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Beyond the Boxscore: Oilers keep up the pressure on sinking Panthers

Edmonton Oilers celebrate Game 6 win at Rogers Place Stanley Cup Final
Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Shane Stevenson
1 month ago
These Oilers scrapped, clawed, and fought back from a 3-0 series deficit to earn the right to play for a chance to win the Stanley Cup while it is in the building.
The Oilers once again did the most important thing – they scored first. That has been crucial for either team as they want to be the ones to control the flow of play. The second goal to kick off the second period couldn’t have come at a better time. The Panthers didn’t get any momentum started until the third period, but it was too late by then. The Oilers have experience defending leads late – they’ve done it throughout the playoffs. They’ve been on the edge of gone and are somehow right back in it. The Panthers had better beware of the wave of momentum carrying Edmonton all the way back to Florida.
CF% – 49.27%, SCF% – 44.26%, HDCF% – 33.93%, xGF% – 41.65%
Corsi King – Everyone’s night gets much easier when your top defence pairing plays like Bouchard (70.86 CF%) and Ekholm (66.70 percent). Playing constantly towards the opposing netminder is never a bad way to play hockey. Aided by the usual suspects in McDavid (61.84 percent), Hyman (58.45 percent), and Draisaitl (53.16%), it was enough to keep the Oilers from any quick strike goals. Well, there was almost the one, but it was offside. Cody Ceci (24.57 percent) saw the largest disparity in chances on the negative side of the 50 line, with most of the bottom six forwards between 36-47 percent. Most of the bottom six guys play a substantial special team role to the highest of success, so being a little off at 5v5 in terms of several shot attempts is a fair trade-off.
Under Pressure –
Taken By Chance – Only one guy sits atop the mountain for high danger chances against with none at 5v5. That was Dylan Holloway (56.92 SCF% // 100 HDCF%). Behind him was the opening goal scorer in Warren Foegele (38.64 percent // 51.69 percent). Six guys failed to register a high danger chance, and all six also let only one look against them. Derek Ryan, Corey Perry, Philip Broberg, Ryan McLeod, Darnell Nurse, and Connor Brown were in that group.
To sum up what I saw, I would say the Oilers were reliably resilient. They didn’t do anything stupid, kept their decisions simple, and capitalized on odd-man rushes when they got their opportunities. They make it hard for the Panthers to get to the net most of the time and have had success interrupting Florida’s board play.
xG Breakdown –
xGF% – I want to talk about Leon Draisaitl (39.78 percent), who said he would play better. He played vintage peak Draisaitl hockey in the first period and was this game’s catalyst for the offence. Foegele (42.58 percent) may have tapped that pass in, but it was sauced over a defender, through the middle while on the rush and had perfect accuracy. It did not last the entire game, but it was more than they needed. Darnell Nurse (29.75 percent) drew my attention in a bad way for most of the night – after he got walked for a zone entry, I was on alert every time the Panthers went to his side. He made up for it by cashing in a clear-out pass from a turned around Stuart Skinner.
Game Flow –
Game Score –
Shot Heatmap –
In The Crease – The man has turned into a brick wall in elimination games and deserves all the praise in the world for getting Edmonton back here. The weakness was supposed to be in net, but for three straight games, Skinner never wavered, kept up his same mindset, and has come out on top. 1.39 expected goals against as the Panthers failed to show much of a sense of urgency. Perhaps fearing a loss will also make them play differently on Monday, but for now, it should not matter because Skinner has earned the benefit of the doubt. He has helped Edmonton get within one win of the Stanley Cup. One win.
Flashalytic’s 3 Stars –
1) Mattias Ekholm
2) Evan Bouchard
3) Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
 (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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