The Edmonton Oilers entertained the visiting St. Louis Blues on Saturday afternoon. Oilers coach Jay Woodcroft opted to dress the same lineup that scored 6 goals in a win over the Carolina Hurricanes the other night, still down one Dylan Holloway. Meanwhile, St. Louis came to town down one of their best players in Pavel Buchnevich, and were playing just their third game of the young season.
Kind of a curious first period. Edmonton were the better team by the important fancies but the advantage didn’t translate to traditional measurables. The Blues outshot and outscored the Oilers, but Edmonton were the more likely by both CF% and xGF% per Natural Stat Trick.
Neither side generated a shot on goal until the 16:04 mark, with Zach Hyman doing the honours. On the same shift, Leon Draisaitl took the game’s first penalty, which St. Louis scored on. They were reeling for a couple of shifts after the PPGA, but eventually settled down and started to take over at 5v5 a little bit.
All in all, Jack Campbell was beaten once, on the power play, by a Torey Krug bomb he most definitely couldn’t see. Otherwise, he was solid. Jordan Binnington was good enough at the other end, but he only had six shots on goal to deal with. Edmonton was getting the better of it by the buzzer, but they couldn’t capitalize on it in P1.
The second period started as the first ended, with the Oilers getting the better of the 5v5 proceedings. Unfortunately, that wasn’t enough to yield even a power play, let alone a game-tying goal, so it was all for naught.
By the midway point, St. Louis started to stabilize a little bit and strung a few strong shifts of their own together. Those didn’t yield anything either, but they did get the period’s best chance when Jordan Kyrou had a point blank look that Campbell had to fight off with his right leg.
Edmonton went on a bit of a flurry toward the end of the period, but they still couldn’t get one past Binnington. They did a better job of converting some of their attempts into actual shots in the second, but went into the second intermission still looking for their first goal.
The first half of the third period was a cagey affair, with neither side really able to get a word in edgewise, let alone any consistent offensive zone time going.
Eventually, they did get an opportunity on the man advantage, but they couldn’t even muster a shot. In fact, by the time Jack Campbell was on the bench for the extra attacker. Edmonton had managed a measly six shots on goal in the frame.
In the end, it was a 22-save shutout for Binnington.
Fire Bob Nicholson. Then fire Ken Holland. Edmonton’s gonna have to win on Monday night to come out of a season-opening-six-game-homestand at 0.500. And it costs a small child to get food and drink at the arena.
The Pittsburgh Penguins. Also in Edmonton. Monday at 6PM. See you then.