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Photo Credit: Perry Nelson - USA TODAY Sports

GDB +2.0 Wrap Up: The Oilers were a smarter team

Knoxville’s is your post playoff party destination

Final Score: 2-0

The first minutes of the game saw both teams get their legs underneath them, with each team having a few solid chances.

Zack Kassian got the party started, when he slid a puck wide of the net on a partial breakaway. The play landed the Oilers a power-play opportunity, with Paul Martin taking a slashing call on the play. Martin swung a one-handed bat which landed on the wrist of Kassian.

The first shot didn’t come until a minute in when Ryan Nugent-Hopkins made a pass from down low to Patrick Maroon, who had to settle the puck prior to ripping a shot on Martin Jones. Maroon had — more shots on the power-play.

Following the power-play chance, the Oilers seemed to continue with the momentum getting

Kassian, who is working on his best rendition to look like Wolverine with his mutton chops, laid a huge hit hit on Dillon that got Rogers Place jumping.

Minutes later, he got called on a roughing penalty for giving Tierney a shot in the face while Darnell Nurse quickly cleared Timo Meir from the front of Cam Talbot. The Oilers looked really solid on the penalty kill and kept the Sharks from getting any real offensive zone time.

One thing that was apparent early on was that the nerves had seemed to subside in the team. Plays were being made much more confidently and were executed much better. The nerves of playing in the playoffs seemed to have worn off by the end of the first frame.

Notably, the Oilers defence was activating in the game more and were more aggressive on up ice plays.

All of the first period work continued into the second frame when the Oilers – still on the penalty kill – had a shorthanded chance to get the lead.

Kassian, who was all over the ice in the first, got a clean breakaway pass from Mark Letestu on the PK and made no mistake. Right between the faceoff hash marks in the middle of the ice, he sniped a wrister past Martin Jones.

The Oilers top line brought momentum into the next shift with what was arguably their best shift of the series to that point. Edmonton was winning battles all over the ice and it showed.

McDavid’s line seemed to finally feel comfortable and it started to show. All three forwards finally were getting comfortable when Patrick Maroon smoked Justin Braun with a big hit in the corner. He ended up getting a two-minute minor.

Shortly into the kill, Kris Russell did what Kris Russell does and got in front of a point shot. This one stung, and he struggled to get off the ice. he did return shortly there after. Like they did on their first PK’s, the Oilers stood tall draining the Sharks of any chances.

McDavid found Caggiula on a partial breakaway but the deflection couldn’t find its way.  Momentum continued to flow in the direction of the Oilers. Common traits in the team from all season came back into the teams came. Clean passes, smart plays and solid work defensively allowed the Oilers to play their game and control home-ice.

The third period opened up with more pressure from the Oilers. The hard work down low earned them a penalty when Jordan Eberle got hauled down by Brenden Dillon.

Through the first ten minutes, the Oilers had clear control of this game. It should be noted that Oscar Klefbom blocked a Brent Burns shot off the inside of his left leg. He had clearly been in pain on the bench and was carried down the tunnel. EDIT: In postgame comments Todd McLellan said Klefbom told him he was “Ok.” 

As the Oilers continued to do all night, the penalty kill was red hot. Connor McDavid gained a partial breakaway while Milan Lucic was sitting in the box for an errant high-stick, and the young captain made no mistake.

McDavid showed up like one would expect, picking the five-hole on Martin Jones as the team has done through both games of the series.

Overall, the Oilers dominated the game almost front to back showing that they are a much more composed team than they may have in game one. It is clear that the Edmonton Oilers are now here to play. The series is tied at one as we head to San Jose for games three and four.

The series is anyones at this point. The Oilers really took it to San Jose outshooting them

THE BRIGHT SIDE

  • Early momentum for the Oilers came from a power-play opportunity and was carried on by some strong cycling at five-on-five. Kassian laid a big hit on Dillon which helped continue some of said momentum he was an absolute monster all night long laying some massive, massive hits that really gave the Oilers jump.
  • Physically, the Oilers dominated all night too. By the end of the night, the Oilers were given credit for 41 hits vs the Sharks 21.
  • The Oilers played a much calmer game looking like they finally had shaken the playoff nerves. They certainly tightened up on their mistakes from the first game and
  • Edmonton’s penalty kill was red hot having to kill calls all night long. The Oilers limited the Sharks to a mere five shots on the six penalties they had to kill. Great work by the team to limit the Sharks opportunities.
  • Cam Talbot was big all night stopping any chance that the Sharks had on net. He earned that shutout and it not only his first playoff shutout, but his first playoff win.

THE FACE PALMERS

  • In my eyes, the reffing seemed to continue as it did in game one with more calls seeming to go in favour of the Sharks vs the Oilers. Call it how you will, but the Oilers have seemed to have to fight for calls in their favour.
  • The only other real concern was the loss of Oscar Klefbom due to a blocked Burns shot. Klefbom has been a big piece of the Oilers success this season and any time he isn’t in the lineup it’s not a good thing. Let’s hope it is only a minor ailment for the Swede. EDIT: As stated earlier, it sounds like Klefbom is okay. That is a good thing moving forward for the Oilers.

SCORING SUMMARY

1ST PERIOD

TIME TEAM DETAILS SCORE
No Scoring

2ND PERIOD

TIME TEAM DETAILS SCORE
00:42 Edmonton SHG – Zack Kassian (1) ASST: Mark Letestu (2) 0-1

3RD PERIOD

TIME TEAM DETAILS SCORE
10:31 Edmonton SHG – Connor McDavid (1) 0-2

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