Oilers lineup at WPG for Game 4, a win or go home game, of their North Division playoff series:
Only lineup changes are the insertion of Alex Chiasson for Josh Archibald, who was suspended for Game 4 due to his hit on Logan Stanley in Game 3, and the absolutely mind-boggling decision to dress Kris Russell in place of Dmitry Kulikov. Where is Caleb Jones?
After such a disappointing implosion last night, my hopes were not high going into this game as the Oilers try to stave off elimination. I’ll update my hope level after each period.
Let’s see how the boys fared.
The Jets capitalized early after Adam Larsson was called for holding Mark Scheifele. Funnily enough, #55 for the bad guys was the player to slam a one timer past Smith. 1-0 Jets early. Thankfully, the captain returns the favour right away. McDavid shows great patience and works around Hellebuyck and the net to tuck it in, tying this one up quickly. 1-1.
Connor’s goal re-energized the Oilers, who have shown a much greater urgency since then with excellent chances from Ennis, Nugent-Hopkins, Draisaitl and 97 himself. Hellebuyck, once again, playing well for the Jets in this one. Sloppy play by Smith and the defensive core have also resulted in some major chances against, which the netminder is able to recover for thankfully.
Ehlers, the victorious forward from Game 3, also seems to be headhunting in the first period, taking runs at Kailer Yamamoto and Tyson Barrie, nearly taking both of their heads off.
Oilers caught sleeping and the Jets put one in off an innocent wrister from the point. 2-1 Winnipeg. Things go from bad to worse, as Gaetan Haas takes a dumb tripping penalty. Scheifele draws another one, and Jets go back to powerplay is three for it’s last four. No damage done, but Leon takes a slash as soon as the previous kill comes to an end. It’s a weak one, but that doesn’t matter. Smith makes a big stop, but looks a little banged up after Scheifele gives him a solid jab in the mid-section.
The Oilers likely deserve better in this series, but they aren’t playing like they think so. Hope level still very low. Frankly folks, it doesn’t look good. Our team is lost out there, and its captain agrees.
Oilers can’t clear it on the penalty kill to start the period, but thankfully the Jets overpass it and Edmonton escapes that Winnipeg powerplay.
An interesting lineup change to note: after McDavid let Puljuljarvi have it on the Oilers bench in the first, Yamamoto has replaced JP on the top line. Jesse to the fourth line(?). At least he’s with another top 6-level player in Tyler Ennis.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins gets a shot through, and then walks Pionk to finally break through in this series. Assist from Kassian and we are all knotted up, 2-2.
Pionk gets caught again, this time for hooking on Yamamoto. The Oilers are off to the powerplay for the first time tonight. While the boys get a few solid chances, including a missed tap-in for RNH, the PP doesn’t get the Oilers any closer to a win.
One positive note I’ll write – I really like Ryan Mcleod. Good skater, responsible defensively, and I think the offense will come.
Pretty horrible officiating, as usual. Wheeler tackles McDavid in front of the net, no call. People hack and whack every player in the top 6, no call. But finally, it’s Adam Larsson who draws a holding call on PL Dubois 150 feet away from the puck. Holy f%&k though, Alex Chiasson on the powerplay!!!! Right after I cursed his name!! 3-2 Oilers.
A few seconds after #39’s goal, Stanley slashes the stick out of Yamamoto’s hands and the Oilers are back to the PP. With seven seconds left in the penalty, Morrissey takes a cross checking call in front of the net.
Oilers go to the intermission up 3-2 and will have 1:16 on the powerplay when the third starts. Hope level is a bit higher than before.
Oilers aren’t able to cash in on the powerplay to start the period. Nearly disaster though, as Dylan Demelo takes a serious run at McDavid, with no call (shocked).
Clip Logan Stanley. Suspended.— Romulus' Apotheosis (@RomulusNotNuma) May 25, 2021
Clip Connor McDavid (shrug emoji)
ugy, ugly knee from dylan demelo on connor mcdavid that goes uncalled. 25% speed then full speed in this clip. pic.twitter.com/0qRhkgooAP— zach laing (@zjlaing) May 25, 2021
Oof, bad error. Ethan Bear throws a pizza up the middle of the ice, and Mark Scheifele gets his second of the game. Tie game. You just cannot make that mistake at this stage of the game. Goddamn. McDavid shakes his head and throws up his hands on the bench, clearly frustrated. “This f#$%ing team, man”. I agree wholeheartedly.
He’s going to leave us, and I don’t blame him...
Let's check in on Connor McDavid. pic.twitter.com/iQtxTltVsi— Ryan Gilbert (@RGilbertSOP) May 25, 2021
After a horrific turnover at the offensive blueline by Adam Larsson, Mike Smith made what may be a season-saving save if the Oilers can get the next one. Some non-confident, high-mistake hockey being played by the Oilers D right now.
huge save from mike smith to keep it a tie game pic.twitter.com/4k8Z5ilAg2— zach laing (@zjlaing) May 25, 2021
Lineup note: Ethan Bear benched since his turnover lead to the goal and Devin Shore replaces Ryan McLeod on the second line.
Before the period ends, Blake Wheeler makes the ultimate sacrifice and blocks a Kris Russell slapshot with his, er, groin. Ouch.
Overtime for a third straight game.
it brings me no pleasure to report this but it appears wheeler took that shot right in the groin pic.twitter.com/2Ww2r4BDNS— zach laing (@zjlaing) May 25, 2021
The Oilers top line goes for a rush early, and the referees miss a laughable hold on McDavid. Appleton fully clothes-lined Connor as he tried to chase down a loose puck... all right in front of the on-ice officials. AND THEN THEY CALL A PENALTY ON THE OILERS.... Yamamoto for tripping... embarrassing call. PK to the season rescue. They kill it... barely. Nearly deja vu of last night with the faceoff chance.
It’s pretty pathetic though, as McDavid and Draisaitl are getting mauled while they’re out there and not getting a sniff of a call. Tippett clearly losing faith in all of his defensemen now, as Nurse pulled 5+ min shift (40 min total and counting).
After another game-saver from Mike Smith, the Oilers control the last few minutes of the period but are unable to close it out. SO CLOSE.
mike smith with maybe the biggest save of his career as he stones nik ehlers in overtime pic.twitter.com/Z8zdgkHIjD— zach laing (@zjlaing) May 25, 2021
Note: Bear, Koekkoek, Chiasson, McLeod and Khaira did not play in the first overtime period.
The Oilers come close, but can’t seem to hit the net or find a way past the Vezina winner. Still no third pairing or fourth line on the ice, and Darnell Nurse has set the Oilers record for time on ice in a playoff game.
The Oilers have been down to 9F since early in OT, and 4D since WPG tied it.— Daniel Nugent-Bowman (@DNBsports) May 25, 2021
Players still playing:
- Ennis, who's in his fifth game since the start of the April
- Shore, who was scratched for the first two games of the series
- Russell, who's in his first game back from injury
Honestly, Hellebuyck still stealing this game for the Jets, much like he has all series.
I see we're comfortably in the "does your opponent still have a pulse? okay, then it isn't a penalty" portion of the evening.— Jonathan Willis (@JonathanWillis) May 25, 2021
If the Oilers, they can’t blame it on a lack of chances. Nurse. Draisaitl. Ennis. JP. They’ve had a ton – and can’t seem to hit the net still.
Blocked shots are 47-25 for Winnipeg. They are getting in the way of everything. A bunch of non-calls early in 3OT, particularly a rather egregious trip on Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Shore, elevated to the second line earlier in the game, also nearly scored on a chance in close. He’s been shooting the puck a ton.
And somehow, the Oilers get their second penalty of overtime. Haas off for puck over glass. They kill it off, not without a few scares though.
Kyle Connor wins it in triple overtime. Series winner. The Oilers are swept. 4-3.