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Photo Credit: Terrence Lee-USA TODAY Sports

GDB 15.0 Wrap Up: Oilers lose first to Western Conference as Jets take flight in 5-2 win

Well, at least the road trip is over. Final score: Winnipeg 5 – Edmonton 2.

It took Western Conference teams 10 games to finally beat the Edmonton Oilers with the Jets doing so tonight. The Oilers struggled out of the gate allowing the first goal against in what feels like the millionth time this year and once again, Edmonton was forced to chase the game all night long. It’s a terrible spot to be in on such a regular basis and undoubtedly, something the coaching staff has to be frustrated with too. Getting down early 2:09 into the game like Edmonton did against the Jets is a brutal way to kick things off. It throws your roll off and doesn’t allow you to get into the flow of the game the way you want.

Despite Mikko Koskinen coughing up that stinker after a brutal Duncan Keith giveaway, I actually thought Edmonton had played an okay first period. They seemed to be in the game and kept pace on the shot clock, but the truth of the matter is that Edmonton didn’t get much quality. They were outchanced 4-10 and allowed seven high danger shot attempts to the Jets’ one. Looks can be deceiving and boy was that the case. Edmonton came out with tons of jump in the second. They had a few good looks early in the frame, but the pesky Jets were right there. By the end of the second, there wasn’t much good left with the Oilers facing a 4-0 deficit.

The Oilers made it interesting early in thanks to some impressive work by the powerplay. Winnipeg took two penalties and Leon Draisaitl capitalized on both. But again, too little too late. Edmonton poured it on with multiple solid looks in the final frame, but the Winnipeg Jets held strong.

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For the Oilers, it wraps up a five-game road trip that seems them go 2-3 with wins against Boston and St. Louis, but falling to Detroit, Buffalo and Winnipeg. Edmonton didn’t do a ton to make it easy on themselves and in all honestly, could’ve walked away winless on this roadtrip.

Edmonton heads home for a brief two-game home stand against Winnipeg Thursday and Chicago on Saturday.

THE BRIGHT SIDE

  • Despite giving up the first goal of the game, I actually liked the Oilers first period. It was a good response after a bad first goal against.
  • Edmonton started the second with some nice jump. McDavid and Hyman nearly connected a minute in, but Hellebuyck made a nice stop on the play. Winnipeg had a solid chance of their own moments later, and Koskinen was strong swallowing it up.
  • Some big-time end-to-end on the Oilers first powerplay around the 15-minute mark of the second. Couldn’t beat Hellebuyck on a scramble in front of the net, then Andrew Copp had a big breakaway chance thwarted by Koskinen.
  • Things didn’t get much better from there until the third period where the Oilers came out strong. Winnipeg took two penalties in the first 2:26 of the third period, and Leon Draisaitl made them pay twice. He fired one home on the first one, and scored his second from the same spot — just to the camera right of the net. Goal one was clean, but the second was immediately waived off due to potential goaltender interference which was subsequently overturned. Edmonton challenged
  • Of the 15 games the Edmonton Oilers have played in this year, Draisaitl now has scored seven multi-goal games. The next closest? 20 other players with two multi-goal games.
  • Stuart Skinner came in for the third period taking over for Mikko Koskinen and turned aside the eight shots he faced.

THE FACE PALMERS

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  • That first goal against was bad on multiple levels. Duncan Keith had a horrible turnover at the offensive blue line as three other Oilers were trying to gain the zone coughing the puck up to Adam Lowry. A soft floater from the top of the circle managed to squeak its way through Mikko Koskinen allowing a goal he needs to stop. Both players can be in the wrong.
  • After that scramble at the 15-minute mark, the Oilers gave up three goals before the end of the second. Nik Ehlers scored Winnipeg’s second goal of the game moments after the refs missed a blatant interference call committed by Mark Scheifele on Derek Ryan. Three minutes later on the penalty kill, Keith, Cody Ceci, nor Ryan McLeod were able to get a loose puck and the trio left Pierre-Luc Dubois alone in front of the net for an easy goal. There wasn’t much they could do on the third goal, scored by Mark Scheifele, who tipped in a Logan Stanley point shot.
  • It makes no sense to be, but Edmonton continues to give up early goals in games. If I’m not mistaken, it’s something like six straight games now that the Oilers have sacrificed the first goal of the game. Somehow, they’ve managed to stay 5-4 in those games and are an impressive 6-0 when scoring first. Koskinen let in a stinker tonight, one I’m sure he would like to have back.
  • By the numbers, any defenceman not named Tyson Barrie had a poor game. Duncan Keith was fighting it and was directly involved in turning over a few pucks that led to goals the other way. He, along with Bouchard, was on the ice for three goals against in all situations. One was playing in his 36th NHL game. The other in his 1,207th game. Edmonton’s back end needs to respond in a big way Thursday night.

Scoring summary

The goals

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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]