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GDB 66.0 Wrap Up: BuffaLOL, Oilers win 4-3 after a wild second period comeback

Jason Pominville for Vezina! Final Score: 4-3 Oilers

Coming into today’s game, the Oilers were eight points out of the second Wild Card spot and the only way to get back into the mix is to keep winning. From where I blog, the Oilers had a very good chance of keeping the ball rolling provided that they could find a way to match up against the Sabres as tightly as they did against the Blue Jackets on Saturday. Quite frankly, the game against Columbus was as good as we’ve seen the boys play in a while and they could make things interesting down the stretch if they can manage to keep it up. Obviously, that’s a mighty big ‘if’ to overcome but tonight’s game provided another opportunity to keep hope alive and my body was ready for it.

After trading goals in the opening minutes of the first period, I wasn’t sure whether we were staring down the barrel of a high scoring shootout or if those early goals would only be a tease of what could have been. With two teams that are a ways back from the playoffs, you never know what you’re going to get. As it turns out, the Sabres came looking for a gunfight as they packed plenty of heat and fired everything they could at the net, making life difficult for Oilers in the process… at least early on. I mean, things certainly looked bleak when the Oilers were down 3-1 in the second period when it seemed like they were hanging on for dear life rather than plotting a comeback. Then, with a quick spin of the line blender, the Oilers got the spark they needed to kick off what ended up being an amazing three-goal finish to the second period.

Much to our collective delight, those three goals were not only incredible to watch but were also all the Oilers would need as they closed out the third period with some sound defending and a huge dose of luck. To put it another way, Jason Pominville could get my vote for the Vezina.

The wrap.

THE BRIGHT SIDE

  • Is there anything outside of the surface of the sun that’s hotter than Leon Draisaitl right now? No. That’s the answer. No. Leon added goal #41 to his total after he was the business end of a shorthanded 2-on-1 with Connor McDavid that the duo executed perfectly, giving the Oilers an early lead.
  • Zack Kassian kept his hot streak going with a beautiful one-timer goal off of a ridiculous cross-ice pass from Connor McDavid. The captain basically sauced the thing 80 feet right into Kassian’s wheelhouse and the big man made no mistake of clapping it past Ullmark.
  • Less than two minutes after Kassian’s goal, Darnell Nurse unleashed an absolute laser that I’m pretty sure Ullmark still hasn’t seen go past him. After Draisaitl picked the puck up at the half-boards, he made a perfect pass into the slot where Darryl was waiting to unleash hell.
  • With less than 10 seconds left on the clock in the second period, Kyle Brodziak found himself in front of the net with an incoming point shot from Adam Larsson that deflected perfectly off his skate and through Linus Ullmark’s legs, restoring the Oilers lead for the first time since Draisaitl opened the scoring.
  • Gotta love three goals in 3:26 to finish off the second period.
  • I know Connor missed the empty netter at the end of the game but I’m happy to forget about that because the team still won and he added another two assists to the pile, including that ridiculous cross-ice saucer on Kassian’s goal.
  • After getting a shutout against the Blue Jackets on Saturday, Mikko Koskinen was back between the pipes and looking to extend his winning streak. Early on, he was not as sharp as he has been over the past couple of nights and got burned with a couple of goals that he’d definitely want to have back, but that was not the case at all over the final forty minutes. Had it not been for Koskinen then this game would have been over early and the comeback never would have happened. Koskinen came up clutch with all kinds of big saves down the stretch and finished his night with 35 saves and a .921 save%.
  • Sam Gagner got his first assist since being back with the Oilers and I can’t get enough of this story. Quite frankly, Sam Gagner could be The Answer.
  • Big props go out to Kris Russell for playing a rock solid game tonight. As always, he finished the game with some big blocked shots and it was nice to see him get an assist as a bonus for his efforts.
  • You like the Oilers winning 58% of the draws they took? I certainly do.
  • I’m enjoying my post-win cocktails! As always, you can join in on the #BoozeNotBeets win cast conversation over on my Twitter account.

THE FACE PALMERS

  • Moments after Leon Draisaitl opened the scoring, Jack Eichel tied the game up at one after he made a power move from the boards to the slot and lifted a perfectly placed wrister over Koskinen’s shoulder. Eichel scored a second goal a little bit later in the period to extend the Sabres’ lead to two goals. If Eichel went out to try and have a statement game against Connor tonight, Gord knows how he hates the comparison, then he certainly put his best foot forward as he was dangerous all night long.
  • Casey Mittelstadt gave the Sabres a 2-1 lead after he picked up the puck in the left circle and snapped a wrister past Mikko Koskinen. After Eichel got the Sabres on the board, they had the Oilers running around a little bit in their own zone and it wasn’t exactly surprising to see Mittelstadt/someone get another one.
  • Getting outshot 38-27 against the Buffalo Sabres is probably not a great look, but you have to be happy to take the win and run.
  • How bad was the Oilers’ lone power play chance tonight? If you had never watched hockey before and you saw the Oilers’ power play, you’d think the point of having the man advantage was to allow the other team to ice the puck as many times as they could without ever getting a shot on goal.
  • Speaking of the power play, how did the Oilers only get one? I know the Sabres took a penalty in the last minute of the game but that hardly counts. You know what I mean.

SCORING SUMMARY

1ST PERIOD

TIME TEAM DETAILS SCORE
01:28 Edmonton SHG – Leon Draisaitl (41) ASST: Connor McDavid (58), Darnell Nurse (26) 1-0
02:42 Buffalo PPG – Jack Eichel (24) ASST: Rasmus Ristolainen (34), Jeff Skinner (22) 1-1
13:29 Buffalo Casey Mittelstadt (10) ASST: Scott Wilson (1), Jason Pominville (13) 1-2
17:24 Buffalo Jack Eichel (25) 1-3

2ND PERIOD

TIME TEAM DETAILS SCORE
16:29 Edmonton Zack Kassian (11) ASST: Connor McDavid (59), Kris Russell (12) 2-3
18:46 Edmonton Darnell Nurse (8) ASST: Leon Draisaitl (42), Sam Gagner (3) 3-3
19:55 Edmonton Kyle Brodziak (5) ASST: Adam Larsson (14), Milan Lucic (12) 4-3

3RD PERIOD

TIME TEAM DETAILS SCORE
No Scoring

#GOODCONTENT

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Source: NHL, Official Game Page, 3/4/2019 – 7:45 pm MT



  • Rufio Barcoli

    Remember when I told you all that this team’s attitude and approach will be a lot different once Talbot’s negativity was gone from the team.
    Well, the proof is in the pudding.
    Bon appetite.

    • hagar

      That was an interesting interview bubbles did with keith gretzky. He had a certain underlying anger about his reason for his position. I wouldnt be surprised if he is working for his own reputation right now and not living off past reputation for his legacy like the rest of the club does.
      Still doesnt mean he is the right guy for the job, but i didnt get the typical old boy feel from that interview. Not koolaiding here by any means, but there was a feeling in my view that he cares more about his results than most. Or maybe i am hungry and drank too much vodka. Who knows.

  • A-co

    Fire Bob Nicholson… and good little road trip…but 6 points back with 16 to play they would probably have to win 13 games…oh well what’s another year out of the playoffs…

  • Oiler Al

    Character come-back win.Not sure if he is olaying hurt?,but Nuge needs to kick up a notch.Only has 1 point in the last 5 games,compare to 97 and 29 @ 8 points.To me it seems he can play with more energy a d passion.

  • hagar

    It has been the exact same way since the Katz era started. Doesnt matter who is on the team, doesnt matter if the entire roster has changed 3 or 4 times over, the same exact off and on effort follows the team.
    So many people just dont seem to get it. It wouldnt matter if we swapped teams with the lightning. Sure we would get a kick, but the team would just dumb itself right down to historic levels within a month.
    I remember the first game Kassian suited up for us.. He was skating sideways directing traffic all over the place, the first thing i thought was “damn!! He moves around like the players we play!!” took him a few weeks, but he turned into the rest of the team.
    Now look at him. Not even a month removed from 85 percent of the nation just throwing his name inclusive into every trade deal like his 1.9 million is part of the problem.

  • AlexTheOilersFanSince2006

    3-1-1 on this road trip (of course the game they lose in regulation is the one I go to). Not bad at all. There’s a chance. A small chance, but I’ll take a small chance over no chance. Everyone is stepping up.

  • Ol_OneNut

    According to reports the surgery on Puljujärvi hips (yes HIPS) was successful.
    Which is the good news.
    Bad news is, how many twenty year olds need double hip surgery?

    • Boba The Fett

      People need to stop assuming double hip surgery means replacements. A small growth on the hip ball can create a lot of discomfort as well and if left untreated can lead to labral tears. I would suspect we are looking more at something like that then something drastic. If it is something small like that the recovery is not bad at all. I just had it on leg and had a small tear fixed and i had full range of motion within 2 months then just need to strengthen it after.

  • hagar

    Love winning. And it should never be understated the difference between Kosk and Talbot. Talbot lets in a couple that he shouldnt, and its game over. Kosk has shown a few times now that he isnt out of the game when others may have been, and continues to keep them in it.

  • puckle-head

    *snorts* TECHNICALLY the suns corona is many times hotter than its surface, so you should have used that as your example for Draisitl’s hot streak instead. GAWD. *adjusts glasses on bridge of nose*

  • BobbyCanuck

    I will post this until everyone believes;
    1) Past performance does not indicate future performance
    2) Mathematical extrapolations to predict future performance in sports is not a valid science
    3) If that was the case, why even have the play-offs? Obviously Tampa is going to win the Cup, why not just cancel the play-offs and just give to
    them?
    4) One or two teams ahead of us could go into a tail spin…happens every year to some team somewhere

    So yeah, I think we still have a more reasonable shot at making it than the math people think

  • HockeyRooster

    I think it’s time to run this McDavid kid out of town. Who misses a wide open net? It reeks of poor charictar and a general lack of caring.

    That’s sarcasm. I’m just mad because he ruined my 8 year olds prediction. At 3-1 he said the Oil win 5-3. Even I thought that was a bold prediction but here we are. Nice come back boys!!

  • Oily Reign

    Gagne has been playing like someone that knows, that playing in the NHL is a priviledge and each game may be his last. Good example to the other players

    • ed from edmonton

      I agree that Gagner has a better appreciation of where he fits talent wise in the NHl and what he ahs to do to compete in the NHL. If there was one common theme from the years from say Gagner’s draft year and ending with the golden ticket was players over estimating their talent and under appreciating that to truly excel you need to work at your game as well. Perhaps another way of putting this is that players were not required to work at their game and this bread a culture of players thinking they were better than they actually were. I recall Cogs saying when he was traded to the Ducks he was told he would be a 3rd line winger, end of story and how this was a wake-up call him. I would suggest up until last year Hall did not fully appreciate to reach his potential he couldn’t just count on his talent, he had to work at it including something as basic as listening to his coach.

  • D

    That game was an absolute trip. Nice win by the good guys. Special shoutout to the Flames trolls who trashed the team in the comments section when the Oil were down 3-1. They slinked off with their tails between their legs after the second period.

    • hagar

      Like taking joy in winning a poker hand, when the guy you just won a hand from, has a scale version of downtown tokyo in chips, and you have what you just won.

      • hagar

        Still feeels great!!

        Go oilers!! The players we have are second fiddle to the culture problems of the team. Search my posts since i signed up like 6 years ago. It has always been about klowe and the crew creating the culture of losing. The teams can beat the best when they decide to play random well.
        I wouldnt be surprised they rattle off 12 wins of the rest, but that solely depends on if these guys want to play like the best they have all year, but not sprinkle in steaming dumps throughout.

  • slats-west

    Lots of character in this game from many players beyond just our two studs #29 and #97.
    – I am turning into a Gagne fan big time. As I said before he has hockey smarts and patience that are elite. He’s exactly what the young players need to see each and every day to play properly
    – that first goal from McRockets and playing off both skates while staying onside was unbelievable
    – MIKKO bounce back was awesome as i agree most nights we ‘d have folded like a cheap suit and lost 7-2.
    – they believe now they can come back and win…..that’s huge
    -if we get a bit more secondary scoring and some puck god help they do have a Chance.
    Bob Nicholson – “The team fixed the water on their own so now just stay the hell away!”

  • CARLSOTO

    The first Eichel goal should never have counted. One of the Buffalo players knocked Larsson’s stick away from him when he went to pick it up, and I’m pretty sure that’s a penalty in every hockey league. I guess as long as it’s versus the Oilers, anything is legal!

    • ed from edmonton

      Sekera has far exceeded my expectations. I know he has been kept on the 3rd pairing and baring injury he should stay there for the remainder of the year. But his play has been solid and I think I see improved mobility/confidence with each passing game. I was also extremely impressed with Nurse last night and in general. Given that Jones would appear ready for NHL duty with Bear, Bouchard, Persson close and Lagesson and Samaroukov tending well, a swap of a dman for a winger this summer is likely. Who goes will depend a lot of what the return will be. But I could suggest almost any LHD could be considered. Who goes may well be determined by what the market gives in return.