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Oilers power-play shines in victory over Canadiens

A parade of penalties from Montreal helps Edmonton to a victory.

Montreal Canadiens v Edmonton Oilers Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images

The Edmonton Oilers defeated the Montreal Canadiens by a score of 5-3 on Saturday night.

Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl both had themselves a couple of four-point nights while Ryan Nugent-Hopkins tallied his 11th of the year.

It all came down to a wild second period and overcoming a Canadiens comeback, but the Oilers hung in for their 14th victory of the season.

Here is how it happened...

First Period:

The Oilers came out running in this one.

Zach Hyman wasted no time getting his first chance of the game, just missing on a breakaway in the first minute of the game.

That’s about where the good things stopped for Edmonton. Montreal took total control, limiting the Oilers to just four shots in the first period.

Eventually, that led to a goal against. Nick Suzuki, on the powerplay, was given too much room to walk in and picked the corner on Skinner. 1-0 Canadiens after another failed penalty kill by the Oilers.

Not good enough by any measure.

Second Period:

The Oilers started the period with about a minute of PP time left on the clock. That turned into a 30-second 5-on-3 chance after Joel Edmundson high-sticked Leon Draisaitl.

While they didn’t score while it was 5-on-3 they were able to convert with the extended powerplay. Draisaitl found Ryan Nugent-Hopkins in tight who tapped it into the net. 1-1 game.

Edmundson was then assessed a five-minute major and game misconduct about two minutes later for cross-checking Zach Hyman in the head. This actually gave Edmonton almost two minutes of another 5-on-3 chance. Hyman was a little bloodied on the play but seemed to be ok.

They weren’t going to squander this golden opportunity. Draisaitl from his wheelhouse to give Edmonton their first lead. 2-1 and LOTS of PP time left on the clock.

Nick Suzuki then threw the puck out of the zone to give Edmonton another lengthy 5-on-3. Canadiens were completely unglued at this point.

Connor McDavid was the beneficiary this time. 3-1 Oilers. Yes, they still had PP time after this goal. This seemingly ended the barrage of penalties.

Despite all that time with the man advantage, the Oilers were still getting outshot.

Montreal didn’t sit down and die in this one. Evgeni Dadonov got one back after hopping on a juicy rebound by Skinner. 3-2 Oilers late in the second.

The Oilers got into some penalty trouble of their own. A few bad penalties by McDavid and Nurse sent the Canadiens to their own 5-on-3 advantage, which would be costly. Arber Xhekaj beat Skinner from the point to tie things up at 3-3.

The rollercoaster then took a turn in the Oilers' direction as, with less than five seconds left in the period, Draisaitl found Darnell Nurse in the slot who beat Jake Allen.

After entering the second period down 1-0, the Oilers head into the final frame with a 4-3 lead.

Third Period:

The Canadiens nearly tied things up once again five minutes into the period. It was Joel Armia that ripped a shot from the slot that beat Skinner, but not the post. A close call, but Edmonton maintained its lead.

McDavid gave the Oilers some much-needed insurance in the last five minutes, undressing Allen on a breakaway. 5-3 Edmonton.

That’s how we would end things!

Oilers are back in the win column with a 5-3 victory over the Canadiens.

Takeaways:

  • The Oilers are lucky they rediscovered their powerplay prowess because it wasn’t pretty at even strength for most of the night. Have to be more assertive on the rush, and more attentive in their own end.
  • I thought Skinner was a bit shaky tonight but not too bad. Rebound control was lacking just a bit. Can’t rag on him too hard, though. He was as good as the Oilers needed, which is all I can ask of our goalies lately.
  • Leon and Connor with a couple of four-point nights. Not surprised one bit. Amazing players.
  • Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is quietly having a fantastic season. His goal tonight ties his total from last year and we aren’t even halfway through.
  • Devin Shore seems like a nice dude and all...but I loathe watching him play hockey. Doesn’t bring much of anything to the lineup.
  • Once again thought the pairing of Bouchard and Broberg looked good. Might be time to give them a few more minutes.
  • Hyman will score another goal eventually, right? ...right?
  • Nick Suzuki’s throwing the puck penalty has to be one of the most bizarre decisions I’ve ever seen in an NHL game. They were just about to kill off a major penalty and instead have to go to another 5-on-3 kill. Weird, weird play.
  • The Oilers get back in the win column and improve to 14-11-0 on the season. They’ll look to make it 15 against the Washington Capitals on Monday.