The pre-game story was Todd McLellan facing his former team and Edmonton on a three-game winning streak: Both very rare items.
In the first 20 minutes, we witnessed strong performances from Gene Principe and Anders Nilsson, plus an eventful sequence for Jujhar Khaira that involved a big hit and then a (successful) fight. He also had a significant chance earlier. Taylor Hall was hooked, punched and generally manhandled, but Edmonton did some damage to giant homeless man Brett Burns in the first stanza.
The second period started with the Sharks pushing the river and Edmonton spending long minutes looking like they would break. They did not. The first goal of the game was a brilliant item that saw Hall pass to Purcell and a nice little pass to Leon who went in alone and fired a puck five-hole for the marker. Music!
Also in the second period, it occurred to me that we have reached a milestone. Anders Nilsson has calmed Oilers Nation like no other goalie in ages. He made several fantastic saves without getting the usual resounding ovation and one million online mentions. It is a monster compliment: We are calm, Anders. Maybe for the first time this decade.
Nilsson was a big star through two, along with Leon and his line. I thought the defense played well in coverage but had some wobbly breakouts and San Jose had the edge in play through two periods. With the Sharks having played last night the expectation for Edmonton fans was a strong third period effort for the home side. The Oilers certainly pounded the Sharks, so those who argue that area of the game had every right to expect a quality final 20. Shots after 40 minutes were 20-14 for San Jose (11-8 Sharks in the period).
The third period began with San Jose once again pushing, and this time they cashed on a goal. Justin Braun, who last scored when David Lee Roth was a member of Van Halen, sent a backhand through a screen to tie it 1-1.
At that point in the game, Edmonton did not have the edge in play and were tied, despite getting at least their share of good chances. A hard working shift from a skill line was a key element to the game, as Jujhar Khaira found Jordan Eberle high slot. The skilled winger found the back of the net with a brilliant old timey backhander.
Unfortunately, the game turned again on an offensive zone turnover, as Khaira sent a pass into the high slot for a streaking Oscar Klefbom who could not make contact. Seconds later, the fantastic skill of the Sharks cashed on a Marleau goal. Not long after, San Jose’s best men had Edmonton running around and Joe Pavelski scored the deciding tally. The Sharks may have been tired, but they were at least enough for the Oilers on this night.
FInally, later in the third, the gift of Finn delivered. Iiro Pakarinen scored to even the score on a long ranger, giving Oilers fans hope for at least a point. After a Taylor Hall puck over glass to rob fans of at least one month of life expectancy, it went to overtime.
In overtime, hard work ruled, defense took a powder and Leon-to-Taylor OMG THEY WON!!!
THE BRIGHT SIDE
- Jujhar Khaira flew through the NHL doors and did what he said he would do, providing a physical element while also keeping up and giving fans a textbook example of Peter Chiarelli’s ‘heavy on the puck’ mantra.
- Taylor freaking Hall.
- We won, bitches!
THE FACE PALMERS
- Screw that noise.
Hell if I know, the string detached from the soup can at Rexall.
BEST OF THE TWEETS
I’ve watched the last three Oilers games. They’ve won three games in a row. Coincidence? I think not.
— Rascal Gas™ (@rascalgas) December 10, 2015
— Gary Robbins (@gary_robbins) December 10, 2015
There’s something about NHL refs and refusing to give opposing teams penalties on Taylor Hall. #Oilers
— David Shortt (@AdMan0828) December 10, 2015
Oilers did a nice job of trying to hit the Sharks D as much as they could in that period…good knocks at start and end of period.
— Dean Millard (@DuckMillard) December 10, 2015
Thank you very much Leon! #Oilers
— Min Dhariwal (@MinDhariwal) December 10, 2015
— paul ermantrout (@paulermantrout) December 10, 2015
@JasonGregor Seriously, what the hell am I seeing tonight?! The Oilers are starting to look legit.
— Josie (@josieoilerfan) December 10, 2015
#Oilers bend don’t break regain momentum & take lead into the dressing room. Wonder what SJ has left in the tank for the 3rd?
— Kurt Leavins (@KurtLeavins) December 10, 2015
Less shark zone time, more offence lets get those 2 points #Oilers
— Heather Marginet (@margih99) December 10, 2015
— Beer League Heroes (@BeerLeagueHeroe) December 10, 2015
*delayed reaction because I misplaced my phone*
GREAT GOAL!! Tie game! Take it home Oilers!!!!
— what’s her name (@Kage_99) December 10, 2015
YOU NEED TO WIN IT FOR TODD, YOU GUYS!!!!!
— McJenny (@ginny_jenny) December 10, 2015
When the oilers HAVE FOUR WINS IN A ROW FUCK YEAH pic.twitter.com/dsPoksCEKa
— (Holid)Aaron (@FerraoAaron) December 10, 2015
When Brent Burns is on the road I bet he’s always worried that Duck Dynasty isn’t recording.
— Rob Tychkowski (@Sun_Tychkowski) December 10, 2015
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