GDB 53.0 Wrap Up: The Oilers get back in the win column with gritty 6-3 win over the Senators

1 year ago
That’s how you bounce back, baby! Final Score: 6-3 Oilers
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As much as we all know that matinees have been tough around these parts, I was still hoping that the Oilers would be able to find a way. Yet, as much as I believed that this game was a winnable one for our boys, the Ottawa Senators are starting to pour it on a bit down the stretch and it was going to take a full 60 minutes from our side if we were to be celebrating two points. So when Connor McDavid opened the scoring just over two minutes into the game, it was hard not to be pumped about the way the Oilers got something done early to set the tone. Right from the jump, the Oilers were all over a Senators team that was playing its first game in 11 days and had it not been for some nice work by Forsberg in net then the boys could have easily found themselves up by a field goal. Unlucky as it may be to only be up by one goal, the Oilers put together a hell of a road period to kick off this early game.
Heading into the second period, the Oilers needed to find a way to get the next goal to avoid giving the clearly rusty Senators any life. But clearly, the Sens weren’t on board with our plan because it only took Jake Sanderson and his linemates 20 seconds to knot the score up at one. Undeterred, the Oilers got back to work by keeping the pressure on in the offensive zone with chances both on the rush and off the cycle. As a result, it didn’t take long for Zach Hyman to restore Edmonton’s lead on a penalty shot after he was hauled down on a clear break in the preceding shift. From there, the period devolved into a wild ride of back-and-forth chances with each side earning plenty of quality looks and chances that didn’t get past either keeper. Then with under five minutes to play in the period, we got a shorthanded goal by McLeod to give Edmonton a two-goal lead only to have it disappear in a flash after a pair of quick ones by Giroux and Brannstrom. And in the span of only a few shifts, the Oilers went from being in a comfortable position heading into the third period to being a tie game and fighting for their lives.
With 20 minutes to play and two points up for grabs, we needed to see some killer instinct here. We needed to see that the Oilers could respond to giving up two late goals that wiped their lead off the board. Could they get the momentum back? Answering my question with his first goal since January 13th, Jesse Puljujarvi put the Oilers back out front with a beautifully executed play on the rush that saw him both take a pass and rip a shot like it ain’t no thang. Not done there, the Oilers picked up two more goals from Derek Ryan and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins respectively to build themselves an insurmountable lead that was simply too much to overcome. Over and above the trio of goals that afforded the Oilers the opportunity to coast to the finish line, the boys also did a fantastic job of shutting the door defensively and limiting Ottawa’s ability to generate much of anything. And outside of that tough stretch of maybe five minutes or so at the end of the second, this was a rock solid road game for an Oilers team that was surely looking for a rebound performance after losing to the Flyers on Thursday. From start to finish, Edmonton was the better team, and at the end of the day, they finished with the result they deserved.
The wrap.


  • Connor McDavid opened the scoring (1-0) early in the first period after he was able to bank a shot from below the goal line into the net off Forsberg’s back. Great awareness by the captain. Then again, McDavid was fantastic all morning and it was one of those games where it was a real pleasure to watch the best player on earth do his thing to the tune of another three-point performance.
  • Just over a minute after Ottawa tied the score, Zach Hyman restored the lead (2-1) on a penalty shot with a beautifully executed deke to his backhand. Huge props to my dude that hauled King Hyman down to give him the chance.
  • Ryan McLeod gave the Oilers a two-goal lead (3-1) with a tap-in on the doorstep after Connor McDavid set him up with one of the prettiest assists that I’ve ever seen in my life. Connor dangled everyone in the arena before finding McLeod at the back door for his career-high 10th goal, and it was a play that we’ll be seeing the reply of that one for the rest of time.
  • Jesse Puljujarvi gave the Oilers back the lead (4-3) early in the third period on a beautiful play that saw him take a hard pass from Kulak in full stride and bury his shot all in one fluid motion. For a guy that hadn’t played in a while, that was a hell of a goal for Puljujarvi.
  • Derek Ryan extended the lead to two goals for a second time (5-3) with a second shorthanded goal after he took a swipe at Kulak’s centering pass and directed the puck perfectly through Forsberg’s legs. As always, one can only hope to contain Derek Ryan. He is unstoppable.
  • Ryan Nugent-Hopkins put the Oilers up by three (6-3) with a power play goal from the slot that came off a scramble near the goal mouth because sneaking his shot through a pile of bodies, including Forsberg who suffered an awful-looking injury on the play.
  • I love secondary scoring so very much. Getting goals from throughout the lineup could genuinely be the most powerful aphrodisiac on earth.
  • Jack Campbell was back between the pipes and looking for his ninth consecutive win in games that he’s started, and I was absolutely cheering for the guy to keep this feel-good comeback story going. After a casual first period, the Senators really cranked up the heat and he was forced to make a bunch of quality saves. That’s not to say that this was a perfect outing for Campbell, the goal to Brannstrom is one he’d probably want back, but the important part of this story is that he gave the Oilers the foundation that they needed to grind out a win. He wasn’t as busy as his counterpart, but Campbell made the saves he needed to lock in an important win. Campbell finished the game with 26 saves and a .897 save%.
  • After being unable to generate a shot in either of the last two games, Leon Draisaitl was thinking shot-first this afternoon as he piled eight shots on net. I know he wasn’t able to get one to go in for him, but having him firing the puck like that is going to help us when this cold patch snaps. Either way, Drai was still able to put two points on the board and you love to see it.
  • I was torn on Evander Kane’s scrap with Brady Tkachuk in the second period. I absolutely love a good tilt and seeing those guys chuck ’em was good fun, but I also worried about how his wrist would hold up after missing three months with that scary cut.
  • The Oilers didn’t even get a power play chance on Thursday night in Philly, but they got five of them against the Senators which made it almost a bummer that they were only able to score once. Either way, the boys finished at 1/5 with the man advantage.
  • The PK was also reasonably steady against the league’s 2nd most power PP unit, killing off 3-of-4 shorthanded situations they faced. More impressive, however, was the fact that the Oilers scored two shorthanded goals.
  • If you’re a fan of the Corskis, you’ll be thrilled to know that the Oilers outshot the Senators by a 40-29 margin. Great success.
  • I’m thrilled to report that the Oilers won 51% of the faceoffs. Please take a minute to celebrate amongst yourselves.
  • That win bumped the Oilers up into sole possession of second place in the Pacific Division.



  • Jake Sanderson tied the game (1-1) only 20 seconds into the second period with a low snap shot from the slot after taking a pass in high in the zone with plenty of time to pick his spot.
  • Only 18 seconds after McLeod’s shortie, Claude Giroux pulled the Senators back to within a goal (3-2) after he was rewarded for driving to the net with a centering pass than took a friendly bounce off his skate and into the net.
  • Were you surprised to hear that Erik Brannstrom scored his first goal in 121 games to tie the game (3-3) up in the dying minutes of the second period? As good as Campbell has been lately, he needed to have this one.
  • Do I really have to say much about why it sucks to give up two late goals in the dying minutes of a period? No? Cool, let’s move on. Thankfully, we didn’t get burned for it this time.
  • Klim Kostin left the game near the midway point of the third period after a hard collision near the boards and did not return. Since jumping into the lineup, Kostin has been a great story for this team, and having him miss any length of time would surely be a sizeable blow. May the Gords be with you, Klim Shady.
  • How could you not feel for Anton Forsberg when you see the guy go down in agony the way he did in the third period? We don’t exactly know what happened but what I can say for sure is that he was in a really tough spot, and I wish him the best and a speedy recovery from what looked to be a gruesome injury.


2:18OilersConnor McDavid (42)
Assists: Leon Draisaitl (48), Zach Hyman (35)
0:21SenatorsJake Sanderson (3)
Assists: Mathieu Joseph (10), Brady Tkachuk (32)
1:44OilersZach Hyman (27) (Penalty Shot)
15:18OilersRyan McLeod (10) (Shorthanded)
Assists: Connor McDavid (54)
15:35SenatorsClaude Giroux (21) (Power Play)
Assists: Ridly Greig (3), Shane Pinto (9)
17:58SenatorsErik Brannstrom (1)
Assists: Alex DeBrincat (25), Nick Holden (9)
3:05OilersJesse Puljujarvi (5)
Assists: Brett Kulak (11), Darnell Nurse (20)
7:24OilersDerek Ryan (8) (Shorthanded)
Assists: Brett Kulak (12), Evander Kane (10)
14:37OilersRyan Nugent-Hopkins (24) (Power Play)
Assists: Leon Draisaitl (49), Connor McDavid (55)


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