GDB 33.0 Wrap Up: Oilers bust the Predators losing streak while extending their own, fall 4-3 in OT
By baggedmilk1 month ago
Tough to be coming back all the time. Final Score: 4-3 Predators in OT
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Normally when I’d see the Nashville Predators on the schedule, I’d get fired up about whatever Leon Draisaitl had in store for them on that particular evening. Tonight, however, I didn’t experience that same excitement but rather nervousness after the Oilers blew their last two outings against St. Louis and Anaheim in new and creative ways. So when the Predators opened the scoring less than five minutes in, it was hard to avoid that familiar “here we go again” feeling that seems to linger around these parts. Yet, at the same time, it was almost like that first goal was exactly what the Oilers needed to snap back to life. Like a jolt of energy to their legs, the Oilers started to find their way over the next handful of minutes and they started to manufacture opportunities for themselves. And because of that work, it wasn’t long until Jesse Puljujarvi knotted the score with an ugly one from the circle that Saros would surely want back, but at the moment, it was arguably the most beautiful goal I’d ever seen. Not only did Jesse snap his scoreless drought but the Oilers managed to overcome yet another slow start before heading off into the intermission.
With the score tied and plenty of time left to play, it was still anyone’s game and that made the next goal feel like a big one. If the Oilers could get themselves moving from the opening draw and find a way to grab the lead then I felt that the Predators would have a really hard time fighting back. We all know that the Oilers are living rent-free in Nashville right now, and the sooner the boys could put some doubt in this team’s mind the better it would be for all of us. Unfortunately, the Predators must have intercepted my wishes because it was they that picked up the game’s third goal to restore their lead and set in motion what would be a strong period for the home side. Even when Ryan Nugent-Hopkins tied the game for a second time on the strength of Edmonton’s power play, the Predators never folded or looked like they were going to give up. So when they wrestled the lead back in their corner for a third time with a power play of their own, I hate to say that I wasn’t really surprised. They were simply outworking the Oilers and finding ways to get themselves in the way of any possible shot or chance that came their way. It was like they had literally had enough losing with this six-game streak they were on and decided that it wasn’t going to keep happening. They were getting chances, goals, and goaltending, which is often enough to pick up a win.
Down by a goal with 20 minutes to play, the Oilers had to find some kind of rhythm because their whole game had been incredibly choppy to that point. They’d have a few good shifts here and there, but there was never a period of dominance as we’ve seen in preview meetings against Nashville. If they were going to come back and win this game then they were going to need to crank up their urgency levels by a factor of many, and they needed to make it all happen without giving up anything else. And in the early going, the boys had their feet moving and the Predators struggled to handle the heat, which basically gifted the Oilers the power play chance they needed to tie the game for the third time. With the score evened up once again, the question became whether or not the Oilers would give up that spot again. Could they avoid making the same mistakes? As it turns out, the second goal of the night by RNH proved to be massive as it not only tied the game but secured a point with a chance at more. Unfortunately, the comeback was not in the cards this time as a sloppy change in OT gave Alex Carrier all day to walk into the zone and pick his spot, sniping the game-winner past Campbell on the glove side just inside the post.
THE BRIGHT SIDE
- Jesse Puljujarvi tied the game (1-1) with his first goal in 26 games after he dangled the Preds defender near the blue line before sinking a softie through Juuse Saros. I absolutely loved the play by Jesse leading up to the goal but I admit that I laughed out loud when I saw the stinker that Saros let through. They don’t ask how, though, ya know!? I’m pumped for you, Jesse.
- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins tied the game for a second time (2-2) with a power play goal from the slot after Connor McDavid took the puck wide and fed him with a perfect pass that RNH flipped up and over Saros. My dude is on fire right now and I could not be happier for the guy. Nugent-Hopkins added a second power play goal (3-3) early in the third period after taking a pass over on his wing and ripping a perfectly placed snipe just inside the post that Saros had no chance of stopping.
- It’s weird to say that Connor McDavid was a little bit quiet when he still finished the night with two points, but that’s what happens when we expect him to make magic every single game.
- There were a couple of times over the last couple of weeks when I thought Jack Campbell would get the start, but Jay Woodcroft opted to run with Stuart Skinner, and that left Soup waiting for his opportunity to get back in there. In his last start, Campbell faced these same Nashville Predators and I was very interested to see how he’d perform against them only six days later. And while his stats are nothing to write home about, I will argue all night that he was a major reason that the Oilers were even able to pick up a point at all. Campbell finished the game with 31 saves and a .886 save%.
- How about Tyson Barrie extending his streak to seven consecutive games with an assist? The guy is quietly in the top 10 in league scoring among defencemen and no one seems to be talking about it.
- I’m going to keep repeating the fact that I love Klim Kostin until he signs a new contract — he’s an RFA at the end of the year — with the Oilers either now or later.
- In a league where consistency is everything, you have to appreciate the way the Oilers’ power play continues to contribute on a regular basis. Sometimes it wins us the game and other times we’d love to have more, but more often than not, I’m talking about some PP success in the Wrap Up, and for that simple fact, I’m forever grateful. Edmonton finished the night at 2-for-3 with the man advantage.
PRESENTED BY BETWAY
THE FACE PALMERS
- Nashville opened the scoring (1-0) after Thomas Novak’s backhander down low got kicked out to Mattias Ekholm near the crease and he wasted no time of smashing the rebound past Campbell.
- Jordan Gross restored Nashville’s lead (2-0) with a shot that was going four feet wide of the net that somehow took a wild bounce sideways after hitting Tyson Barrie before ricocheting into the back of the net.
- Matt Duchene gave Nashville their third lead of the night (3-2) on the power play after he received a pass near the blue line with enough time and space to charge toward the front of the net before sniping his shot up and over Campbell who was attempting the poke check.
- Alex Carrier won the game (4-3) in overtime after a horrible line change in OT gave him a lane to walk right into the zone and pick his spot. I know a lot of people are blaming Campbell for this one but I certainly don’t.
- I really hate that the Oilers were the wons to break Nashville’s extended losing streak. They had lost six games prior to tonight’s matchup and the Oilers — a team that generally owns the Predators — were the ones to end it.
- Nashville’s power play has been terrible all season, which makes the goal on two chances that they converted all the more disappointing.
- Another day, another game where the Oilers are outshot. This time it was 35 for the Predators and 33 for the Oilers.
- The Oilers won only 46% of the faceoffs and it hurts me on a core level.
- I didn’t know it was possible for Leon to go pointless against the Predators? Weird.
- Darnell Nurse giveaways in his own zone/60 remains a work in progress.
|4:35||Nashville||Mattias Ekholm (2)|
Assists: Thomas Novak (1)
|8:42||Edmonton||Jesse Puljujarvi (2)|
Assists: Darnell Nurse (13), Jack Campbell (1)
|2:57||Nashville||Jordan Gross (3)|
Assists: Yakov Trenin (5), Ryan Johansen (9)
|4:22||Edmonton||Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (16) (Power Play)|
Assists: Connor McDavid (35), Tyson Barrie (22)
|12:02||Nashville||Matt Duchene (8) (Power Play)|
Assists: Mikael Granlund (16), Cody Glass (3)
|1:51||Edmonton||Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (17) (Power Play)|
Assists: Connor McDavid (36)
|2:12||Nashville||Alexandre Carrier (2)|
Assists: Cody Glass (4), Nino Niederreiter (5)
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BETTER LAIT THAN NEVER
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