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GDB 39.0 Wrap Up: Oilers blow a two-goal lead, lose to Montreal 3-2 in OT

Gotta close those out, boys. Final Score: 3-2 Canadiens

I don’t have to remind anyone reading this right now how poorly the Oilers played in their last matchup against the Montreal Canadiens. From start to finish, they were dominated in every facet of the game and the result was one of the worst three hours any of us have had all season. Needless to say, I was expecting a much better effort. And in the early going, the Oilers did their part by limiting Montreal’s ability to really establish themselves in the offensive zone, and while that was certainly an improvement over last week’s gong show, they still struggled mightily to get anything going offensively. Unfortunately, the Oilers’ offensive issues didn’t improve all that much as the period wore on, but the good news is that they were still able to cash in a goal near the end of the frame on the back of some hard work by the fourth line. They didn’t have many chances, but they did make the most of what they got. If we’re going to look at the start with a positive lens, one might suggest that the Oilers were able to weather an early storm by the Habs before eventually clawing their way back and grabbing the lead.

With a period in the books and a one-goal lead in tow, the Oilers were certainly in a good spot but definitely not where they needed to be in terms of their overall execution. Their passing game was sloppy, they were ignoring decent chances to shoot, and they were ignoring the details that have made them successful all year. Thankfully, Edmonton stepped it up in the middle frame and they didn’t spend nearly as much time in their own end or chasing the puck in general. As a result, we got a much more evenly played period with chances going back and forth, but once again, it was the Oilers that were able to capitalize with a second straight goal in the dying seconds before the buzzer. Up by two goals with 20 minutes to play, the Oilers had an excellent chance to avenge last week’s loss provided that they were able to stay engaged and keep their mistakes to a minimum. Well, that proved to be too tough of a task to handle as the Habs came roaring back with a pair of goals in a span of only a few minutes after the Oilers decided to treat their own zone like some kind of Christmas raffle. There were giveaways aplenty and all of them were terrible.

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Heading into the bonus period, the Oilers had a chance to right the wrong they created by allowing two third-period goals but it was not meant to be as Staal was the hero from the Habs in his first game with his new team. At the end of the day, another point in the bank is nice but that was a blown win for the Oilers and one that they should be pretty upset about.

The wrap.

THE BRIGHT SIDE

  • Devin Shore opened the scoring for the Oilers in the dying seconds of the after Jujhar Khaira found him (not sure it was on purpose tho) charging towards the crease. Khaira did a really nice job of protecting the puck down low before finding an open Shore and giving him a perfect pass with a wide open net to shoot at.
  • Darnell Nurse extended the lead (2-0) with an absolute bomb from the point that beat Carey Price up high with only 10 seconds to play in the second period. I don’t know what was with the Oilers scoring their first two goals in the dying seconds of the period but I’m not about to complain about it.
  • After locking the Flames down on Friday night, Mike Smith was back between the pipes and looking for his 14th win of the season, and from start to finish, the old boy gave his team the kind of effort we’ve come to expect from him, but it was just not meant to be. Smith finished the night with 29 saves and a .906 save%.
  • Jesse Puljujarvi had a really nice game tonight and I thought he was very effective from start to finish. The big boy was skating well, firing pucks, drawing penalties, and doing basically everything we could have ever hoped he would apart from cashing in a goal.
  • The best defenceman, to me, was Adam Larsson. He was strong in his own zone, tough to play against, and deserves some credit even though he didn’t show up on the scoresheet.
  • I thought Ethan Bear looked as good as we’ve seen against the Habs and it was wonderful to see, especially for those of us that think trading him is an insane idea.
  • Caleb Jones was in the lineup for a second straight game (WOW!) and I just wanted to give him some support as he tries to knock off the rust and regain his confidence. Jones played 11:46 against Montreal.
  • The Oilers were able to get another goal on four chances with the man advantage, which was a nice boost but just not enough.
  • Not to be outdone, the penalty kill came through with a pair of kills to keep Montreal off the board with the man advantage.
  • I love Josh Archibald. That is all.

THE FACE PALMERS

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  • Josh Anderson cut the Oilers’ lead in half after he parked himself in the crease and was able to deflect a centring pass from Corey Perry up and over a crouching Mike Smith.
  • Only moments after Anderson got Montreal on the board, Tomas Tatar tied the game up (2-2) with a well placed snipe that beat Smith up over the glove hand. The problem on this goal was the brutal giveaway by Nurse after he had more than enough time to make a play and clear the zone but instead tried to force something into the middle that was intercepted and quickly turned around.
  • Eric Staal completed the comeback with an OT winner from his offwing that beat Smith down low. Frankly, I’m still a little bit surprised by how off McDavid and Draisaitl looked in the bonus period as neither of them seemed as sharp as we’ve come to expect.
  • Edmonton really struggled with their passing again and it seemed like everyone’s aim was off by just a touch. Many of their passes were either slightly short or slightly long and it allowed Montreal to turn things around far too often for my liking.
  • Not only was their passing a problem, but the boys completely took their foot off the gas in the third period, which allowed the Habs to come back into a game that could have been over with some better decisions.
  • The refs were absolute trash again and it seems like Tim Peel was fired for nothing.
  • I guarantee that you opened up this Wrap Up and already knew that before you were done reading you’d be able to impress your friends with the knowledge that the Oilers won only 35% of the faceoffs? Ugly one.
  • The Oilers were outshot by a 32-23 margin. We offer our apologies and sacrifices to the Corsi Gods.
  • If I keep talking about Evan Bouchard enough then maybe we’ll actually see him play again.

SCORING SUMMARY

#GOODCONTENT

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