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Senators Embarrass Oilers

Oilers allow five goals in third period in losing effort

The Edmonton Oilers lost their six consecutive game in a 6-4 loss to the Ottawa Senators on Saturday night.

The Oilers seemed to have things under control in the first 40 minutes, holding a relatively secure 3-1 lead heading into the third period. Things unravelled in that final frame as the Sens got five goals to overwhelm the Oilers.

It was an ugly one. If you missed it, I have the details right here...

First Period:

Surprisingly enough, the Oilers came into this game with a decent amount of energy despite their long break. McDavid and Draisailt nearly linked up for a goal on their first shift but the shot was blocked. We then saw Ryan McLeod lead a very good shift for their makeshift second-line with Zach Hyman and Jesse Puljujarvi on his wings.

They were a bit shaky defensively but nothing too egregious as Skinner got to make a few nice stops. Everything seemed to be going good except for the shots on net, which Edmonton had none six minutes in.

McDavid changed that when he got a weak shot off on a breakaway that was stopped by Matt Murray with 13 minutes on the board.

Tyson Barrie had the honour of taking the game’s first penalty as he served time for knocking a Duncan Keith ‘off the glass’ clear out of play. It would be costly as Brady Tkachuk found a wide-open Josh Norris in the slot who beat Stuart Skinner. 1-0 Senators and the Oilers continue to struggle scoring first.

Evan Bouchard nearly responded for Edmonton a shift later but couldn’t beat the pesky piece of painted iron we call the post.

Tim Stützle hooked up Draisaitl later in the period to give Edmonton their first power-play. That would turn into a two-man advantage as Erik Brannstrom grabbed a speeding McDavid. A golden opportunity to tie things up and tie things up they did. After being denied on a few grade-A chances, Zack Kassian beat Murray over the glove. Less than a minute to go and we had a 1-1 game.

Second Period:

Jesse Puljujarvi nearly had a fantastic look on net early in the second but it was called offside as McDavid was going off for a change. An ironic happenstance considering McDavid gave Puljujarvi an earful for doing precisely the same thing earlier this season.

Edmonton had a chance to get their first lead on another power-play chance but wasn’t able to figure out an aggressive Ottawa penalty-kill. We remained tied.

The Senators then had another chance of their own a few minutes later. They’d have a few decent looks on net but nothing got by Skinner.

Kailer Yamamoto continued his hot streak and he fought tough and nail to hold onto a breakaway chance that ended with him jamming it through the left pad of Murray. The Oilers have their first lead on Yamamoto’s eight of the season, 2-1 Edmonton.

Brendan Perlini added to that lead after he picks up a blocked shot from Duncan Keith zips it past Murray. 3-1 Oilers lead late in the second period and that is how it will end. The Oilers were a mere 20 minutes away from getting back into the win column.

Third Period:

A crazy sequence in the early goings of the third period. Warren Foegele missed on an open net on one side of the net while the Sens went back the other way to get a goal. Adam Gaudette roofed a shot over the shoulder of Skinner to make it a tight 3-2 game with plenty of time to go.

The Senators would keep the chance coming as a turnover by Skinner behind the net forced him to make a fantastic save on Gaudette but he couldn’t stop Alex Forementon on the rebound. The Oilers two-goal lead evaporates as the Senators find a way to get two quick goals to tie things at 3-3.

Artem Zub completed the comeback as he picked up the puck on the left side and wired it over the glove of Skinner. Oilers absolutely collapsing as it is all Ottawa all the time.

Don’t give up too early, as Darnell Nurse was able to tie things up with his third of the season. The craziness of this game continued as we had a 4-4 tie with less than half the period to play.

The Oilers continued to shoot themselves in the foot late in the game. Cody Ceci got caught with a high-stick to give the Senators a chance on the powerplay. Josh Norris would capitalize to retake the 5-4 lead.

Ottawa would add an empty netter to make it 6-4 and that would be all she wrote for this one. The Oilers lose in embarrassing fashion as they allow five(!) goals in the third period.

Takeaways:

  • How many times do I have to tell the Oilers to stop trying to force McDrai? The team already lacks depth scoring and loading up the first line like this makes it that much worse. Not to mention that Zack Kassian, despite the goal, is not a top-six forward. The lack of creativity from his team’s coaching staff is pathetic.
  • Speaking of the top-six, this game could have been a lot worse if not for Ryan McLeod having a helluva game between Zach Hyman and Jesse Puljujarvi. I’ve been wanting to see him play with some skill for a while and he didn’t disappoint. No doubt in my mind that he can be the team’s 3C in the long term.
  • Stuart Skinner had a less than ideal game but I don’t think it’s the end of the world. It appears that the coaching staff is trying to force all their goalies to play the puck like Mike Smith and the results have been...predictable. Anyone who thinks the Oilers are a good goaltender away from solving all their problems hasn’t been watching close enough.
  • That Darnell Nurse contract hasn’t even started and it’s already looking mighty ugly. He struggled tonight. Other than the goal he didn’t have a great overall game.
  • Staying on defence, I was actually surprised with the Tyson Barrie-Duncan Keith pairing. They didn’t play particularly well but that surpassed my very low expectations. Maybe that’s the key to happiness on this team...although...
  • The Oilers have lost 12 of their last 14 games and have fallen out of a playoff spot. It is absolutely lunacy to stand pat as Ken Holland has done so far. The team has clearly suffered under the system that Dave Tippett has put in place and he should be fired. Absolutely embarrassing display from a team that has both Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl in the primes of their careers. Enough is enough, time for Ken Holland to actually do his job instead of waxing about his time in Detroit.
  • Oilers are back in action on Thursday against a red-hot Florida Panthers team.