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Photo Credit: James Carey Lauder-USA TODAY Sports

Edmonton Oilers 3 – Winnipeg Jets 0 — The Day After: Sometimes you just need a good nap

It was a dogged run of hockey and an everchanging schedule, but last weekend the Edmonton Oilers got to settle in at home and just rest. It turns out it’s just what they needed.

A few days off followed by a few hard practices, and the Edmonton Oilers look like they’re right back in the saddle in thanks to a dominant 3-0 win over the Winnipeg Jets.

While they took the first period to get their legs underneath them against a Jets team that played three games earlier in the week, Edmonton’s solid second and third frames helped them run away with it.

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“It’s a massive win,” said captain Connor McDavid after the win. “Anytime you’re coming down the stretch and playing teams ahead of you, you want to beat them and close that gap.

“We can’t just float our way into the playoffs, we have to put a couple wins together.”

Tyson Barrie’s point shot on the powerplay found its way into the back of the net at the 12 minute mark of the second period, and it gave the Oilers some much needed breathing room. Cue the third frame, where Jesse Puljujarvi’s net front goal helped build Edmonton’s lead.

For someone who hasn’t had the puck luck or the points this year, his game has helped him stay up on that Oilers top line.

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“He forechecks well, he’s hard on pucks, he creates a lot of loose pucks,” said head coach Dave Tippett of the Finn’s game. “His work ethic… he’s relentless out there, he stays on pucks and it’s good to see him get rewarded for his work.”

Edmonton now turns their focus to a team that’s had their number this year, the Montreal Canadiens. The Oilers see them twice in the coming days, Montreal, both Monday and Wednesday. The team enters game six with a 1-3-1 record while scoring a measly 1.4 goals per game against them this season.

As big of a win as it was last night, Edmonton needs to keep it up and get on a roll. They have a chance here to get back into the win column against a team they’ve really struggled against.

Backhanders…

  • With Ryan Nugent-Hopkins out again, Tippett went with Gaetan Haas as the 2C again, and he didn’t disappoint. In fact he and his linemates Dominik Kahun and Kailer Yamamoto shut down the Jets’ top line of Mark Scheifele, Kyle Connor and Pierre-Luc Dubois. At 5×5, the Oilers second line controlled 54.44 percent of the shot attempts while controlling 92.88 percent of the expected goals. Tidy work.
  • Nice rebound game for Darnell Nurse and Tyson Barrie, who at 5×5 controlled 51.7 percent of the shot attempts and 68.2 percent of the expected goals.
  • Tippett let his horses run last night. Leon Draisaitl played 27:08 and McDavid 24:38. For Leon, it was his second highest TOI on the season and for McDavid, it was his 12th highest.

Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at [email protected]