GDB 76.0 Wrap Up: Oilers rock solid in 2-0 win over the Kings, move up to 2nd in the Pacific Division
Photo credit:Tom Kostiuk
By baggedmilk8 months ago
STUUUUUUUUUUUUUU! Final Score: 2-0 Oilers
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I don’t know about you, but I spent my day in anticipation of this third game in the season series between the Oilers and the Kings. Not only was I expecting tonight’s matchup to get a little bit spicy after the way the last one ended, but also because of what it meant for the standings. So when the game started with plenty of piss and vinegar and both sides manufacturing quality chances for themselves, you could tell that both sides were fired up for this one. And with the tension running high and two big points on the line, the first period had playoff vibes right from the jump. Right from the opening draw until the buzzer, you could tell that neither side is a fan of the other, and that made for a period that featured some big hits, plenty of scrums, and not much else until Evander Kane broke the stalemate with only 52 seconds left to play.
Heading into the second period, the Oilers needed to keep doing what they were doing and also stay patient to get around the horrid trap-style game the Kings play. As hoped, the boys came out flying in the opening minutes of the frame and wasted no opportunity to pepper Joonas Korpisalo with shots. Unfortunately, the guy seems to love playing against the Oilers this season because he stood on his head to keep the Kings’ deficit at only one. Not to be outdone, Stuart Skinner made a handful of clutch saves — breakaways included — to keep his team in the lead. Despite the lack of scoring, this game was as intense as it gets as both clubs traded stood tall and traded punches. But since both goalies decided that no one was allowed to get any business done, we made our way to the intermission with the same 1-0 score.
Up by a goal with 20 minutes to play, I had a hard time believing that this game was going to end with only one goal, and that meant the only option was for the Oilers to find a way to figure out how to handle whatever voodoo Korpisalo seems to have over them. Basically, what I was looking for was the exact same effort from the Oilers that we got to start the first and second periods but with one or two more pucks hitting the back of the net. So when Connor McDavid extended the lead with a shortie just before the four-minute mark, I fist pumped so hard that I Tiger Uppercutted the roof and scared my dog. Now with a two-goal lead and time running out, the tricky part was going to be closing the game out through whatever storm the Kings would be able to throw their way. Up for the task, Stuart Skinner had no interest in giving the Kings any kind of life and he threw up the brick wall and picked up the Oilers’ first shutout of the season. No matter how you look at it, this was a massive win for the Edmonton Oilers as they now leapfrog LA and into second place.
THE BRIGHT SIDE
- Evander Kane opened the scoring late in the first period (1-0) on a one-timer after Leon Draisaitl found him with a ridiculous backhand pass from the boards that he was able to lean into.
- Connor McDavid extended the lead (2-0) with a shorthanded breakaway after he took a pass near the blue line and blew past the defenders before walking in on the goaltender and snapping in his 300th career goal.
- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins probably could have had two or three goals in this game because he was absolutely buzzing. In 20:47 of TOI, Nuge snapped four shots on goal to go along with two hits and a takeaway.
- I could sit at my laptop all night and not have enough time to come up with the words to describe how good Stuart Skinner was tonight for the Edmonton Oilers. Not only did he stop 43 of 43 saves, but a bunch of those were grade-A opportunities that could have easily turned this game in another direction. From start to finish, Stu was everything we needed him to be in a game this important, and I’m pumped for the guy because that was an incredible performance. Skinner finished the night with 43 saves and his second career shutout.
- I want to give some love to Mattias Ekholm and Darnell Nurse for the way they were throwing their bodies in front of pucks and people in the dying moments of the game. That was as stressful as it gets, but dammit you’ve gotta love those two putting themselves in harm’s way to get the job done.
- You’ve gotta give the PK a whole lot of love for the way they were able to kill off three of three shorthanded situations they faced. Not only did they do some fine work, but Connor’s shortie in the third period was the Oilers’ 15th of the year, which gave them the NHL lead.
PRESENTED BY BETWAY
THE FACE PALMERS
- I really would have loved the Oilers to score on either of their two power plays, but it was just not meant to be.
- Joonas Korpisalo remains annoying regardless of what jersey he’s wearing.
- I hate the trap so much. The Kings are so boring and they should be ashamed of themselves.
- Breaks my heart to report that the Oilers won only 44% of the faceoffs. Not great, can be better, I won’t get hung up on it.
- The Oilers were outshot 43-37 overall, which wasn’t a big problem for me outside of seeing them get shelled 19-10 in the third period. I know there are some score effects in there but the Oilers were lucky that Stu was as hot as he was.
- Philip Broberg played only 4:05 in this hockey game, and I wonder what it is about his game that has Jay Woodcroft not trusting him right now.
|19:08||Oilers||Evander Kane (15)|
Assists: Leon Draisaitl (70), Kailer Yamamoto (14)
No Goals Scored
|3:53||Oilers||Connor McDavid (61) (Shorthanded)|
Talk to me, Twitter. Hit me up at @jsbmbaggedmilk and Wanye at @Oilersnation and you could find yourself landing in this very spot.
BETTER LAIT THAN NEVER
Fresh episode of Better Lait Than Now is out everywhere you get podcasts. This week, I talked about Ryan Nugent-Hopkins’ amazing season, defended Darnell Nurse, took your voicemails, and a whole lot more.
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