9
Photo Credit: © Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

Oilers 3, Devils 2 (OT) post-game Oil Spills: We going back-to-back

For the first time this season, the Oilers have won back-to-back games. They got off to a slow start but were kept in the game early by strong play from Cam Talbot. They battled back to tie the game two different time and eventually took it home in overtime.

It wasn’t perfect, but it was a gutsy victory for a team who needs to find the win column however possible.

Highlights

The Devils grabbed an early lead as the Oilers came out completely flat. Brian Boyle crashed the net and smashed a rebound past Cam Talbot.

I usually wouldn’t go into much detail about the other team scoring, but this is a great story worth mentioning. Brian Boyle was diagnosed with Myeloid Leukemia prior to the season and this was his first goal since returning.

Anton Slepyshev tied the game in the second period with a beautiful snipe over a frozen Cory Schneider. Milan Lucic did a good job keeping the puck in the zone and feeding Slepyshev, who was all alone for the mini breakaway. It was Slepyshev’s first goal of the season.

A few minutes into the third period, the Lucic and RNH line connected again to tie the game at 2-2. RNH dished the pass to Lucic who came down the wing and sniped a shot between Schneider’s gaping five hole. It’s nice to see the Oilers shooting on opportunities like this. It seems that too often during this early slump we’ve seen them try too hard to make perfect plays rather than getting a good shot on net.

After a ridiculously good shift by RNN in which he danced around in the offensive zone, Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl connected again for another overtime winner. This time, McDavid used his wheels to burn around the New Jersey defender and rather than crashing to the net, he slowed down for just long enough to feed the streaking Draisaitl for an easy tap in. If this team gets into three on three overtime, they’re not easy to beat.

By the numbers

Despite getting dominated in the first period, the shot totals in this game ended up being even, which is a testament to how the Oilers responded in the second and third periods. New Jersey was all over Edmonton in the first, picking up 20 shot attempts to the Oilers’ eight. But in the second and third, the Oilers picked it up and had 32 shot attempts to New Jersey’s 24. The Oilers also dominated in the overtime period, getting six shots, five of which were high danger chances.

Thoughts

  • The Oilers were asleep to start the game. At one point, New Jersey was outshooting them 12-0, but thanks to strong play from Cam Talbot, the game didn’t get completely flipped on its head early on. By the end of the first period, the Devils had a 1-0 lead, but that easily could have been bigger if not for Talbot coming up with a few big saves. After that first period hibernation, the Oilers pulled it together and were the better team.
  • Anton Slepyshev scored a beautiful goal to tie the game at 1-1 in the second period. I figured he could kick in quite a bit offensively if given a role in the top six and some power play time considering his good wheels and wicked shot. But unfortunately for Slepy, after scoring his first goal of the season and getting off the schneid, the Russian winger was placed on the Injured Reserve.
  • The top four blueliners were strong last night. Oscar Klefbom led the way with 25 minutes of ice time. Him and Matt Benning are starting to look more comfortable together and are doing an excellent job of moving the puck and driving offence. Adam Larsson and Darnell Nurse also continued to look solid together as the team’s pairing that plays against top opponents. When facing Taylor Hall and Nico Hischier, New Jersey’s top offensive line, Larsson and Nurse completely shut them down to one even strength scoring chance. Kris Russell and Eric Gryba only played 16:30, but I imagine that once Andrej Sekera returns Russell will be more effective.
  • The Oilers are still 15th in the West but only sit four points out of a playoff spot. There are 67 games to go.

Source: NHL.com, Official Game Page, 11/09/2017, 7:00pm MST