The Oilers won tonight.
December 18th was the last time we could say such a thing. The Oilers won tonight, and they came from behind to do so. Mikko Koskinen was stellar in net as he turned aside 44 of 47 Calgary shots. Evan Bouchard had a pair of goals on the power play, and it was Leon Draisaitl who scored the game winner. Just for fun, he’d score an empty netter as time expired.
It’s fun winning a game. Gives you that tingly feeling inside. Let’s talk about it.
- This game is likely Mikko Koskinen’s best game of the season so far. Koskinen settled down after allowing two goals in the first period to end up with 44 saves on 47 shots. He picks up his 13th win of the season, his first win since December 1st.
- Tyson Barrie was out with a lower body injury and and upper body injury tonight. Enter Evan Bouchard, who picked up a pair of goals while on the power play. Bouchard looks like a natural on the power play, he ought to spend some big minutes there for the time being.
- It was Brendan Perlini who broke a 2-2 tie late in the second. Perlini had started on a line with Connor McDavid, but he ended up on the fourth line before the end of the first period. Never mind all of that. Perlini’s goal came in less than nine total minutes of ice time. Efficient.
- The Oilers allowed way too many shots tonight, and they allowed way too many scoring chances while 5 on 5. Not going to argue about a win, but the Oilers will find themselves in trouble more often than not if they’re giving up nearly 50 shots a game. It’s not like they took their feet off the gas to create an inflated shot total for the Flames, credit to Mikko Koskinen for keeping Calgary off the scoresheet when he could.
- Leon Draisaitl would end up potting the game winner for the Oilers on a wonderful goal with just over five minutes remaining in the third period. Draisaitl took a pass from Duncan Keith at his own blue line, then carried it 130 feet to Jacob Markstrom. Draisaitl waited long enough to freeze Markstrom before firing it over the lunging netminder. The Oilers would hold on to a 4-3 lead until Draisaitl scored an empty netter with one second remining to make it 5-3 at the end.
- Goals have come at a premium for the Oilers, they scored four plus an empty netter tonight. Although the Oilers allowed way too many scoring chances, things are looking up when you can hang a five spot on the scoreboard.
- McDavid picked up a pair of assists tonight, which capped his scoreless streak at three games. Everything’s back to normal now, we hope.
- The win is Edmonton’s first in over a month, but it’s Dave Tippett’s first since December 1st. I’m not sure exactly how much good will this win buys with Oiler fans, but it’s got to feel good to pick up a win after going more than seven weeks without one.
- The Oilers will face Vancouver on Tuesday. Will we see any changes between now and then?