The Edmonton Oilers dropped a 3-2 OT decision against the Montreal Canadiens on Monday night. The Oilers held a 2-0 lead heading into the third period, but a couple of goals by Josh Anderson and Tomas Tatar forced the game into extra time. Eric Staal picked up his first as a Canadien for the game-winner.
These games always sting a bit more, but I have all the details you need right here...
The Oilers had a bit more skip in their step than last Tuesday’s matchup against the Canadiens, but it didn’t mean that much in the opening period of this one.
The difference-maker for the Oilers was Mike Smith keeping them in it despite being outshot 12-2 through the first 16 minutes. While the Canadiens didn’t have too many grade-A chances on net it seemed as though their relentless forecheck was too much for Edmonton to handle.
The McDavid line had a few decent shifts and I thought the Jones-Bear pairing was Edmonton’s best. However, it would be the fourth line that got Edmonton on the board late in the period.
A nice wraparound by Jujhar Khaira would pop the puck to an open Devin Shore and he would find twine with 20 seconds on the board. It wasn’t a pretty period for the Oilers as the shots read 14-5 for Montreal, but the score clock was 1-0 Edmonton to end the first period.
The late goal seemed to wake the Oilers up a bit for the second period. Edmonton did a nice job turning the pressure around on the Canadiens and had a few decent chances to extend their lead. Jesse Puljujarvi came close with a shot ringing off the post.
Everyone’s favourite player, Corey Perry, gave Edmonton a PP chance after getting called for roughing. Not much would be genereated on the chance except for a beauty of a one-timer right in front of Price....which he somehow missed.
A bit of deja vu in the last minute as Darnell Nurse got yet another late goal with a PP blast from the point over the shoulder of Price. They had a flair for the dramatics in this one! Edmonton held the 2-0 lead heading into the final period.
The last two periods ended the right way for the Oilers, but the third period didn’t start their way. The Canadiens finally solved Smith as Perry found Josh Anderson’s stick in the blue paint that tipped the puck into the net. That two goal buffer was gone and we still had 18 minutes to play.
Tomas Tatar would then strike a mere three minutes later with a bullet from the circle. The Habs make Edmonton’s 2-0 lead disappear in quick succession. 2-2 game with more than half the period to go.
Regulation wouldn’t solve things so this one would go to OT.
You wanna see a team rag the puck to get this game go to a shootout? Well that is exactly what the Montreal Canadiens did in this OT. They were insanely cautious and played keep-away for the majority of the period.
That strategy would pay off as Eric Staal beat Smith with a wrist shot on the rush. A weak goal as the Oilers blow a 2-0 lead to lose this one by a score of 3-2 in OT.
- The game-winner was a WEAK goal for Smith to let in. This comes after a decent overall game but a goal like that will make you look back in disdain.
- I have no idea why this coaching staff loves putting Alex Chiasson on the PP. He had a handful of grade-A chances that he completely whiffed on tonight. A better player would have capitlized on at least one of them. Time to put either Puljujarvi or Yamamoto in his place.
- Caleb Jones and Ethan Bear were far-and-away the best Oiler defenders tonight...they also were the two defenders with the least amount of ice-time. Tippett is really losing me with his plan for these guys.
- Two guys that struggled (again) were Tyson Barrie and Kris Russell. Barrie led the team in ice-time tonight. Figures.
- Edmonton struggled mightily against Montreal’s forecheck all night long. They played decent in the second but other than that its another game in which the club failed to play a full 60 minutes.
- I’d be remiss to ignore the abhorrent officiating today. I counted several OBVIOUS infractions against Leon Draisaitl that were ignored. Officiating is a joke in this league, but by no means was that the only factor in tonight’s loss.
- Edmonton drops just their second game in OT this season. Their record moves to 23-14-2 and fail to keep pace with the Winnipeg Jets for second in the division. Edmonton leaves this game with 48 points in the season, five up on the fourth place Canadiens and one back of the second place Jets.
- They have a golden opportunity to get some points on the board as they kick off a back-to-back series with the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday.