Dem Oily Boys! Final Score: 3-2 Oilers
After Saturday’s huge win over the Flames, I was looking to see whether the Oilers would be able to carry over some of that confidence into this first game of the three-game series against the Sens. Coming into this one, the Oilers have owned the series with four consecutive wins but that win total didn’t have me feeling as confident as you might expect. You see, the Oilers aren’t going up against the same Ottawa team that they’ve been sweeping aside but rather one that is playing with a lot more confidence, balanced scoring, and much better goaltending. Even with last night’s game against the Flames, by no means was this going to be a guaranteed win and the Oilers were going to need to come up with a strong and detailed effort if they were going to get a streak together. Unfortunately, putting a streak going becomes more difficult when your goaltender allows what is arguably a minor-league goal against on the first shot of the game. Oilers in a hole? You guessed it. The good news is that the boys were resilient and didn’t allow the early shin kick to get them down, knotting the game up near the midway point of the first period and bailing their goaltender out in the process.
As the game wore on, the Oilers seemed to get stronger and often pinned the Senators in their own zone for entire shifts at a time. The problem, however, is that the Sens were also getting some stellar goaltending from Joey Daccord that allowed them to hang around for longer than they probably should have. Despite the Oilers’ best efforts to pull away, there they the Sens were. And when you combine strong goaltending with the odd lucky break as the Senators got on Stutzle’s late-period marker, then you’ve got the makings of a wild finish regardless of how the Oilers being able to control most of the play. Up by a goal with 20 minutes to go, Edmonton was in a good spot to get a point or two out of this thing but I also felt like they were going to need some insurance, mostly because Koskinen can be hard to trust right now. Thankfully Koskinen squashed those fears with a strong performance down the wire, helping the Oilers weather the late-game push that Ottawa threw their way and locking in a fifth-straight win over the Sens. Things may not have always been perfect, but this was a big win for the Oilers over a tired team on the second half of a back-to-back set.
THE BRIGHT SIDE
- Kailer Yamamoto tied the game up (1-1) after he was able to get a stick on Nurse’s point shot, deflecting it perfectly through Daccord. Yamamoto’s 7th of the year made it two games in a row with a goal for the winger, which is wonderful to see after the mini drought he was battling for a couple of weeks.
- ALEX CHIASSON gave the Oilers the lead after picking the puck up at the blueline, charging towards the net, and firing a perfectly placed wrist shot up over Daccord’s blocker hand.
- Leon Draisaitl gave the Oilers some insurance (3-1) with his first goal in eight games after Kyle Turris (KYLE TURRIS!) found him with a perfect pass that he was able to convert into an unstoppable shot on net. It was the kind of bang-bang play that is tough to stop and I’m not sure there was much that the goalie was supposed to do about it.
- Speaking of Kyle Turris, he got a point!
- Mikko Koskinen had a rough go in his last start against the Leafs after being pulled in the first intermission and I was looking forward to seeing how he was going to rebound against the Sens. Unfortunately, Koskinen seemed to forget what time the game started because he allowed another first-shot goal that should never go in the net ever in the history of the world. There are children that make that save every time. That all said, Koskinen did an amazing job of turning this game around after the tough first goal and he was called upon to make several big saves down the stretch before the final buzzer sounded. Koskinen finished with 26 saves and a .929 save%.
- Another casual multi-point night for Connor McDavid.
- It was a monster night for Darnell Nurse as he played a team-high 26:14 to go along with an assist, two shots on goal, two hits, and four blocks.
- I liked the Ennis-RNH-Puljujarvi line and thought they did a nice job of contributing chances while also taking care of business in their own end of the ice.
- The Oilers haven’t been getting much done with their powerplays of late — that is when they get the chance to go on a powerplay — so I was looking for a little bit more execution against the middle of the road Sens. While they weren’t lights out by any means, the Oilers were able to convert on 1/3 powerplay chances they had.
- Not to be outdone, the PK came through with a perfect 2/2 night when down a man, and you’ve gotta like that result any time you can get it.
- Oilers outshot the Senators by a 37-28 margin, which is exactly what should happen against a team you’re supposed to be.
- If a wrap up concludes without any mention of the Oilers winning 60% of the faceoffs, did it ever really happen?
THE FACE PALMERS
- Are you surprised to know that Evgenii Dadonov scored on the first shot of the game? You’re not, are you? How about if I told you that it was a goal that a PeeWee goalie would stop? Hmm we may have a problem here.
- Tim Stutzle pulled the Sens back to within a goal (3-2) after his shot from high in the slot changed direction off of Tyson Barrie’s stick and rose up over a falling Koskinen. Can I be honest for a second? I really like Tim Stutzle and think he’s going to score a tonne of goals in this league.
- I gotta say how annoying Joey Daccord was all night, and I guess I mean that as the highest possible compliment. Daccord was great from start to finish and had it not been for him then this game would have really gotten out of hand. Daccord made 34 saves and finished with a .919 save%.
- I was bummed to see Josh Archibald’s upper-body injury kept him out again because of how reliable he is in all situations. I know he may not show up on the scoresheet all that often, but the dude is a penalty-killing firecracker that I love having in the lineup.
- Where are you, Evan Bouchard!? I miss you.
— TheTowelBoy (@TheTowelBoy) March 9, 2021
Get Ennis – Turris – Chiasson on the ice together. The Sens Legends Line
— Cam “Home Run” Lewis (@cooom) March 9, 2021
WINNING THE FANCY STATS BABY
— Tyler Collin (@JimTheMonk) March 9, 2021
Lander had just an amazingly angular jaw. It angered people, like John Candy's hat in Uncle Buck
— Romulus' Apotheosis (@RomulusNotNuma) March 9, 2021
Pretending like you need formal wear, as if your going to a wedding or something, is a little desperate BM.
— Nathan McLean (@nathanmclean0) March 9, 2021
McDavid looks faster than everyone most games, but against tired opponents it’s like watching Pros vs Joes
— Arch (@Archaeologuy) March 9, 2021
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