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GAME RECAP: Edmonton 3, Winnipeg 1

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Oilers come out ahead against Jets in hard fought preview of likely first round playoff series

NHL: Edmonton Oilers at Winnipeg Jets Terrence Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Edmonton comes into this game against Winnipeg with a tidy 6-2 record, an impressive run over a Jets club that Oilers’ fans hope continues into the playoffs. No lineup changes for the Oilers in their regular season finale against the Winnipeg Jets, other than Koskinen getting the start.

Kahun - McDavid - Puljujärvi
RNH - Draisaitl - Yamamoto
Shore - McLeod - Archibald
Neal - Haas - Chiasson

Nurse - Barrie
Kulikov - Larsson
Jones - Bear

Koskinen

The Jets are responding with:

Copp - Scheifele - Appleton
Connor - Dubois - Wheeler
Vesalainen - Stastny - Perreault
Harkins - Thompson - Lewis

Morrissey - Poolman
Forbort - Pionk
Benn - DeMelo

Hellebuyck

Connor McDavid is on a wonderful run, averaging three points per game over a four-game point streak. With 10 games left to play, and 81 points in the bank, McJesus needs to average 1.9 points a game over the rest of the season to reach the elusive and ever-talked about 100 points. With 19 points in 8 games against the Jets so far this year, I’m sure he’s hoping to make a dent in that 19 point Everest. While I’d love to see him do it, I think he’ll finish around 96 points and take the last game of the year off.

Let’s see how it goes.

First Period

The DRY line started strong, holding Winnipeg in their zone for an extended period of time early, but the rest of the Edmonton squad didn’t seem to be as sharp. Kulikov, in his second game as an Oiler, made an egregious error that Koskinen bailed him out one, who thankfully looks strong early.

The first powerplay of the evening goes to Edmonton in this one, with Blake Wheeler to the box for a trip in the neutral zone on Kailer Yamamoto. With McDavid flying around, and the rest of the Oilers working hard to maintain possession, Connor finds Barrie up high and he wires the one-timer in the top of the night. 1-0 Oilers after a great PP. Barrie’s 40th point, McDavid’s 82nd.

Edmonton is 19-2-1 when scoring first this season going into this game.

The Oilers and Jets trade a few chances to end the period, with a big glove save from Hellebuyck on a 3 on 1 highlighting some back and forth action.

Second Period

The Oilers hold the Winnipeg zone early, but a sloppy play by Kulikov (again) ends up behind Koskinen this time. Wheeler left all alone and Copp finds him, game tied 1-1. Unforced error costs them.

However, the Oilers are sent back to the powerplay after Wheeler disrupted Edmonton’s zone entry with a high stick on Ethan Bear. Double minor, with Bear receiving additional repairs on the Oilers’ bench. And twelve seconds into the first minor, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins snipes one past Connor Hellebuyck with McDavid and Barrie on the assists. Each with two points on the night so far. 2-1 Oilers.

The second minor was much less successful, with Winnipeg getting the higher quality chances against.

James Neal, an inconsistent fixture in the Oilers lineup so far this season, looks to be getting his legs going again. Would be great if his game was strong heading into playoffs.

A scary moment, as McDavid busts through two defenders and is taken down hard, crashing into Hellebuyck and take the net off its moorings. A surprising (but is it?) no call on the play, and Connor certainly let the referees know how he felt about that non-penalty. Neal also has his stick snapped in half in front of the Winnipeg net, once again for no call.

Period ends 2-1 for the Oilers, who have played well with only a few blunders. Shots are 20-15 for the good guys going into the break.

Third Period

Overall, the first half of the period was very uneventful. Shots were 8-3 Winnipeg, but no strong chances within those shots. Oilers locking them down early in the period. The Jets continue to press, but Koskinen stays solid between the pipes.

Amongst the Jets’ pressure, the Oilers take their first penalty of the game – Kailer Yamamoto chops the stick out of Perrault’s hands and will sit two minutes for slashing. Winnipeg with a few close looks, but no damage done. Yamamoto also sprung out of the box, but Hellebuyck makes an incredible save on 56.

Draisaitl puts in the empty netter (from McDavid) to seal this one late. 3-1 Oilers final. Two powerplay goals are the major difference for the Oilers in this one as they look to solidify second place in the division. Edmonton finishes the season 7-2 against Winnipeg this season.

The Oilers are back tomorrow night against the Calgary Flames. See you then.