However, the biggest story of the night was Evander Kane making his Edmonton Oilers debut, who started the game on the top line with Connor McDavid and Kailer Yamamoto. His signing has been a controversial one, and has been met with both enthusiasm and anger from Oiler fans. With his off-ice troubles, the only reason he’s gotten another chance is because of his on-ice talent. I won’t speculate on how this will all play out, and while I’m cautiously optimistic he’ll be on his best behaviour for half a season, I won’t be surprised by anything in his tenure with Edmonton.
The Oilers lineup tonight:
Kane - McDavid - Yamamoto
Foegele - Draisaitl - Puljujarvi
Hyman - RNH - Kassian
Shore - McLeod - Ryan
Nurse - Bouchard
Keith - Ceci
Lagesson - Russell
OUT: Tyson Barrie, Kyle Turris, Tyler Benson, Brendan Perlini, Colton Sceviour, Mike Smith, Olivier Rodrigue
The Canadiens are banged up, as they’ve been all season, and rolled out:
Lehkonen - Suzuki - Toffoli
Pitlick - Evans - Anderson
Dauphin - Poehling - Hoffman
Pezzetta - Vejdemo - Paquette
Kulak - Petry
Romanov - Chiarot
Clague - Wideman
An uneventful start to this fan-less game, with only two shots apiece halfway through the first period.
Well, well, well... the new guy scores for the Oilers. Skating in front of the net, Evander Kane tips an errant shot off the post and in. Bouchard and Yamamoto with the assists on Kane’s first NHL goal since May 3, 2021.
Evander Kane making an impact IMMEDIATELY pic.twitter.com/b1IQ2cIU2O— Spittin' Chiclets (@spittinchiclets) January 30, 2022
Edmonton also ends a streak of 11 straight games giving up the first goal of the game, going up 1-0 for the first time in many weeks.
With his 1-0 goal, Oilers Evander Kane has 9 points (3 G, 6 A) in last 8 games in Montreal.— Sportsnet Stats (@SNstats) January 30, 2022
On another deflection, Zach Hyman tips home his first goal since December 1st, this time from Russell (in his 900th NHL game) and Lagesson. 2-0 EDM.
This game quickly getting out of hand, Leon Draisaitl bangs home a bouncing puck off of Pitlick and the Oilers have their third goal on their sixth shot. Three goals in 1:48 of game time.
Draisaitl’s 30th goal of the year, and the top three lines each have a goal.
Leon Draisaitl— Sportsnet Stats (@SNstats) January 30, 2022
6th player in Oilers history with 4 straight 30-goal seasons
Montreal came out strong, with four strong chances for in the first three minutes of the second frame. However, Stuart Skinner remained sharp and shut the door. The Habs’ persistence pays off though, and Josh Anderson finds a loose puck after Skinner drops a shot from the point. 3-1 Edmonton, who are currently asleep at the wheel.
After muscling away from Ben Chiarot up and down the boards, Hyman finds an uncovered Ryan Nugent-Hopkins in front of the net and he makes no mistake.
Oilers regain their three-goal lead, 4-1.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins— Sportsnet Stats (@SNstats) January 30, 2022
First Oilers player with a 4-game goal streak vs the Canadiens since Jason Arnott from 1995-1997
Hyman fires another one past Montembault, his second goal and third point of the night. A great shot, it’s the third line’s third goal of the night.
The excitement is short-lived, as Zack Kassian blows up the Habs netminder behind the net and sends his helmet flying. Very quickly, Tyler Toffoli snaps a one timer home off the faceoff. 5-2 for Edmonton.
Before the goal is even announced, Draisaitl hops on a loose puck in front of the net and it’s 6-2. His 31st of the season and is now tied with Chris Kreider for first in the league.
With Montreal struggling to keep it out of their net, they turned to back up netminder, Cayden Primeau, to start the third.
This is the 8th game this season where the Canadiens have used multiple goalies, most in the NHL— Sportsnet Stats (@SNstats) January 30, 2022
Early on, the Habs are back to the powerplay after RNH takes out the skates of Mike Hoffman. Alas, no dice for the Canadiens on this one.
Biggest highlight of the period had the Oilers in on a 3 on 0, and Primeau made three solid saves on Draisaitl and Foegele.
Kassian takes on Pezzetta in a late period scrap, seemingly in response to the second period hit on Montembault, and Kassian takes down the young kid and tosses him into the net. Kassian is cut, but Pezzetta is tossed from the game for the instigator. The Oilers don’t score on the powerplay, however.
With 30 seconds left, Derek Ryan scores a late one to further ice this one. And that’s it for this one, folks. Oilers close this one out 7-2 (without any points from McDavid, either).
See you Monday @ Ottawa.