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Beyond the Boxscore: Oilers outscore goaltending woes in Game 2 win

Edmonton Oilers Vancouver Canucks
Photo credit:Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
Shane Stevenson
1 month ago
Connor McDavid and the Oilers answered the bell, defeating the Cancks Friday night in overtime to even the series at one game each.
It was a back-and-forth battle that any hockey fan would have enjoyed, as things were practically equal for these two teams after 40 minutes. Edmonton then pressed hard late and controlled the flow of overtime – not giving the Canucks players any real good looks against a shaky Stuart Skinner. Edmonton was able to outscore their goaltending tonight, which was another major factor in how the game shook out. Of course, when Connor McDavid is putting up four points almost any goaltender can get you wins.
CF% – 66.05%. SCF% – 65.21%. HDCF% – 70.53%. xGF% – 64.58%.
Corsi King – Without Mattias Ekholm (86.03 percent), I’m not sure the Oilers are even in the second round. He’s everything to this team on defence they wanted Darnell Nurse (48.83 percent) to be when he signed that massive contract. Whenever Connor McDavid (82.25 percent) touched the ice, the Oilers turned the play into an attack. When he looks as good as he did in this one, I like to say he’s dancing out there – simply moving around everyone because they are standing still, paralyzed by his lightning-quick speed. Evander Kane (63.00 percent) and company also had a game where they pressed more than they got pushed.

Under Pressure

Taken By Chance – I was so confident in McDavid (90.97 SCF% // 84.49 HDCF%) having a bounce-back game tonight I won myself a handsome purse on a 3+ points bet. I have covered the Flames for six seasons and only one line in that time span ever got close to doing what McDavid and company achieved. 11 high danger chances for their line – at 5v5 – with just 2 against. Lethal every single time that top unit touched the ice. The Oilers really deserved to win with the more dangerous attack – when your lowest player is the guy coming off an injury in Henrique (0 percent // 0 percent), you did just fine.

xG Breakdown

xGF% – Some people may be too shy to say it, but the real story of this game was the Oilers vs. their own goaltender. If Skinner hadn’t let in two bad goals, overtime wouldn’t be necessary, and everyone would have had more rest going home for game three. Darnell Nurse (27.91 percent) and Cody Ceci (24.83 percent) remain a liability for the Oilers. The Canucks have a relentless physical forecheck, and it’s been very effective pinning these two in their own zone. It should be worth exploring something new – Troy Stecher is available, but looking at long-time team members and telling someone they’ve got to sit is hard. Something has got to give, though, because Dallas or Colorado will expose this even more than the Canucks are already doing.

Game Flow

Game Score

Shot Heatmap

In The Crease – Simply not good enough. People can believe in Skinner’s skill level all they want. If he keeps letting in the goals he’s letting in this series, the Oilers will be in trouble. One bad game happens, but two in a row doesn’t get you very far. No doubt, the Oilers deserved this win but had to claim it in overtime to compensate for Skinner’s misgivings. The problem here is there are no other reliable options to turn to if things stay floating in rough waters. The good news is that McDavid looked on X-games mode, which might be enough for round two.
Flashalytic’s 3 Stars
1) Connor McDavid
2) Evan Bouchard
3) Mattias Ekholm
(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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