The Edmonton Oilers, coming off something like a bye week after getting spanked by the Calgary Flames exactly a week ago, were in Winnipeg to take on the very Jets they’re chasing in the North Division standings tonight. Mike Smith (14-4-2, 0.918%) was in goal for the visitors, with Connor Hellebuyck (21-11-3, 0.920%) patrolling the blue paint for Winnipeg.
The game started unevenly, as Tyson Barrie was called for delay of game after flipping one into the seats just 13 seconds in. Six seconds after that, Mason Appleton negated the Winnipeg power play with a high stick. Weird.
The Jets probably had the better of the 4v4 and had another good shift shortly after but, from there, Edmonton took basically took over the period. At one point, Kailer Yamamoto had two excellent looks in about 20 seconds but he couldn’t bury either of them:
back-to-back breakaways from kailer yamamoto, but isn't able to score pic.twitter.com/5htn0FkvWt— zach laing (@zjlaing) April 17, 2021
Alex Chiasson got into the act, too, finding himself all alone in front of Hellebuyck a shift or so later, but he couldn’t bury either.
That was a bit of a theme in period one, with the Oilers having the best of it but lacking the precise combination of finishing touch and puck luck required to get leads in the NHL. They did manage to draw a late penalty through Andrew Copp’s trip of Caleb Jones, but Edmonton’s top unit looked like it was missing Ryan Nugent-Hopkins more than anything on the ensuing PP.
Still, but for Hellebuyck the Oilers might have been ahead by at least one, and potentially a handful. A decent start on the road after a long layoff and down RNH.
The second period was more of the same, and might have been even more lopsided in the Oilers’ favor.
Winnipeg managed a couple of attempts in the first few minutes but, before long, Edmonton found themselves on the power play again. This time via a Logan Stanley delay of game for trying to emulate Tyson Barrie, one of his childhood heroes probably.
Once again, however, the Oilers’ PP didn’t really threaten, and Winnipeg was able to kill it without incident. Edmonton did manage to glean a bit of momentum from it though and went back to the man advantage a few shifts later thanks to a nice bit of tenacity and skill from the shouldn’t-be-sitting-so-much Joakim Nygard.
This time, the Oilers made it count. Hellebuyck was forced into a big save on Leon Draisaitl’s one-timer and the rebound fell to Yamamoto. He worked it back to Barrie, who proceeded to trade it with Connor McDavid. On the return feed, Barrie stepped through it and beat a screened Hellebuyck from distance. 1-0.
A few quiet shifts followed before the Oilers found themselves on the PK after a not-great hit from Jujhar Khaira along the boards. Fortunately, the Oilers were able to fight it off and then see out the remainder to head into the second intermission up 1-0.
In what has become a bit rote of late, the Oilers came out to start the third period on the back foot. Winnipeg peppered the Edmonton net with attempts through the first 5+ minutes before Edmonton managed one of their own.
The big difference? Edmonton scored on theirs.
Fully against the run of play, the top line of McDavid, Draisaitl, and Jesse Puljujarvi came through. A nice bit of work down low saw the puck work to McDavid in the corner. He moved to go behind the net as Puljujarvi eased into a soft spot in the slot. McDavid found him with a lovely against-the-grain pass and he popped it over Hellebuyck’s left shoulder. 2-0.
Edmonton followed up the goal with a good shift but it wasn’t long before Winnipeg came back at them for a couple good shifts of their own. But, a moment of frustration from Nikolai Ehlers — and a silly cross-check to Josh Archibald’s facial region — gave Edmonton another power play. And, once again, they made it count.
This time, Draisaitl and Barrie traded it before the latter put one at net for Alex Chiasson to tip by Hellebuyck. 3-0.
Winnipeg got a power play on the next shift through an Ethan Bear hold but they couldn’t solve Mike Smith on this day, who turned away all comers en route to a 26-save shutout.
Nate Thompson took a tripping penalty on Devin Shore at the absolute death, but the game was over by then. Thompson must have a fantasy team in a league that counts PIMs or something.
A tidy 3-0 final that has a bit of everything for people who wanna GOTCHA! me:— Copper & Blue (@CopperandBlue) April 18, 2021
- two primary points (1G,1A) for Tyson Barrie after really struggling early
- Alex Chiasson PPG
- Schmiddy shutout
JP also got back on the score sheet!
Typo aside, there sure are no shortage of people who love to point me toward Tyson Barrie’s primary points!
That’s Mike Smith’s save percentage this season. Pretty incredible.
Wonder where they’d be if he wasn’t having one of these exception-to-the-rule type seasons?
Two home games against the Montreal Canadiens, the first of which goes Monday night at 7:00 PM MST. Until then.