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Four different goal scorers and a special teams win lead the Oilers to a 4-3 OT win in Winnipeg

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Photo credit:Tom Kostiuk
baggedmilk
16 days ago
With two losses on the board at the hands of the Leafs and Senators, the Oilers found themselves in Winnipeg in a situation where they almost needed to win. And even though it wasn’t the prettiest game we’ll ever see, the boys got the job done and closed out the road trip with a big 4-3 OT win over the Jets.

THE CONNOR BROWN HEATER

Nothing makes me happier than seeing Connor Brown score goals. Is there a better story on this team right now? We all wrote him off for not having any goals through his first 54 games, and all of a sudden, the guy has three goals and four points in his last six games. Frankly, this Brown-sized heater couldn’t come at a better time.
If the guy who scored 20 goals twice in this league suddenly appears to close out this Oilers’ season, it would almost be like adding another jolt of top-six offence into the lineup. And with the games bound to get tighter as we inch closer to the playoffs, getting depth goals from players like Brown is going to be increasingly important.
The good news is that getting the monkey off his back seems to be doing wonders for Brown’s confidence. If he can carry that with him through these final games, then there’s a chance he could end up as a weapon in round one. Could you imagine if he peaks at the right time and we get the 2024 version of the Pisani spring of wonder? Imagine it, people. Let’s manifest this thing.

I LIKE COREY PERRY AND I FEEL WEIRD SAYING IT

I hate to say that I like Corey Perry. For nearly two decades, I’ve been trained at a core level to despise the guy. Perry feasted on the Oilers when he was with the Ducks, and some of the most annoying memories I have from those head-to-head matchups involve him in some way. The guy has been a menace around these parts for nearly 20 years.
Of course, it’s a lot more fun now that he’s doing all of those annoying things as a member of the Edmonton Oilers., and last night’s game against the Jets was a fine example. He may not be the player he was as a younger man, but Corey Perry is still finding ways to contribute. I mean, you’ve got to give the guy credit for having the balls to scrap with Logan Stanley who is a gigantic man to throw hands with.
Who knows how many goals or points Perry will get over the final dozen games, but I’d bet on the fact that he’s going to keep dragging his teammates into the fight. Whether with a fight, a hit, or a goal, Corey Perry is settling into the Oilers’ roster better than I personally expected he would, and it makes me feel strange and dirty to admit how much fun it is watching him do it.

A SHOUT OUT TO THE SPECIAL TEAMS

When the Oilers blew the game in Ottawa on Sunday, the special teams were a huge part of the story. Heading into Winnipeg, the Oilers needed to find a way to keep good things happening on the power play while eliminating the free-for-all that was happening on the PK. And unsurprisingly, both special teams units would end up making key contributions on the win.
Even though the 1-for-4 finish on the power play wasn’t a banner evening by any means, the goal they got from RNH proved to be a crucial piece of insurance the Oilers would need to get the game to hold off the comeback. On the penalty kill, the boys killed off all five shorthanded situations they faced, including the bonus phantom call on Nugent-Hopkins in the final two minutes of the game. That’s a big special teams win for Edmonton.

OTHER THINGS WORTH MENTIONING…

-With his goal at 11:46 of the second period, Leon Draisaitl has now scored in five consecutive games, and I couldn’t possibly think of a greater gift for the Oilers down the stretch than a heater by the three-time 50-goal man. Draisaitl is ripping the pill these days, and it would be so much fun if his best hockey of the season came when we needed it most.
-Zach Hyman had a lot of fun scoring his 50th goal of the season on Sunday against the Senators, but the Oilers lost that game, so ZMH wanted to do it again under happier circumstances. And it is in my opinion that this is the reason he decided to score the OT winner. What a gentleman. What a giver, this guy.
-Ryan Nugent-Hopkins ended his 13-game goal drought with a power play goal in the third period after he charged to the net and tapped home Connor McDavid’s perfectly placed centering pass. Nuge hit the post three times in his last couple of games, and it felt like a goal was coming, but it was nice to see him finally get rewarded at a time when he really needed one.
-Toss another two assists on the pile for Connor McDavid, bringing him to 93 helpers on the season and only seven away from becoming the fourth player in NHL history to hit the century mark in the apple department.
-Gregor called out Darnell Nurse in this morning’s game notes for needing to play better, and while I don’t think he read the article by any means, I do think he was more engaged than he has been in the defensive zone. I’m not talking perfection, but I am talking about improvement. I also liked that he dropped the mitts with Brenden Dillon after he took a healthy run at Corey Perry along the bench.
-He hasn’t scored in 16 games but I thought Evander Kane’s effort against the Jets was one of the better ones he’s had lately. Who knows what was really going on with him being scratched on Sunday, but if the Oilers are going to have success this spring, they’re going to need Kane to be a fact.
-The Oilers were up 3-1 with just under 14 minutes to go only to allow two goals in a minute after the Jets cranked up the pressure, and it was definitely not the way we’d want the boys to close a game out. Instead of locking things down, the Oilers got a bit scrambly and the Jets used the chaos to their advantage. Obviously, Edmonton found a way to grind the win out in OT, but that near collapse in the third had my heart pitter pattering in the worst of ways.
-I’m counting down the days until Connor Hellebuyck retires. The guy is so good, and I’m jealous of the way he always gives the Jets a chance.
-How did the battle in the faceoff circle go? I thought you’d never ask. The Oilers won 50.8% of the faceoffs and I’m pretty damned pumped about it too.

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