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Photo Credit: © Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Capitals 4, Oilers 2 post-game Oil Spills: Ugly start buries Edmonton’s chance to sweep season series

The Oilers got down 2-0 early and the Capitals didn’t look back, working their way to a 4-2 victory. The frustrating thing about last night’s game is how Washington’s fourth line did a big chunk of the damage early on and the Oilers couldn’t crack Washington’s backup goalie.

What happened…

The fourth line got caught snoozing here as Jakub Vrana was able to skate completely alone into the slot and bury a one-time a pass from Devante Smith-Pelly past Cam Talbot for a 1-0 lead. This is really, really bad defensive zone by the fourth line here.

Shortly after that, the fourth line yet again let Washington’s fourth line capitalize on poo D-zone. Smith-Pelly followed Travis Boyd, who collected a turnover near Edmonton’s blueline, and buried one from the slot past Talbot. Not much Talbot can do on either of those goals.

Connor McDavid would bring the Oilers back to within one prior to the end of the first period. The Oilers worked the puck around the point before Oscar Klefbom found McDavid at the top of the circle. He would laser a wrist shot past Pheonix Copley for his fifth power play goal of the season.

Washington would get their two-goal lead back in the second period when T.J. Oshie took a ridiculously nice spin pass from Nicklas Backstrom before wiring a puck over Cam Talbot’s glove side. This kind of reminds me of the game against Minnesota in which Talbot allowed just enough space to be open for the top corner to be picked by a sharp-shooter.

The Oilers yet again brought the game to within one goal half-way through the second period. Right as a power play was expiring, Adam Larsson took a bomb from the point that Leon Draisaitl would nicely tip past Copley.

Immediately after that, the Capitals would restore their two-goal lead. If Washington gets on the power play, there’s a good chance they’re going to score. To be fair to the Oilers, they were penalized just twice, but Alex Ovechkin converted from that area he’s scored from so many times in the past to make it 4-2.

By the numbers…

This game was a tale of three periods. The Caps really came out strong and dominated the Oilers early in last night’s game, but the Oilers came on harder in the second and third period. In the third, the Oilers fired 24 shots towards the net while the Capitals only had seven, but Washington, as they were preserving a lead, did a nice job holding the Oilers to just three high danger chances with that 4-2 lead.

Thoughts…

  • The fourth line had a really ugly game, as I mentioned with those two highlights above. They got line-matched against the Caps’ fourth line, which is ideal, but got gutted for two goals in the early part of the game that the Oilers weren’t able to compensate for. The Oilers need this line to be better. Nobody expects them to produce any offence, but they can’t be getting scored on twice by another team’s fourth line.
  • The third line actually didn’t play badly. Jesse Puljujarvi skated with energy and didn’t look as timid as he has this season. Milan Lucic and Ryan Strome sport a 93.5 PDO as a duo and you can’t expect for that to stay forever. That line controlled more than 60 percent of the even strength shot attempts last game. Eventually, things are going to start bouncing the right way for those two.
  • I wouldn’t blame Talbot for three of the four goals he allowed. The Ovechkin one on the power play is just a reality of facing Washington and the two goals early in the first were the product of terrible defensive zone play from the fourth line. The only goal I thought was kinda soft was the Oshie goal that gave Washington a 3-1 lead. I only point it out because it seems like a symptom of Talbot’s season in which he’s going down too quickly and leaving holes open to be picked.
  • On a positive note, it’s a great sign that we legitimately expected the Oilers to roll into Washington, face the defending cup champs on the road, and come out with a win or at least a loser point. It goes to show how the team has been rolling early on.
    • Ted

      Blame Talbot! Enough with the early goals and not blame Talbot. He’s apparently the number one. Act like it. Make a save. Make a save early when it counts. And when it goes bad take the blame. Hey Jim Matheson what do you think of that. I have a big problem with Talbot being,
      ” Number One “

  • ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    By the time we get to Phoenix
    They’ll be leading
    They’ll be up by two and we don’t have a 3rd line that can score
    We’ll cry when we reach that part down by two late in the 3rd
    Cause we’ve seen that movie so many times before

  • TKB2677

    I don’t give much blame on Talbot for any of the goals but at the same time when your starter gives up 4 goals, you are probably not going to win. That’s just reality. You need your goalie, especially your starter to save all the pucks he’s supposed too and at least 1 or 2 he probably shouldn’t. Every team needs your goalie to make a big save at a key time. Talbot didn’t make a big save until the score was 4-2 when the game was over. Koskinen made that huge glove save when the game was close.

  • HelpMeBabyJesus

    I agree with Ted. The 4th line may not have played as well as they have been but the blame is all Talbot’s. He needs to get off his knees and facing the shooters. He is way to deep in his net and the slimming of the pads has made scoring top shelf a real weak spot for him. Also, blame the coach for not riding Koskinen when he is hot. For God sakes, ride the winning goalie and play Talbot the second game. Klefbom is horrible in his end and has no creativity in the opponents. I thought the team played with good energy. Hopefully a rebound tonight against the Lightning.