Game 2 Notes: Edmonton Oilers @ Vegas Golden Knights
By Cam Lewis9 months ago
The Edmonton Oilers are heading into Game 2 down 1-0 in their series with the Vegas Golden Knights, but nobody should be worried given this team’s recent history.
1. The Oilers dropped Game 1 in the first round against the L.A. Kings this year and last and they came back to win the series both times. They also lost the first game of their series with the Calgary Flames and then won the next four games in a row to complete a gentleman’s sweep.
There was a significant change of pace going from edging out the Kings to facing the Flames in a high-intensity Battle of Alberta last spring and the Oilers were completely caught off guard early in Game 1. The Flames came out and scored twice in the first minute of play and carried a 3-1 lead into the first intermission. The Oilers battled back to tie the game but couldn’t complete the comeback as Calgary scored three unanswered goals in the third period to win 9-6.
It was a similar situation on Wednesday, as the Oilers looked like they were geared up for a slow-moving grind with the Kings rather than a sprint with the Golden Knights. As they did last year with the Flames, the Oilers will have to shift gears and push at a faster pace in order to beat Vegas in this series.
2. It’ll be interesting to see what changes Jay Woodcroft and Co. make for Game 2.
How much time will Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl play together? Having a spread out attack with four forward lines that can drive play is ideal when going up against a team with Vegas’ depth, but the McDavid and Draisaitl combination generated virtually all of Edmonton’s offence in Game 1. According to Natural Stat Trick, In the 11:12 that McDavid and Draisaitl played together at even strength, they outscored Vegas 2-0, both players were outscored 1-0 in the 6:22 they were on the ice apart, and the Oilers were outscored 2-0 in the 25:15 that both of them were on the bench.
Mattias Janmark will surely be unavailable after falling head-first into the boards in Game 1 and Derek Ryan should draw back into the lineup after missing last game with an illness. Vincent Deshanrias struggled to handle the Golden Knights’ pressure and Dylan Holloway or Devin Shore would offer the Oilers more speed up front if they move back to a 12-6 lineup.
3. The Oilers’ loss to the Golden Knights in Game 1 was their first loss in regulation since all the way back on March 11. They lost 7-4 to the Leafs in Toronto and then proceeded to go 14-0-1 over the final few weeks of the regular season. Both of Edmonton’s losses in the first round of the playoffs against the Kings came in overtime so the Oilers ultimately went 21 consecutive games without a loss in regulation time.
As good as Edmonton’s run has been, Vegas has been right there with them the entire time. Over the same stretch of time since March 11, the Golden Knights have only lost three games in regulation. They lost 7-2 to the Flames, 7-4 to the Oilers, and 5-1 in Game 1 of their first-round series with the Winnipeg Jets. Vegas was also the team to hand Edmonton their one overtime loss during that 15-game stretch to end the regular season.
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