The Oilers kept their win streak going after hanging on for a 4-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets.
Edmonton picked up goals from Zach Hyman, Kailer Yamamoto and Connor McDavid (on a highlight pass from Leon Draisaitl) plus a late empty netter from Darnell Nurse to emerge victorious for the fifth straight time. Edmonton dominated play, keeping things comfortable for the first two periods. The Oilers let up on the gas a little in the third period when Adam Lowry scored a shorty. Kyle Connor’s PPG brought the Jets to within one goal with under six minutes in regulation. The Jets would try to strike back late while on the power play, but Darnell Nurse was able to score one in the yawning net to put the Oilers ahead for good.
Things got sketchy in the end, but it was good enough for the Oilers to emerge with two points. I don’t care how bad it looks, two points go in the bank before you leave.
- Jay Woodcroft went 11/7 again tonight. How’d that look? Cody Ceci emerged as the top RD in TOI with 21 and a half minutes. Barrie finished second with a minute less. Nurse had 23 and change to lead the D, a good four to six minutes less than a normal night prior to Woodcroft coming on. 21 and a half minutes is a bit more than Ceci is usually rolling with, all of Bouchard, Niemeläinen and Lagesson were in the 13 minute range. Philip Broberg played just six and a half minutes tonight, I’ll be interested to see if Woodcroft runs 12/6 tomorrow against Minnesota.
- The Oilers put up 40 shots on Connor Hellebuyck, it really could have gotten out of hand in the first period. Edmonton had a sustained pressure near the end of the period that could have helped burst this game wide open, but credit to Hellebuyck for keeping it close.
- Brendan Perlini played just 3:42 tonight, and I wonder if Colton Sceviour is his replacement tomorrow.
- Oilers’ penalty kill was 5 for 6 tonight, including a spectacular 5-on-3 kill early on in the first. The Oilers took a too many men penalty late in the game and were able to hold on long enough to make it count. Oilers went just 1-for-5 on the power play, but it was a nice redirect by Zach Hyman off a shot from Cody Ceci. All in a day’s work.
- If you didn’t see Draisaitl’s pass to set up the eventual game winner to McDavid, here you go. Probably going to see this one tonight into tomorrow.
- Kailer Yamamoto scored a beauty early on in the second. Replacing the injured Jesse Puljujärvi on the top line, Yamamoto took a feed from McDavid in front of Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck before getting a backhand off. He batted the rebound out of the air behind Hellebuyck for a highlight reel goal. Really a good game for Oiler goals today.
- Marcus Niemeläinen will quickly become a fan favourite if his physical flavour of hockey continues. Niemeläinen had two shots to go with his 3 hits, and is trying to prove his case to become the 3LD going forward.
- An overall solid night for Mikko Koskinen; he picked up the win with a 22 save performance.
- The Oilers took two points, and they’re within one point of the Vegas Golden Knights for second place with a game in hand. Had you told me this the night that the Oilers farted out a 4-1 loss to the Blackhawks, I probably would have laughed. Five games (and ten points) later, they look like they belong. Funny how a coach can do that for you.