GDB 49.0 Wrap Up: Oilers get back into the win column with eight-goal outburst against Red Wings

Ryley Delaney
2 months ago
Talk about making a statement.
Following a road trip that featured losses to the Vegas Golden Knights and Los Angeles Kings in which the team managed just one goal combined, the Oilers returned home and exploded with eight goals in a huge win over the Detroit Red Wings.
It was a huge win for a team that was having a difficult time scoring goals. The game was tied at 3-3 heading into the third period and Edmonton rallied with a five-goal frame. Seven different Oilers found the back of the net while Connor McDavid led the way with a career-high six assists.
Let’s get into the Player of the Game (can you guess who that might be?) and some other things worth mentioning.


Oilersnation’s Player of the Game: Connor McDavid

This was an easy choice. 
Well, yeah. The third assist at the start of the third period was his 600th of his career, then he just decided to add three more for good measure. In fact, he fell just one assist shy of matching Wayne Gretzky’s record of seven assists in one game.
On top of that, he was just two points shy of matching the franchise record eight-point game, done by a handful of 80’s Oilers stars and Sam Gagner (tenure No. 1), who was inserted into the lineup on Tuesday after missing the last few games. 
McDavid going supernova also has ramifications on the Art Ross Trophy race, as he now has 21 goals and 77 points, tying him for third alongside his All-Star teammate, David Pastrňák. He’s now only 13 points behind Nikita Kucherov and there’s a whole lot of hockey left to be played. 

Things worth mentioning…

Stuart Skinner goalie’d the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday. He allowed four goals on 39 shots for his second straight sub-.900 save percentage game, but without him making numerous huge saves, especially during the second period, this game could’ve ended up as a blowout for the Wings. They tied the game up at 3-3 and had the momentum on their side but Skinner stood tall for the Oilers. 
Dylan Holloway scored a terrific goal, beating his man to the puck and diving to slot it home. He had great hustle play and he was rewarded with an opportunity to play alongside Leon Draisaitl and Evander Kane on the second line. Holloway now has three goals and four points in 22 games, with two goals and three points coming in eight games since his injury. 
Cody Ceci scored his first goal of the season and his first since mid-October 2022. In fact, he had two points on the night, while Darnell Nurse had two assists, and Evan Bouchard had a goal and two assists. Heck, even Vincent Desharnais picked up his eighth point of the season. The defence wasn’t great defensively, but they were all over the score sheet.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored twice to bring him to 14 goals and 47 points on the season. Coming into this one against Detroit, he had just one goal in his last 13 games, so it’s nice to see him get going, especially on the goal below, which turned out to be the game-winner. 
The penalty kill is struggling. After the Vegas game, the Oilers had killed off 40 kills in 41 attempts. In their last three, they’ve given up five goals on seven attempts. A big part of the win streak was because they were able to kill off penalties at an excellent clip, so they have to get back to that.
There were way too many odd-man rushes in the first and second periods. I counted two for the Darnell Nurse and Cody Ceci pairing, and one each for the other two lines. Detroit is a fast team and the defence core should’ve known better to let them get those opportunities.
The Oilers return to action on Thursday, as they’ll head on a three-game road trip against the Central Division. First up is the St. Louis Blues, who are the team that occupy the final Wild Card spot.
With a win and an embarrassing 7-0 loss by the L.A. Kings to the Buffalo Sabres, the Oilers now have five points on the Kings with a game in hand. The Vegas Golden Knights have that same five-point lead on the Oilers, but Edmonton has four games in hand and could easily make up the difference if they can string some more wins together. 

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