Not all wins are created equal! The Oilers are facing a critical stretch before the All-Star break with a few easy teams on the horizon. They didn’t make things very easy on themselves, but Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl bailed them out in the nick of time.
This game featured the Oilers coming back from three separate one-goal deficits before finally winning the game in the shootout. Two of the goals Cam Talbot allowed weren’t pretty, but you can’t blame him for this weird one late in the third period. Henrik Borgstrom spun around behind the net and it bounced off of two Oilers defenders before getting past Talbot.
The Artist. pic.twitter.com/IFkp3fH68S
— Florida Panthers (@FlaPanthers) January 11, 2019
You have to love the resilience of the top line at the end of the game. The Panthers had a lot of chances to get the puck out, but Edmonton managed to keep the puck, and the game, alive, and it paid off. Alex Chiasson caused a turnover behind the net and then Leon Draisaitl grabbed the puck and patiently waited for Connor McDavid to escape Florida’s defender in front of the net.
8 seconds left, down 1… What do you do?
— Yahoo Sports Canada (@YahooCASports) January 11, 2019
McDavid then came through again in the shootout. Honestly, McDavid could have told James Reimer exactly where he was going to put this puck and he still wouldn’t have been able to stop it.
MCDAVID FOR THE WIN!
— Oilersnation.com (@OilersNation) January 11, 2019
This game went back and forth for the first two periods without much action. The Panthers didn’t have much offensive punch and neither did the Oilers. Then, in the third period, the Panthers started to step on the gas a little bit as Edmonton’ lack of depth started to show. By the end of it, Florida had a decent lead in shot attempts at even strength, which would reflect the fact that they looked like the better team last night.
- I watched a good chunk of last night’s game on Shaw’s flashing on-and-off feed and came out of it feeling like I had the spins. I finally gave up and listened to the game on the radio while trying to piece what was happening together between the frequent flashes of darkness. Get it together, Shaw!!!
- Connor McDavid is obviously going to get the credit for saving/winning the game, but Leon Draisaitl was also a beast last night. He played 28:34 minutes and picked up two assists, most importantly, on the game-tying goal in the dying seconds. Draisaitl picked the puck up in the corner and calmly waited for McDavid to get open in front of the net before threading a perfect cross-crease pass.
- While the offence was largely non-existent last night, I thought the team defence was strong. Darnell Nurse had a mammoth game, playing over 30 minutes (including 23:34 at even strength) while allowing Florida to generate just one high danger chance over that time. Having Kris Russell back in the mix has been a game-changer for the team especially on the penalty kill. It wasn’t the best night for the Caleb Jones and Adam Larsson pairing, but the Russell and Nurse duo did a lot of heavy lifting.
- The Oilers only had one power play last night and it was… ugly. Florida handed them a five-on-three at the end of the second period and couldn’t manage a quality scoring chance. I think it’s valid to complain about the reffing, but given the way the power play looked on that one prime chance, I’m not sure it would have mattered much if the refs had given the Oilers more calls.