The Edmonton Oilers picked up an impressive 3-0 shutout win to sweep their two-game series against the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday night. Alex Chiasson picked up the game-winner while Puljujarvi and McDavid signed the insurance on the win.
Between the pipes, Mike Smith picked up his second shutout of the season and improved to a dynamite 6-0-0 on the season. Thatcher Demko was good, but he wasn’t quite good enough as Edmonton moves to 14-8-0 on the season and win their fifth straight altogether and sixth straight on the road.
It was a game full of chances and saves but it was the boys in blue & orange who took it home. I got full coverage of this one...
Absolutely everything happened in this period except for a goal. The teams were both buzzing and gave us chance after chance but the goaltenders were having none of it.
It all started after the Oilers allowed a shorthanded break for Brandon Sutter that was turned away by Mike Smith. Antoine Roussell nearly potted the rebound but missed a wide-open net. This led to a McDavid breakaway on the other end that was denied by Thatcher Demko.
The Canucks would then pour on the pressure on a pair of powerplays but Edmonton would fight them off. Pettersson struck iron shortly after and that shift was followed by Kailer Yamamoto ringing one of the crossbar on the game’s third breakaway of the game.
Jujhar Khaira would extend that number to four but was once again stonewalled by Demko. This could’ve been a 3-2 game but we ended the opening frame scoreless. 0-0 after 20.
The second period started the same way as the first, with a goaltender showcase. That is until the Oilers finally solved Demko.
After robbing McDavid on PP chance to keep thing scoreless, the Oilers finally found a way past him as Alex Chiasson jammed the puck in on the tail end of a powerplay. 1-0 Oilers as they open the scoring.
Draisaitl nearly extended that lead a shift later on a breakaway but, as you have probably guessed by, it was stopped by Demko. From here on out it was the Mike Smith show, as the veteran put on a goaltending clinic for the rest of the period.
He made a few 10-bell saves on consecutive shifts that could both easily stand up as the highlight of the night. The first chance was literally, and I mean literally, a hair away from being a goal while the second was a howitzer of a cross-crease one-timer from Virtanen that he swallowed up.
Vancouver would get a late powerplay chance but they wouldn’t be able to solve the cagey veteran. The Oilers take the 1-0 lead into the final frame.
Heading into the third with a 1-0 lead the game was still very much in play for the Canucks. They pressed for the equalizer late in the second and they started the period with a PP chance. Luckily, Edmonton was able to kill things off to weather what could have been an early period storm.
Puljujarvi would then take a tripping call a few minutes later but the Oilers put on an absolute PK clinic as they denied Vancouver of any momentum. All would be forgiven for Puljujarvi as he potted his sixth of the year on a PP chance near the five minute mark. The Oilers held a late 2-0 lead.
McDavid would seal the deal with an empty-netter as Mike Smith and the Oilers complete the shut out, win their fifth straight and take this one 3-0!
- Ok, I think it's time to say it. Mike Smith is good. The veteran was spectacular tonight as he recorded the 32-save shutout, the second of the season for him. He improves to 6-0-0 on the season and is among the league leaders in save percentage. Insane body of work by Smitty and I will give him credit where credit is due. He has been a huge part of Edmonton’s recent hot streak.
- Penalty-killing was huge tonight. It looked shaky at the start but really picked up the pace in the third period. Jujhar Khaira and Gaeten Haas were especially impressive on the PK. Khaira nearly had a beautiful short-handed goal.
- Tyler Ennis was all over the offensive zone tonight proving that he is a good NHL player. The fact that 30 other teams passed on him on the waiver wire is criminal. He has carved out an important role on the best third-line the Oilers have seen in years.
- Evan Bouchard and Caleb Jones are a fantastic pairing through two games. Bouchard in particular showed why he was a first-round pick with an array of fantastic outlet passes and just overall fantastic vision. A play that sticks out is a nifty pass to RNH in the neutral zone.
- Jesse Puljujarvi potted his sixth of the year after scoring on a PP chance courtesy of Antoine Roussell. Roussell was the man who sucker-punched JP in Tuesday’s game if you had forgotten. Some poetic justice if I’ve ever seen it.
- The Oilers win their FIFTH straight game and improve to a groovy 14-8-0 on the season to keep pace with the division-leading Toronto Maple Leafs. For the standings junkies out there, the win gives Edmonton 28 points on the year, three up on the third-place Jets and just four behind the Leafs.
- Speaking of the Leafs, the Oilers will open up a three-game series in Edmonton against those very same Leafs. A huge series for both teams as the fate of the division is on the line! You can catch that one this Saturday on Hockey Night in Canada!