Maybe someone should remind Crosby again that he hadn’t scored yet. *sigh* Final Score: 6-5 Penguins in OT
There’s always something special about seeing two (or three depending on who you are) of the best players in the world going up against each other and tonight’s McDosby showdown was no different. Coming in, I was expecting big things since it seems like 97 and 87 always crank it up a notch when they face off against each other, and that’s a generational head-to-head that’s always worth watching. And that’s without even throwing Malkin in the mix, a guy that can undoubtedly dominate a shift or game in his own right. Figure him in with Connor and Sid and you’ve got a big ticket night in the NHL. But for as much as I was looking forward to seeing the captains go up against each other, a battle that can go either way on a shift by shift basis, I was nervous about how the rest of the Oilers would be able to hold up against an experienced Penguins team. As it turns out, it was the secondary scorers for both teams that were the story on this night.
As much as everyone was talking about Connor and Sid going against each other, they spent just as much time on the fact that Crosby had yet to score a goal this season. As Oilers fans, we know that a long drought and a road trip through Edmonton usually means that a slump is about to be busted and that’s exactly what happened. The Oilers couldn’t cash in on an early power play opportunity but, when given the chance, the Penguins made something with theirs as Sidney Crosby opened the scoring with his first of the year. Crosby’s goal aside, this was a close affair… at least to start. From there the game really opened up as both sides seemingly decided that defence was optional and that it would be way more fun to go all in on a shinny-like back and forth style of play that opened things up for a flurry of goals to get traded back and forth for the final 40 minutes. Stars were scoring, depth players too, and it was the kind of game where the leads changed on a minute by minute basis. It was offensive madness and insanely close all at the same time.
When the game went into overtime, I honestly had no idea which way this thing was going to go. On one hand, I was expecting the Oilers to pull this thing out and finish off the win because that’s kinda what they do in OT. Then, on the other hand, almost everything the Penguins shot at the net ended up going in. Unfortunately, we know how this one ended up.
THE BRIGHT SIDE
- Leon Draisaitl came up with a huge goal (his 3rd) in the second period to tie the game up after he collected the puck in the high slot and ripped it past Murray with a heavy wrist shot. He was able to gain a little bit of space for himself with the puck and he made no mistake when he got it. Leon’s second goal of the night (4th), a perfectly executed odd-man rush with McNuge by his side, was just as important as it gave the Oilers a (temporary) 5-4 lead in the third period. Great night by Draisaitl and easily his best game of the year.
- Alex Chiasson scored his first goal as an Oiler after a hell of a shift that started with him taking his man out in the corner, walking the puck out, shooting, grabbing his rebound, and then burying the puck into the top shelf. Incredible sequence by Chiasson for his first as an Oiler. Chiasson wasn’t done either as, only a few minutes later, he finished off a nifty little give and go with Tobias Rieder to temporarily tie the game up at three. After being a healthy scratch to start the season, the guy is certainly doing everything he can to maintain his spot in the lineup.
- Connor McDavid scored a massive third-period powerplay goal to tie things up at four goals apiece. I don’t know how many ways I can write that this guy is everything to this team and watching him put up points like this is absolutely incredible to watch.
- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins quietly had himself another two-point night with a pair of assists on both of Leon Draisaitl’s goals. All of a sudden, Nuge has nine points on the year.
- Big shout out to Cooper Marody for making it through his NHL debut and doing a fine job of it, I might add. He made some really nice plays out there and you can tell the guy has hands and a sense for the net, which makes him a guy that I’m quietly (super) optimistic about. I didn’t think he’d be here this early but he didn’t look out of place in his first NHL game. He finished the night with 9:58 on the ice, two takeaways, and two shots on goal.
- Oscar Klefbom logged a ton of minutes again tonight, finishing the game with 28:16 minutes played in all situations. He’s been McLellan’s workhorse over these last few games and he’s done a decent job of handling the task so far, though it would be nice to see some more offence coming from him.
- How about Kailer Yamamoto’s ability to draw penalties? It really is incredible, right? Is it because he’s so small and ends up flying around when you bump him?
- I thought Milan Lucic had a really solid night again. He was throwing his weight around, parking himself in front of the net whenever he got close to it, and he generally made it known when he was on the ice. More of that, please.
- The Oilers went 2/5 on the powerplay which was very encouraging to see. Obviously, they could have used another one but it’s nice to see them get something going with the man advantage.
- Happy Birthday to the one and only Jason Gregor! Guy looks great for 50.
THE FACE PALMERS
- Shame on all of you that kept talking about Crosby not having a goal yet this season. This goal is on all of you. Shame. SHAME! *spits* And on the OT winner, I’m gonna go ahead and say that a Strome vs. Crosby matchup is less than ideal.
- Oleksiak got the Penguins second goal of the game, tying the game up midway through the second period. The big man slowly made his way down the ice, following the play until he found himself alone with the puck in the slot and buried it. That said, this was a stoppable puck and Cam Talbot really should have had it. The Oilers had just given themselves the lead (2-1) and this one should not have gone in. The gigantic defensive potted another one in the third****** period after his seeing-eye shot from the point made its way through traffic and into the net.
- Moments after they tied the game at two apiece, the Penguins reclaimed their lead (3-2 at that point) with another goal from in tight by Patric Hornqvist. The Penguins won a puck battle behind the net after what looked like a controllable play for the Oilers and it made its way to Hornqvist’s stick and into the back of the net. Not the brightest piece of defending and goaltending you’ll ever see. Hornqvist then got a second goal of the night later on in the period after the puck bounced into the net off of his foot, restoring the Penguins one-goal lead (4-3).
- This was not a very good night for Cam Talbot at all which was incredibly frustrating given the work that was happening in front of him. This could have been a statement win for the Oilers but instead, it ended up as an OT loss because they couldn’t get the saves needed to close the thing out. I’m not going to put all six on the goalie necessarily but there were a few gross goals in there that absolutely had to be stopped. Talbot finished the night with 25 saves and a .806 save%.
- Jesse Puljujarvi looked lost again tonight and, again, played fewer than 10 minutes. Honestly, I would love for him to be in the AHL, but I also think the same for Yamamoto and the Oilers don’t have enough depth to make that happen. Such is life.
- Oilers went 47% in the faceoff circle which isn’t horrible but not exactly good either.
- I hate you, Sid. Here’s a #BeetCast. As always, you can follow along over on my Twitter account.
|10:58||Pittsburgh||PPG – Sidney Crosby (1) ASST: Kris Letang (5), Phil Kessel (5)||1-0|
|01:06||Edmonton||Leon Draisaitl (3) ASST: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (6), Kris Russell (2)||1-1|
|03:10||Edmonton||Alex Chiasson (1) ASST: Kris Russell (3)||1-2|
|07:16||Pittsburgh||Jamie Oleksiak (2) ASST: Evgeni Malkin (10), Phil Kessel (6)||2-2|
|10:24||Pittsburgh||Patric Hornqvist (1) ASST: Dominik Simon (2)||3-2|
|15:15||Edmonton||Alex Chiasson (2) ASST: Tobias Rieder (1), Adam Larsson (2)||3-3|
|19:05||Pittsburgh||Patric Hornqvist (2) ASST: Matt Cullen (1), Brian Dumoulin (3)||4-3|
|02:47||Edmonton||PPG – Connor McDavid (5) ASST: Oscar Klefbom (3), Milan Lucic (2)||4-4|
|04:18||Edmonton||PPG – Leon Draisaitl (4) ASST: Connor McDavid (8), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (7)||4-5|
|06:51||Pittsburgh||Jamie Oleksiak (3) ASST: Patric Hornqvist (2), Matt Cullen (2)||5-5|
|02:12||Pittsburgh||Sidney Crosby (2)||6-5|
— Ryan S. Pumpkins (@IAmByks) October 24, 2018
THIS IS WHY I WAS SAYING #PTOEVERYONE
— Tyler Yaremchuk (@tyleryaremchuk) October 24, 2018
— Matt Henderson (@Archaeologuy) October 24, 2018
— Robin Brownlee (@Robin_Brownlee) October 23, 2018
NATION ROADIE TO CALGARY
Just like last year, it was important for us to try and make this trip as cheap as possible and to announce it as early as we could to give you as much time as possible to get your life in order. Based on last year’s trip, this is a roadie that you really won’t want to miss — it’s an absolute blast and a good chance to get ridiculous behind enemy lines. And since I already know that you want to come, let’s get to the when, where, and how much, shall we?
Give me the details, guy:
- When? Saturday, November 17th, 2018
- How much? The depends on how many people are coming with you. To put it another way, we’ve got a range of options including single occupancy ($329/person) up to groups of four ($249/person).
- Why? Because we love to party
- Where do you buy tickets? Right here, friend. But be warned, just like the last time we did this, the trip sold out quickly and procrastinating will be your enemy if you want to come.
Source: NHL, Official Game Page, 10/23/2018 – 11:00 pm MST