The Edmonton Oilers routed the Arizona Coyotes to the tune of a 6-1 victory on Monday night. Ryan McLeod was excellent with a pair of goals and three points while Leon Draisaitl continued his crusade to the top of the NHL scoring race with his 48th of the year.
It was a game that the Oilers needed to win and they made no mistake.
Edmonton wasn’t taking any chances in falling behind in this one. Despite failing to record a shot in the first four minutes, Connor McDavid made sure to make the first one count. A failed clearing attempt by the Coyotes led to Jesse Puljujarvi finding an open McDavid who waited out Karel Vejmelka to roof a backhander into the net. 1-0 Oilers.
Edmonton looked to extend that lead a few moments later with the game’s first powerplay. It was a wicked two minutes for the Oilers as they peppered Vejmelka with shots but they couldn’t quite find the back of the net. There were no goals but it was still momentum building.
It paid off a shift later as Ryan McLeod shot the puck from behind the net and it bounced off Vejmelka and into the net. It was McLeod’s seventh of the year and the Oilers second of the period as Edmonton moved to a 2-0 lead.
Arizona would get their own chance on the powerplay with just over five minutes left to go in the frame. Clayton Keller capitalized on it as he sent a shot from the right circle that tipped off Zach Hyman’s stick and into the net. Oilers lead cut to 2-1 as they go into the second period defending a one-goal lead.
Edmonton got an early chance to restore their two-goal lead with a powerplay. They would do just that as McLeod found a seam for a breakaway and beat Vejmelka five-hole. It’s a two-goal night for #71 giving the Oilers a 3-1 lead.
McLeod would nearly make it a hattrick on another PP chance a few minutes later but Vejmelka was able to get a shoulder on the puck.
Warren Foegele joined in on the fun after banging in a rebound off a Tyson Barrie point shot. McLeod added an assist to his night. the Oilers start to run away with a 4-1 lead. That lead was almost cut to 4-2 as Keller had a wide-open net that Koskinen was somehow able to come across and absolutely rob him. A save-of-the-year candidate as the big Finn protects Edmonton’s lead.
Hyman made that save a little bit more impressive by scoring a goal of his by pouncing on a rebound. Vejmelka was doing a good job keeping pucks in close for the first half of the period but a few bad rebounds cost him. Edmonton goes up 5-1 in the late goings of the second.
It wasn’t quite the scoring bonanza that the second period was, but the third period did have some intrigue. Evander Kane was the early story as he was getting into some penalty trouble. He started the period in the box due to an altercation late in the second. He followed that up with three more successive trips to the box on for interference and a pair of tripping calls respectively.
Leon Draisaitl was able to finally get on the board after sniffing around the net all night. He deposited the puck into an open after a fantastic feed from Puljujarvi. The goal wads Draisaitl’s 48th of the season, tying him for the league lead with Auston Matthews. Edmonton running Arizona out of the building with a 6-1 lead.
That would be all she wrote for this one as the Oilers get back in the win column with a 6-1 win over the Arizona Coyotes.
- I don’t recall watching a game where a player took four consecutive penalties like Evander Kane did tonight. I thought the interference call was a tad bit weak but he was guilty of tripping on those calls. In a closer game, I would be more critical but the Oilers had a 5-1 lead at this point so I can’t really be all that upset. Can’t imagine his arguing at the end of the second helped much in the eyes of the refs...though that isn’t an excuse for not holding everyone to an equal standard in regards to officiating.
- Koskinen needed a game like this one. He didn’t have to be a worldbeater and made the saves that he needed. He had an absolutely beautiful diving stop in the second that might’ve been his best of the season.
- Leon Drasaitl continues to fill the net as he got his 48th(!) of the season on a nice feed from Jesse Puljujarvi. There was a moment in time where it looked like Auston Matthews was a lock for the Rocket but Draisaitl has made it a race and a half. If he pulls it off he’d become Edmonton’s first-ever winner since it was created in 1998. Of course, Wayne Gretzky was the last Oiler to lead the league in goals with 62 back in the 1986-87 season.
- Perhaps the answer to getting Ryan McLeod up and going is giving him his own line and SOME skill. He looked fantastic between Warren Foegele and Derek Ryan. If he can continue to play at a high level as the 4C it will give Edmonton a little extra juice to their already LOADED centre depth.
- It might be against one of the league’s worst teams but only letting up one goal on the PK after allowing NINE even-strength goals against Calgary is what you want to see. A very ice defensive bounceback by the club.
- The Oilers move to 37-25-5 and 79 points on the year. Depending on the outcome of the LA/SEA game they could be either two or four points behind the Kings for second in the Pacific. Vegas wasn’t active so Edmonton increases their lead on the Knights to three points. The next one will be a BIG one as they welcome in the LA Kings on Wednesday night which could be a potential playoff preview!