eventful opening frame ended with Edmonton up 3-1.
Three points weren’t quite enough for the captain.
After stripping Hanifin of the puck at center ice, McDavid went barrelling down on a two-on-one. Without even looking at the net he fooled everyone into a pass and sent a laser between the legs of Markstrom less than two minutes into the period. McDavid had his fourth point and the Oilers had the 4-1 lead early in the second.
The goal-fest wouldn’t stop there as Connor would complete the hattrick seven minutes later after taking the puck from behind the net to the front where he beat Markstrom on the far-side. An insane five-point performance for McDavid and the game wasn’t even halfway over. 5-1 Oilers. That was it for Markstrom as David Rittich came on in relief.
The change in goal did little to remedy the Flames of their problems as Nugent-Hopkins would add to his goal total on the night as he sent a wicked wrister from the right circle that beat Rittich. 6-1 for the Oil.
It was all Oilers, all the time as they took a demanding 6-1 lead into the final frame.
Josh Archibald would add to the lead with a goal in the first minute of the third to make it 7-1 for the Oilers, but that was about it.
The Oilers shut things down and played the game out and held the Flames off the board. They complete the back-to-back sweep of the Flames!
Oilers win 7-1!
- Connor McDavid is the best player in the world. I know a lot has been said about Auston Matthews recently but, in my eyes, it’s not even close. Not a lot of players can put the team on their back and score five points against their arch-rival in a critical game. Don’t get me wrong, Matthews is a phenomenal player and will be one of the league’s best for years to come....but he still isn’t close to being at Connor’s level.
- Despite the shellacking on the scoreboard, the Oilers didn’t have a wonderful time in their own end tonight. Mikko Koskinen put on a clinic in goal tonight and outduelled Jacob Markstrom at the other end. He turned away () of () shots and the one goal he allowed was due to Tkachuk pushing him into the net. It’s as close to a shutout performance you can get without actually getting one.
- I don’t wanna rain on everybody’s parade but the Oilers still have some work to do in their own end. There were multiple times in their own end where they struggled to clear their own end. Draisaitl in particular was fighting it all night long. He’s had a pretty good defensive year thus far but tonight wasn’t great for 29.
- Special teams were absolutely deadly for the Oilers tonight. They rebounded big time going 3/5 on the night and killing off 4/5. Exactly the type of game you wanna see from those units. Great stuff.
- The Oilers have some breathing room as they improve to 12-8-0 on the season and open up a three-point lead on the third-place Winnipeg Jets! They secure their third win in a row and are now 9-2-0 in their last 11. They will look to make it four in a row against the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday!