Beyond the Boxscore: Oilers have team-wide rebound in Game 3 win

Edmonton Oilers Los Angeles Kings
Photo credit:Yannick Peterhans-USA TODAY Sports
Shane Stevenson
7 days ago
The Edmonton Oilers scored early and often in Game 3, gathering enough goals to hold off any attempt of a late-game surge from the Los Angeles Kings en route to a 6-1 win.
What typically happens by the time Game 3 rolls around is a whole lot of frustration. It results in things getting quite physical and a fair bit chippy. Past playoff versions of the Oilers weren’t quite ready for such an increase in tenacity, but this year, they seem to not only be able to roll with the punches, but they have guys that can dish them out as well. Confidence from victories in years past, combined with lopsided scoring anytime they get the first goal, have Edmonton confident and hungry. It was a tremendous rebound game after an early OT loss to regain home-ice advantage and re-take control of the series.
CF% – 52.44%, SCF% – 55.55%, HDCF% – 71.07%, xGF% – 61.46%
It’s a Team Game – That first goal is a massive factor in this series and that cannot be understated. Every goal the Oilers score to add to their lead further will loosen up the Kings’ defensive coverage as they have to try and forecheck for turnovers. By the time the Oilers can hit a three-goal lead, there is more space available than any one team should ever allow talented players like McDavid and Draisaitl to find. In this one, the Oilers held a clear advantage through 40 minutes in shot attempts and scoring chances with a massive lead in high-danger looks. The third period started with some King’s momentum, but the referees and penalties calmed things down, allowing Edmonton to easily cross the finish line with minimal resistance.
Corsi King – The 5v5 minutes were quite compressed for most of the skaters in this one due to the penalty parade in the third. Despite that, Knoblauch did find a decent balance throughout the entire roster, so nobody got overworked. Warren Foegele (69.26 percent) led in overall ratio with a nine to four advantage in shot attempts. In just three more minutes of 5v5 time than his leading teammate, Connor McDavid (65.85 percent), he put up a nineteen to ten ratio – yes that is ten more shot attempts in just three minutes. On the flip side of the spreadsheet, the Oilers’ second line had themselves a redemption game, with the fourth line combination instead being the ones to struggle. Sam Carrick (12.51 percent) getting one shot attempt for in six minutes isn’t an effective game by anyone’s standards.

Under Pressure

Taken By Chance – The Oilers’ defensive pairing of Brett Kulak (57.30 SCF% // 100 HDCF%) and Vincent Desharnais (44.44 percent // 100 percent) did not surrender a single 5v5 high-danger look. Adam Henrique (68.78 percent // 100 percent) was strong, playing on all sorts of line combinations in the game, but was primarily next to McDavid (72.44 percent // 88.73 percent) as the night wore on. McDavid was also the leader in total number of high danger looks at seven. In the chaos zone, we found Darnell Nurse (56.65 percent // 57.49 percent) and Cody Ceci (54.06 percent // 57.49 percent) helping achieve five high-danger looks and giving up a team-high three. Chaos was in their favour tonight, too, with them outscoring the opposition one to nothing in their 5v5 minutes.

xG Breakdown

xGF% – Typically the high danger chance section and the expected goals go hand in hand. Not always – they have been known to vary at times – but typically, a lot of dangerous shots would mean a higher quality share. That’s really what expected goals are at its root – the cumulative quality of all the scoring chances while a player is on the ice. Henrique (81.13 percent), McDavid (80.61 percent), and the goal machine Zach Hyman (75.64 percent) paced the Oilers forwards while Bouchard (75.27 percent) and Ekholm (71.57 percent) were tops amongst the rearguards. Everyone except for those on the fourth line finished well above an acceptable finish rate.

Game Flow

Game Score

Shot Heatmap

In The Crease – Stuart Skinner is more than a capable starter in the NHL. He’s even got more upside in his game than he’s shown this season as he continues to grow – my personal opinion of him, anyway. Can some games get away from him – well, of course – but if he can respond with a calming performance with no soft goals like this, what’s the worry? 1.49 expected goals against in 40:18 of 5v5 with one medium danger chance getting behind him. That was a .947 save percentage.
Today’s Specials – Compliments head coach Kris Knoblauch for being smart and leaving his most important players out of the end of this game. Just because there was a late powerplay there was no need to entertain the risk of the Kings players getting angry and maybe losing an essential player. McDavid and the other top skaters all had their nights end with roughly seven minutes to go which could lead to them being even more rested for game four against the Kings. By the way, seeing as this is about special teams, if the Kings don’t learn how to stay out of the box this series should be short.
Flashalytic’s 3 Stars –
1) Zach Hyman
2) Connor McDavid
3) Stuart Skinner
(Stats compiled from Naturalstattrick.com // Game Score from Hockeystatcards.com // xG and Under Pressure charts from HockeyViz.com // Game Flow and Shot Heatmap from NaturalStatTrick.com)

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