The Edmonton Oilers defeated the Vancouver Canucks in a historic 4-3 victory. Connor McDavid leads the way with four points en route to 100 points on the season. He becomes the first player to record 100 points in 53 games or fewer since Mario Lemiuex did it in 1995/96. On top of that, Leon Draisaitl recorded his 500th career point with a couple of goals of his own.
It was one that Oiler fans won’t forget for a long long time! Luckily for me, I was able to record all the substantial happenings in this one!
After coming off a couple of dismal starts against the Canucks, the Oilers were determined to make a statement early in this one. And that they did as Connor McDavid got the Oilers on the board with a sneaky shot that beat Demko five-hole less than a minute into the game. the Oilers finally score on their first shot of the game rather than having the first shot scored on them. 97 points for #97 and the Oil had a quick 1-0 lead.
Edmonton would build some momentum off the opening goal. Ryan McLeod had a glorious chance on a breakaway to get his first NHL goal but Demko shut the door. The whole team seemed to have some legs as both the third and fourth lines had some extended zone-time.
At one point the shots read 7-1 in favour of the Oilers, but there would be no more goals to talk about. The final shot-clock for the period saw Edmonton with the advantage at 12-5. Oil still up with a 1-0 lead.
The Canucks made a serious push to tie the game in the early goings of the second. Brock Boeser was robbed by the blocker of Smith on a point-blank chance to keep Edmonton up. McDavid came back the other way and had a few point-blank chances of his own that Demko turned aside.
Quinn Hughes seemed to get the Canucks square after a slot shot beat Smith over the shoulder. On second look the Oilers challenged for offside and, in a rare stroke of luck, it was turned back and Edmonton kept the 1-0 lead.
Reinvigorated by the close-call, McDavid rushed down the ice and created a 3-on-1 opportunity. He fed a perfect pass to Jesse Puljujarvi in the center of the ice and he absolutely wired a one-timer for his 15th of the year. The Oilers expand their lead to 2-0 and McDavid inches closer with point 98.
It wouldn’t be game just yet as the Canucks responded after a brutal turnover by Darnell Nurse sprung J.T. Miller on a breakaway. He would deke to the right and just beat out the pad of Smith. This one would count. Oilers lead cut to 2-1.
Travis Boyd would get the equalizer a few moments later after capitalizing on an Oilers breakdown in the defensive end. All of a sudden we had a 2-2 game.
The Oilers would get a chance at redemption with a PP chance. A beautiful sequence by McDavid and Neal would land the puck in Draisaitl’s wheelhouse and he would wire in career point 500 to help the Oilers to a 3-2 lead. A historic goal for a Draisaitl and point 99 for McDavid.
This wouldn’t be it for the period, as Vancouver yet again came back to knot things up after Tyler Graovac beat Smith cleanly on a slot shot. 3-3 game.
And wouldn’t you know it...the Oilers get a 5-on-3 chance and Connor McDavid gets to the century mark! He feeds Leon Draisaitl for a patented one-timer. Absolutely insane season for the captain. The score is 4-3 for Edmonton but who cares about the score when we witness history like that.
We had a full period left to go in this one as Edmonton takes the 4-3 lead into the third.
After a barn-burner of a second period that saw the teams combine for six goals, there was a notably different tone for the third. Edmonton had gotten McDavid to the century mark and now transitioned to protecting the lead.
It would work as they kept the Canucks from generating much pressure and closed this one out without much fanfare. The Oilers take three of four against the Vancouver Canucks and make a little history along the way.
Final score read 4-3 for the Edmonton Oilers!
- I could care less about the score of tonight’s game. The real story is Connor McDavid cementing his status in the NHL record book with one of the most impressive seasons in NHL history. He has been everything the Oilers could have hoped for plus so so so so much more. Words cannot express how lucky we are to be able to watch a talent like McDavid play on a regular basis. The UNDISPUTED best in the world.
- Leon Draisaitl also had himself a game and got a milestone of his own with career point 500 with his first goal of the game. Another fantastic player that we haven’t seen the best of yet. Edmonton really struck gold with these two players.
- Speaking of which, I thought the team played much better with Draisaitl and McDavid on separate lines. Helped balance out the forward's lines and gave the Canucks fits trying to match up against those two.
- I’d keep Kahun on that top-line with McDavid and Puljujarvi heading into the playoffs. He seems to find his game and does a good job at retrieving the puck in the offensive end and making a play. He will get some points if you keep him there for a little while. It seems like the chemistry is there.
- On the opposite side of that spectrum, it seems like Yamamoto is gripping his stick a little bit too tight recently. He is getting chances each game but he just can’t find the back of the. He’s gotta slow it down and start playing a simpler game. He is still a top-six player, just needs to keep patient with him.
- Jesse Puljujarvi is the best linemate that McDavid has ever had outside of Leon Draisaitl. Seriously, the kid does wonder on the forecheck and backcheck. Not to mention that he has an absolutely filthy shot. He’s got goals in two games straight and they were both beauties.
- I don’t have much to say about Edmonton’s defensive play tonight. It wasn’t great but it wasn’t outwardly terrible. Nurse had a bad turnover for the first goal against. I could take it or leave it. Hope it is a bit better when games matter.
- Smith was also ok...if not average. He saved the ones that he needed to be and maybe had one goal against that I would like to see him gobble up. Read above: hope it steadies for the playoffs.
- The Edmonton Oilers move to 33-18-2 on the season as they lock up second in the North Division! They will visit Montreal for a two-gamer with the Canadiens on Monday!