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GDB 16.0 Wrap Up: McDavid and Skinner steal the show in huge 2-1 shootout win over Winnipeg

Connor McDavid wants all of the highlight reel goals. Final Score: 2-1 Oilers in the shootout

On Tuesday night, I was expecting the Oilers to head into Winnipeg with a chip on their shoulders but that is not the effort we got from them. Instead, we watched the boys go down by four and basically seal in a Jets win with a kiss before the game was even 40 minutes old. Needless to say, we were not impressed. The good news is that the boys had a chance to rebound in the second half of this home-and-home series, making tonight’s rematch an excellent opportunity to show the Jets where the bear shits and reclaim their place atop of the Pacific Division standings. The first step, of course, was getting a better start. And in the early going, the game very much had a back-and-forth feel to it as both teams were producing quality chances to score despite being unable to get anything past the goaltenders. I know the stats show that the Jets got 17 shots on net compared to only 10 for the Oilers, I honestly think the actual play on the ice was a little bit closer than that and it seemed like the boys were in good shape heading into the intermission. Then again, just not giving up a goal in the opening minutes felt like a win.

With the game tied and spice levels rising by the shift, the second period started with more action at both ends of the rink as both sides tried to end the stalemate with the first goal of the game. If the Jets got a chance at one end, it wasn’t long before the ice tilted the other way and the Oilers got one of their own. Yet, just as we saw in the first, neither Skinner nor Hellebuyck was interested in being the one to blink first, and as the game wore on, it started to feel like this was going to be one of those nights where you’d have to win with only one goal on the board. With the margin for error being razor thin and the next goal feeling very much like the winner, the Oilers needed to keep things tight in their own zone and make sure that they weren’t cheating for offence and giving the Jets anything extra. But with not much space to work with and both sides punching and counterpunching pretty evenly, it was almost fitting that both sides would trade goals late in the frame to keep the score knotted up. What I didn’t see coming, however, was that the Oilers would have to kill off a four-minute double minor to Connor McDavid as the bonus period was getting started.

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If I’m being honest, I was just hoping that the Oilers could kill off the first 45 seconds or so of McDavid’s double minor to get a at least a Bettman point, so to have them battle through the whole thing and end up winning in the shootout is incredible. Pretty amazing what lights out goaltending and a timely goal from the world’s best player can do, huh?

The wrap.

THE BRIGHT SIDE

  • Only 28 seconds after Ehlers gave the Jets the lead, Connor McDavid tied the game with yet another highlight reel goal (1-1) that saw him carve through Winnipeg’s defenders before roofing the puck up and over Connor Hellebuyck. Right when we needed a goal, the captain came through with an unbelievable effort to not only tie the game but extend his point streak to 16 games and counting.
  • Kyle Turris in the shootout! Never in doubt.
  • When Stuart Skinner took over in relief of Koskinen on Tuesday night, he was able to stop the bleeding and shut the door in the third period, earning him a third start and chance to show what he can do against a team that’s had the Oilers’ number for a while now. Clearly motivated by the challenge, Skinner was excellent for the Oilers and gave them the calibre of goaltending that they needed to stay in the fight and prove to the doubters that he belongs in this league. From start to finish, Skinner was fantastic and if there is any justice in this world he will be back in net on Saturday against Chicago. Skinner finished the night with 46 saves and a .979 save%.
  • The Oilers’ PK was fantastic when called upon and it was awesome to see the way they were able to stifle the Jets’ power play at some huge moments in the game, including the back-to-back penalties on Benson in the second period and the double-minor to McDavid near the end. In total, the Oilers killed off all five of Winnipeg’s power play chances and that’s a huge special teams win if I’ve ever seen one.
  • What a monster night for Darnell Nurse as he played a team-high 31:21 in TOI to go along with two shots on goal, six hits, and four blocks.
  • I have to give Zack Kassian some credit for squaring off against Logan Stanley considering that the latter is basically a giant. Stanley is the guy that levelled Draisait from behind on Tuesday and while I applaud Kass for stepping in for his teammate, the fact that he was able to make it through without getting injured is a win in my books. Watch the fight again over at HockeyFights.com.
  • You’ve gotta love how Zach Hyman always gives a second and third effort on any puck he’s near, and while that relentlessness didn’t get rewarded in a goal, I still wanted to give him a little bit of love for the hard work.
  • You’ve waited. You’ve read. You’ve scrolled. You’ve finally arrived at the portion of the Wrap Up where I tell you the Oilers won 54% of the faceoffs.

THE FACE PALMERS

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  • Nikolaj Ehlers opened the scoring 53 minutes into the hockey game (1-0) with a perfectly placed shot from the top of the circle that beat Skinner over the glove and right into the corner.
  • I very much dislike how effective the Jets are at stopping the cycle and clearing their own zone. They’re too good at it, and the whole situation was very upsetting for me.
  • The Oilers passed up way too many chances to shoot the puck in favour of looking for an extra pass, and it caused them to turn the puck over far too often instead of getting a quality shot on net. That can’t happen when you’re up against a guy that’s standing on his head the way Hellebuyck has been throughout this two-game mini series.
  • Duncan Keith’s passing to no one in particular was an adventure I didn’t want to be on. The ol’ boy might want to get his eyes checked because the sights may be off by a touch.
  • I know they were generally weak calls but you have to think Tyler Benson isn’t feeling so great after backing back-to-back penalties in the back half of the second period.
  • Zach Hyman looked like he was banged up late in the third period and I was worried it was one of his wonky knees that too the brunt of the fall. Thankfully he came back for the OT period, but I’ll readily admit I was nervous about it.
  • No goals on two power play chances for the boys.
  • We lost the Corskis by a 47-32 margin! Sad spreadsheet panda.

SCORING SUMMARY

#GOODCONTENT 

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