HAPPY BIRTHDAY CONNOR! Final Score: 3-2 Oilers in OT
With tonight’s game being the last before the bye week, I was worried that the Oilers would be focusing more on the night out than the task at hand. Step one was to make it through the first five minutes without allowing a goal. With Vegas coming back from their own bye week, the Oilers were going up against a rested club that’s been re-writing the rules for what’s possible for an expansion team. Frankly, I was hoping that their bye week added some rust to their game because the Oilers can use all the help they can get. Unfortunately, my wishes of rust didn’t look good as the Golden Knights came out flying as the Oilers needed some time to settle in.
As the game went on, the Oilers kept finding ways to bend without breaking and traded enough punches to keep it close. Unlike the first few games of the road trip, they were able to weather any storms they faced without allowing a first period goal, a feat that hadn’t happened even once on this road trip. Not only that, the Oilers actually scored the first goal of the hockey game which gave them only their second lead in the last five games. Even when things weren’t going well, the Oilers were able to stick around. After Vegas took the lead late in the second period, the Oilers managed to stop the bleeding. That resiliency ended up paying off as Drake Caggiula was able to tie the game, setting up Darnell Nurse’s overtime heroics.
THE BRIGHT SIDE
- Pat Maroon opened the scoring for the Oilers as he got a friendly bounce after charging to the front of the net. Darnell Nurse was wheeling into Vegas’ end and threw the puck into the crease area where it banked in off Patty Maroon for his 11th goal of the season.
- Drake Caggiula tied the game up at two goals apiece after he ripped a high wrister past Fleury. After Nuge went down, Caggiula got moved up with McDavid and made the most of the opportunity. Caggiula also added an assist on Nurse’s game winner for what amounted to a solid night for #91.
- Connor McDavid got the 200th point of his young career on Drake Caggiula’s tying goal. Connor was flying all night and I think the Golden Knights are lucky he had only one point. Anyway, is there any better place to be for your 21st birthday than Las Vegas? Now that this game is in the books, you know the boys are headed out on the town to make some poor life choices and probably get ladder match bunged up.
- Darnell Nurse is on fire as he scored the game winner in OT and finds himself with four goals over his last four games. Ol’ Darryl has been quite a story this season and I’m pumped to see if his ceiling can keep rising.
- Cam Talbot got pulled again last night, and I was curious to see how he was going to bounce back. The Oilers had spotted their opponents a two-goal lead in every game of this road trip, and, needless to say, that is a trend that needs to stop. Talbot was rock solid and a major reason the Oilers head into the break on a two-game winning streak. Dadbot finished the night with 34 saves and a .944 save%.
- The Oilers were really good on the penalty kill, killing off all six penalties they took. Why this can’t happen at home? Bizzare.
- Shout out to the Oilers fans in Vegas for singing happy birthday to Connor McDavid at 9:07 of the first period. I knew it was coming so I was watching for it, and I was happy to hear that it came through on TV.
- Just say no to beets.
THE FACE PALMERS
- Reilly Smith had all kinds of time in the defensive zone and the Oilers basically gave him the space he needed to walk in off the boards and score. Pretty weak defensive zone coverage by the Oilers on this one.
- William Karlsson gave the Knights a lead with six seconds left in the second period after the Oilers got caught with some more sloppy zone coverage. Vegas moved the puck around the zone effectively, and the Oilers stood by and watched as they scored.
- Nuge got hit midway through the second period and left the game with what looked like some kind of shoulder injury. Head maybe? Either way, the guy is having a great season and a long term injury would be a massive blow for the Oilers. McLellan said they hope that Nuge will be okay coming out of the break so I guess that’s all we can hope for. #PrayForNuge
- For as good as the penalty kill was tonight the power play was equally bad. They finished the game at 0/3 and didn’t ever look all that dangerous.
- Speaking of the power play, why doesn’t Darnell Nurse get a chance to play on the power play? He’s got a great shot, moves the puck well, and has played well enough to deserve a chance. What’s up with that?
- The Oilers got absolutely killed in the faceoff circle, winning only 37% of the draws.
- The vibe at T. Mobile Arena was rocking and it made me remember how much fun Rogers Place was during the playoffs. Looking at the standings now is just a bummer.
|08:01||Edmonton||Patrick Maroon (11) ASST: Darnell Nurse (12), Connor McDavid (36)||1-0|
|09:56||Vegas||Reilly Smith (12)||1-1|
|19:53||Vegas||William Karlsson (23) ASST: Jonathan Marchessault (25)||1-2|
|03:29||Edmonton||Drake Caggiula (6) ASST: Patrick Maroon (13), Connor McDavid (37)||2-2|
|00:53||Edmonton||Darnell Nurse (6) ASST: Drake Caggiula (5), Leon Draisaitl (25)||3-2|
PRE. FREAKING. GAME. pic.twitter.com/J3osJy4AV4
— McSpeedy (@whoaoilers) January 14, 2018
We'll watch his acting improve over the years just like Eberle
— Ryan Connop (@RyanConnop) January 14, 2018
Lost in all of this hoopla: the Poor Nuge who is still waiting for his 21st birthday and keeps getting passed by all the other Oilers
— Wanye (@WanyeGretz) January 14, 2018
When I was 21 I had to retake Math 33 https://t.co/Y64aQfdjrw
— Ryan (@IAmByks) January 14, 2018
— AK (@rakramer79) January 14, 2018
— David Shortt (@AdMan0828) January 14, 2018
Source: NHL, Official Game Page, 01/13/2018 – 9:00pm MST