The Edmonton Oilers defeated the Anaheim Ducks by a 6-1 margin on Sunday night. The story of the night was Leon Draisaitl as he notched his 100th and 101th points of the season including his 50th goal!
He joins just Alexander Ovechkin and Steven Stamkos as active players with multiple 50 goal season. An incredible accomplishment by an exceptional talent.
The Oilers got the quick start they were looking for. Despite some early pressure from the Ducks, in which Mike Smith had to make a few nice stops, it was Tyson Barrie that got the Oilers on the board first. 1-0 Edmonton.
Connor McDavid extended that lead to 2-0 on a powerplay wrister that beat everybody. The shots told the story as Edmonton had a multi-goal lead on the scoreboard and a 10-3 lead on the shot clock.
The Ducks would press to cut into the lead as the period wound down. Trevor Zegras had a great chance in tight that Smith was able to get in front of while Sonny Milano had a partial break that he wasn’t able to get a lot on.
Those missed opportunities would be costly. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins was able to jump onto the ice, get the puck on the half boards and send a wrister into the net. Oilers in complete and utter control with a 3-0 lead in the late stages.
Anaheim would get a chance with the man-advantage with just under three minutes to go in the stage. Nothing was going for the Ducks, however, as the Oilers were able to kill it off without giving up any quality chances.
That would be all the action in the first period as Edmonton was up 3-0.
The Oilers continued their dominant play into the middle frame. Some relentless forechecking by Evander Kane popped the puck in front of the Anaheim net. Jesse Puljujarvi pounced on it and outwaited John Gibson to bury a back hand shot top shelf. Edmonton on cruise control with a 4-0 lead.
Edmonton kept the pressure on as the period progressed as well. It seems like back-to-back games with blown leads taught them a lesson in playing a full 60 minutes.
Leon Draisaitl, who seemed to be nursing something off a an awkward play in the first, was itching for his 50th goal in this one. He had a few really good looks on a late powerplay but couldn’t beat Gibson.
That is how the period would end as the Oilers had dominant 4-0 lead heading into the third period.
The Oilers opened with a fair bit of energy once again but it was the Ducks who scored the first of the period. Zach Aston-Reese jumped on a juicy rebound and found some light through Smith’s five-hole. The shutout bid is broken and the lead is cut to 4-1 early in the third.
The goal seemed to wake up the Ducks a bit as they started getting some more o-zone time in the subsequent shifts. Smith had to be sharp on a few really good in-close chances.
Brett Kulak would restore the four-goal lead with his first as an Oiler sending a point shot that juuuuuuuust squeezes over the line. Draisaitl had an assist on the Kulak goal to give him his third 100 point season. Oilers have five different goal scorers and a cozy 5-1 lead with under 10 to go in regulation.
Draisaitl added goal number 50 shortly after ripping a one-timer from his patented spot on the ice to make it 6-1. He joins an exclusive club of active players with multiple 50-goal seasons...not to mention 101 points on the season.
That’s how we would end it! A historic night in Oilers history and a 6-1 win!
- Leon Draisaitl seemed to tweak something at the end of the first period. He went into the boards awkwardly but he did come out to play the entire second and third periods. I am of the belief that Edmonton wouldn’t push Draisaitl if they thought he might agitate something so I’m not too concerned.
- Speaking of which, Leon Draisaitl had an absolutely monumental night! He got his 100th point on an assist on Brett Kulak’s first as an Oiler and then he followed that up by blasting his 50th goal of the season. I gotta say, I had high expectations for Leon when Edmonton drafted him back in 2014 but never did I ever think he would be a two-time 50 goalscorer with three 100 point seasons. He’s a special player and man is it awesome to see him succeed in an Oilers jersey.
- Tyson Barrie notching three points in the first period is just what the doctor ordered for him. He’s struggled at both ends of the ice this season but, since Brett Kulak’s arrival as his partner, things have been looking up.
- Brett Kulak was a monster at both ends of the ice as well. He was VERY steady in the defensive end and joined Barrie with 3 points of his own. His most impactful game with Edmonton so far.
- This is the exact type of game that the Oilers had to have against a vastly inferior Ducks team. They established their will early and ran up the score to the point where it was out of reach after the first period. You have to learn to win the ones you are supposed to win if you want to be a top team in this league...and the Oilers have been doing that of late.
- I didn’t love the first goal that Mike Smith let up but, that being said, I thought he was good in the Edmonton net tonight. He made the saves he needed to make for most of the game and buckled down after letting in one.
- The Oilers get the win to improve to 40-25-5 and 85 points on the season. They keep pace with the trailing Vegas Golden Knights who remain three back of Edmonton with 82. As for the teams ahead of Edmonton, they are just one point behind the LA Kings for second place int the division while Calgary still has a little bit of a buffer in first-place with 89 points.