Maybe Cam Talbot needs to swear at the NHL more often. Final Score: 4-3 Oilers
Heading into tonight’s game, I needed the Oilers to come out flying, beat the Kings, and avenge the loss from two weeks ago. Frankly, I’m bored of being angry about the Oilers and I’d rather not get into apathy territory so another win would have gone a long way for me. Besides, the Oilers got killed by the Kings the last time they played and I’d rather not watch the same movie so soon, ya know? Fortunately, the Oilers got an excellent start tonight as they were able to open the scoring only 51 seconds into the first period which gave them a chance to settle into their game, and, for the second straight game, close out the opening frame with a lead.
Heading into the second period, Edmonton kept battling hard, they moved the puck effectively, and they did a good job of creating chances for themselves. When the Oilers struggle they’re likely to give up the next goal, but rather than allow the Kings to tie things up they built off of their strong start and actually increased their lead to two goals. But as we’ve seen, the Oilers handle two-goal leads like a live grenade and you never know what’s going to happen. Before the last five minutes or so, the Oilers actually did a really nice job of nullifying LA’s transition game and limiting their speed through the neutral zone, allowing for some easy takeaways and added possession time for the boys. For the first 45-50 minutes, the Oilers played well and deserved to be in the mix for a win but, frankly, they were lucky to get it with the walls started caving in.
At the end of the day, things went pretty well in all three zones for the Oilers for most of the night until they decided they had had enough of took their foot off the gas. I mean, they were close to having the wheels falls off entirely but they were lucky to close out this win. But that’s the beautiful thing about sports, sometimes things get weird and you get lucky enough to reach the final buzzer before the wheels fell off.
THE BRIGHT SIDE
- There goes the 12-game losing streak in LA that dated back to 2011.
- Anton Slepyshev opened the scoring for the Oilers only 51 seconds into the game, and, get this, the goal came on the first shot of the game. The goal was a result of a nice passing play with all three forwards getting a touch in before it wound up in the back of the net. Now that I see how much fun a first-shot goal can be I can understand why the other teams keep doing it to the Oilers.
- Leon Draisaitl has gotten better and better as the season has gone along and we’re seeing more of the guy that dominated the playoffs last spring. He continued his run of dominance tonight with yet another goal scored after smashing a Cammalleri pass past Jonathan Quick, giving the Oilers a two-goal lead.
- Jujhar Khaira’s legend grows around the Nation as he scored yet another beautiful goal after he dangled his way into the high slot and ripped a shot top shelf and past Quick to restore the Oilers’ two-goal lead. Khaira has been a fantastic story this season and I love how pumped he gets any time he puts one in. Great goal for the bearded beauty.
- Ryan Strome closed things out with an empty net goal that gave the Oilers an insurance goal that they ended up needing desperately. The Kings scored with only 18 seconds left in the game and it ended up making Strome’s goal the game winner. It was another good night for Strome as he finished the night with the game winning goal and a primary assist on Slepyshev’s first period marker.
- Cam Talbot was really good for the Oilers tonight and I say that knowing he’s going to take some heat for the third period. For most of this night, he handled his business and gave his team a chance to win the hockey game. Dadbot made a ton of big saves in this hockey game and he deserved the ‘W’ that came along with them. Talbot finished the night with 30 saves and a .909 save%. Personally, I think he was better than the numbers will say.
- Mike Cammalleri had a good night tonight, putting up three assists against his former team and pumping up his stock heading into the deadline. Atta up that trade value (maybe?), buddy!
- Make it five games without allowing a power play goal against. Progress! A little late, mind you, but it’s better late than never.
- Can you believe that was the first challenge that the Oilers have had gone their way with in the last 19 attempts? Mind-boggling stat.
THE FACE PALMERS
- Tyler Toffoli got an easy one tonight after the Kris Russell got caught with a pinch at the blue line which created a two-on-one down low. After sneaking past the Oilers’ defence, Nate Thompson made a perfect pass to Toffoli that cashed in a goal to get the Kings back to within one.
- Would you be surprised to find out that Tobias Rieder scored his first goal as a King against the team that drafted him and traded him for nothing? No, you wouldn’t be, would you?
- Dustin Brown got the Kings to within a goal with only 18 seconds left in the game after finding a loose puck at the side of the net. Amazingly that goal was scored with almost enough time to get things tied up, but the Oilers were actually on the right side of an NHL challenge.
- That third period ‘wait and see’ approach was not a great idea and the Oilers are lucky they were able to close this win out without blowing it.
- Checking in on the Oilers’ power play and it went… well… you know:
- The PP went 0/2 on the night. They had some shots and chances but couldn’t get anything done on a night when they needed all the offence they could get.
- Make it 25 straight games for Milan Lucic without a goal. Actually, he didn’t even have a shot on goal tonight. At this point, I just feel bad for the guy because he’s not doing anything out there. Well… I felt bad until he hit Connor coming across the ice and nearly hurt him. I know it was an accident but… you know. Don’t touch Connor. I don’t care which team you’re on.
- The Oilers had a tough night in the faceoff circle, winning only 38% of the draws they took.
- I hate knowing that this win helped Calgary.
- I’ll miss you, Davy. I know how much you loved playing here and how disappointed you must be right now.
|00:51||Edmonton||Anton Slepyshev (4) ASST: Ryan Strome (16), Michael Cammalleri (18)||1-0|
|06:16||Edmonton||Leon Draisaitl (19) ASST: Michael Cammalleri (19), Adam Larsson (5)||2-0|
|14:26||Los Angeles||Tyler Toffoli (20) ASST: Nate Thompson (9)||2-1|
|17:04||Edmonton||Jujhar Khaira (10) ASST: Drake Caggiula (6), Darnell Nurse (14)||3-1|
|07:51||Los Angeles||Tobias Rieder (9) ASST: Derek Forbort (13), Anze Kopitar (40)||3-2|
|19:01||Edmonton||EN – Ryan Strome (10) ASST: Michael Cammalleri (20)||4-2|
|19:42||Los Angeles||Dustin Brown (18) ASST: Drew Doughty (34), Adrian Kempe (15)||4-3|
The Oilers last season Vs. this season pic.twitter.com/SH0Cud5rzy
— Adam (@OilersAdam) February 24, 2018
May as well tell us about the ex-Oilers and the guys going through slumps while you're at it
— FatDad69 (@fat_dad69) February 25, 2018
At this point that would only happen in his own net!
— David Mitchell (@Mitch92goal) February 25, 2018
— Joey (@JSM202) February 25, 2018
❤ Cam's reaction 😂 pic.twitter.com/GPxqgv5KDu
— Marla (@MShain17) February 25, 2018
Source: NHL, Official Game Page, 02/24/2018 – 11:00pm MST