Photo Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

GDB 25.0 Wrap Up: No Vegas Flu Here

The Edmonton Oilers rolled into The Strip to make amends for the poor effort they had in LA on Thursday take on the Vegas Golden Knights in the late game on Hockey Night in Canada. There was no visible sign of the Vegas flu inflicting the locker room this time.

Here is a quick rundown of the game.

First Period

  • Tippett once again gives Mike Smith the start to redeem himself after a poor outing in the previous game.
  • Adam Larsson is back with Oscar Klefbom, which is nice to see. Hopefully he can keep up with Klefbom’s league-leading 25:56 TOI/GM.
  • Connor McDavid feeds Ethan Bear with a couple very nice chances in the high slot, but the young defenseman can’t bury it.
  • Nuge gets a fantastic look on a 2-on-1 with James Neal but puts it over the net.
  • CONNOR! The captain dangles around through the crease and around Marc-Andre Fleury to keep the streak rollin’! 1-0 Oilers.
  • Now the refs are stealing goals from Nuge! The play gets whistled down just as he puts it past Fleury! BOOO.
  • Pace picks up about halfway through the period, and Smith makes a good save down low on Max Pacioretty
  • Shea Theodore unleashes a cannon of a shot off the ensuing faceoff, but Smith comes with a huge blocker save!
  • IT’S BEAR SEASON! Leon Draisaitl spins Mark Stone like a top behind the net, works his way back to the front, and feeds Bear in the high-slot and this time the defenseman makes NO mistake. 2-0 Oilers.
  • Caleb Jones makes a great defensive play on a rushing Shea Theodore. The kid looks a lot more comfortable playing on the third pairing.
  • Puck bounces around like Plinko chip, and Cody Eakin gets lucky a smacks it past Smith with 20 seconds left in the period. 2-1 Oilers.
  • Jonathan Marchessault tries to keep the Vegas goals coming with a nice move around Darnell Nurse but Smith makes a fantastic glove save.
  • Shots: Oilers 9, Golden Knights 8

Second Period

  • WWE’s Renee Young steps into the booth with Louis and Dave to commentate the second period and my worlds are colliding.
  • Nuge feeds Josh Archibald with a beautiful pass across crease, but Archi’s snakebite worsens as Fleury robs him with the pad save.
  • Game opens up again, and Nuge makes a nice little move streaking to the net, but foiled by Fleury once more! Drats!
  • Connor rings one off the post, but Brayden McNabb tackles Draisaitl as the only means to stop him. The NHL’s top PP unit goes to work.
  • The powerplay completely breaks down, with William Karlsson getting a great shorthanded chance.
  • Patrick Russell, Gaetan Haas and Markus Granlund crash the net, and Granlund picks up the trash. Coach Bombay would be proud. 3-1 Oilers.
  • Ugh. Shea Theodore scores a really nice goal. Hate to admit it, but it was pretty. 3-2 Oilers.
  • The third line of Joakim Nygard, Riley Sheahan, and Archibald put in a solid shift, working hard behind and keeping the puck cycling. They don’t score, but if the bottom six work like this consistently, depth scoring won’t be an issue.
  • Zack Kassian gets an incredible chance, toe-dragging in the slot, but can’t beat Fleury. He’s really earning that next contract.
  • Period ends with the Oilers up 3-2, with shots Oilers 22, Golden Knights 17.

Third Period

  • Pacioretty tries to cheat, interfering on McDavid, but the refs catch the varmint! Oilers back to the powerplay (let’s hope this one goes better than the last one).
  • Draisaitl rings one off the post, and James Neal gets a great opportunity right in the crease but can’t get it past Fleury.
  • MCDAVID! The powerplay strikes! Oilers are all over the Golden Knights’ penalty killers, and Draisaitl feeds McDavid from behind the net and Connor makes no mistake. 4-2 Oilers! Special teams are life!
  • Ugh, James Neal gets a fantastic chance in the slot off a nice pass from Nuge, but Fleury stones him.
  • The scoundrel Ryan Reeves cheats, cross-checking Neal and sending the world’s best powerplay back onto the ice. Mike Smith also plays puck-moving defenseman, handling the puck as he’s skating to the bench. That’s definitely something Smith has over Koskinen.
  • Golden Knights kill off the penalty, but it doesn’t matter the powerplay is still mighty. Special teams are life.
  • Haas gets a great chance, but can’t find the back of the net, and neither can Nygard on the follow-up. This line is full of energy, though; love what they’re bringing in this game.
  • The Golden Knights pull Fleury with over two minutes left, but it makes no difference as the Oilers pick up the win! Play Tarzan Boy!!

Final Score: Oilers 4 Golden Knights 2

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05:17 Edmonton Connor McDavid (17) ASST: Leon Draisaitl (29), Zack Kassian (9) 1-0
16:00 Edmonton Ethan Bear (4) ASST: Leon Draisaitl (30), Zack Kassian (10) 2-0
19:40 Vegas Cody Eakin (3) ASST: Nick Holden (3) 2-1


12:04 Edmonton Markus Granlund (2) ASST: Gaetan Haas (3), Patrick Russell (3) 3-1
14:19 Vegas Shea Theodore (2) 3-2


02:11 Edmonton PPG – Connor McDavid (18) ASST: Leon Draisaitl (31) 4-2

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Final Thought

An incredible rebound win for the team, and performance from Smith after getting pounded in LA. Tippett has shown a consistent trust in his players to give them a chance to redeemed themselves after a bad game, and that type of trust will make a team play hard for you. The entire lineup played with pace and grit, keeping the Golden Knights on their heels from the second McDavid scored his first goal. This team has proven time and time again so far this season that they will bend, but not break. Every single one of these divisional games are must-wins if the Oilers want to remain on the Pacific division throne. This was a statement game, with the Oilers proving that they deserve to be where they are in the standings. The Golden Knights couldn’t handle an Oilers team that was on a mission, and immune from the Vegas flu.

Sometimes, that’s what you get for waking up in Vegas.