The Edmonton Oilers (4-4-0) were back in action late on Friday night for game two of their second-round series against their provincial rivals, the Calgary Flames (5-3-0). Edmonton was shell-shocked in the series opener as Calgary jumped to a 3-0 lead after ~6 minutes and chased Edmonton’s starting goalie, Mike Smith, in short order. Mikko Koskinen came in and did just enough to allow Edmonton to tie it 6-6 (!!!) early in the third period, but gave up the game-winner shortly thereafter. Still, the eventual 9-6 scoreline actually flattered the visitors, if you can believe it, as they were second best for most of Game 1.
But one game does not win a series. LFG.
Edmonton had a better start in G2, but only just. Once again, they found themselves down after ~6 minutes via two calamitous goals: one a Michael Stone point shot that traveled along the ice and underneath Smith, the other an egregious rebound poked home by Brett Ritchie. 0-2.
The Oilers found some reprieve via a Blake Coleman roughing penalty, but couldn’t get anything going as the PP1 continued to languish. Toward the end of the man-advantage, Ryan McLeod and Tyler Toffoli took coincidental minors for roughing, and Evander Kane took an extra two minutes for grabbing Rasmus Andersson’s visor.
Less than two minutes after that, Evan Bouchard and Johnny Gaudreau went for cross-checking, and diving, respectively, with Elias Lindholm taking the extra two this time for roughing Duncan Keith.
Nothing came from any of the 5v4 or 4v4 situations for either side.
A few minutes later, Connor McDavid — again, the best player on the planet by a country mile — dragged the Oilers into the game. Leon Draisaitl played the puck down along the near wall and behind the Flames net, where Kane was clearing just enough space for McDavid to collect the puck. McDavid spun away from his check and, with one hand on his stick, fed an oncoming Keith at faceoff dot to Jacob Markstrom’s right. He stepped into a one-timer and beat Markstrom on his glove side. 1-2. LFG.
Edmonton found a bit of stability at 5v5 after the goal, and carried that stability forward through the rest of the first period until Nikita Zadorov took a penalty for hooking Kane with about a minute left. Unfortunately, the Oilers couldn’t find a goal before the buzzer. Down one after 20.
As is almost always the case, the Oilers couldn’t get anything going on their PP to start the second period. To make matters worse, 2 seconds after the Zadorov penalty expired, the Oilers were called for too many men, sending them on the PK. Tyler Toffoli made them pay after Darnell Nurse lost his stick and wasn’t given a replacement by either forward he was out with. 1-3.
There was some kind of skirmish near the benches after the goal, but before play restarted, that saw Nurse and Matthew Tkachuk get the gate for unsportsmanlike conduct.
On the very next shift, Edmonton’s best players thought they got one back. Leon Draisaitl was in the perfect position to sweep home a rebound from McDavid’s power move to the house, but upon review it was called back due to goaltender interference.
BUT, on the very next shift after that, McDavid scored anyway. After shrugging off contact from Zadorov, he played a quick one-two with Keith, whose return feed sent McDavid in on Markstrom with time and space, and McDavid made no mistake. 2-3. LFG.
Calgary responded by attacking in waves for the next few shifts, largely due to Edmonton giving some minutes to their fourth line of Zack Kassian, Josh Archibald, and Derek Ryan, who got absolutely pummeled whenever they were out there. Fortunately, Smith had settled down by that point and turned away all comers.
Eventually, Kailer Yamamoto caught a stick in the mush that drew blood, giving Edmonton a 4 minute PP to get themselves level. And they did. After a pretty pedestrian first minute or so by the top unit, the second unit hopped over and went to work. With seconds remaining in the first minor to Stone, Keith flung it over to Evan Bouchard with acres of room to walk in from the right point, and he did just that: walking into an absolute bullet that whizzed by Markstrom’s right ear and tickled the top left corner. 3-3. LFG.
While it would have been wonderful if Edmonton could add to their lead on the second minor, they couldn’t, but the PP generally looked more dangerous last night and they were able to turn that into some 5v5 momentum to close out the period. But not before drawing yet another last-minute penalty via a scrum that saw Tyson Barrie, Andrew Mangiapane, and Blake Coleman all get the gate.
Try as they might, the Oilers PP couldn’t get the lead before the period ended. Still, it was another successful second period. 3-3 after 40. LFG.
Again, Edmonton couldn’t make good on their PP to start the period. Again, they took a penalty shortly after their PP expired as Kane went for cross-checking Elias Lindholm. Mike Smith and the PKers stood tall and Edmonton survived it.
Calgary continued to push after their PP and managed to draw another near the halfway point of the third period via a Warren Foegele slash on Andersson. And then Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Zack Hyman factored in. A good stick by the former saw the latter pick up the loose puck just inside the DZ blue and take off on a breakaway — his second of the night. He outpaced whoever was trying to check him and roofed one over Markstrom’s left shoulder to put the visitors in front. 4-3. LFG. SCENES.
They managed to kill of the rest of the penalty to boot.
Two minutes after that, Draisaitl delivered the dagger. A Mike Smith — yes, Mike Smith — rim around the near wall got the puck out of the DZ, eluding two Flames along the way. But not Draisaitl. He was first to react and collect the puck in the NZ and was off to the races on a breakaway. He made no mistake as he picked his spot and went bar-in on Markstrom’s blocker side to send the Oilers-supporting fans in attendance into a frenzy. 5-3. LFG. SCENES. MADNESS. ELATION. LFG.
Oilers Connor McDavid is the fastest player in the past 30 years to reach the 20-point mark in the postseason pic.twitter.com/oF3OpLWQhG— Sportsnet Stats (@SNstats) May 21, 2022
Game 3. Edmonton. Sunday. 6PM MST.