GDB 79.0 Wrap Up: Oilers make it six in a row after grinding out 3-1 win in Anaheim
Photo credit:Tom Kostiuk
By baggedmilk7 months ago
NUUUUUUUUUUUUGE! Final Score: 3-1 Oilers
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With the Oilers’ playoff spot locked up and home-ice advantage right there for the taking, tonight’s matchup with the Ducks was an important one that the boys had to have. I know they had a tough one last night in LA, but let’s be honest, Anaheim is a terrible hockey team and anything other than another win was unacceptable. But at the same time, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that what I really cared about was whether or not Ryan Nugent-Hopkins could pick up his 100th point of the season. If I’m being honest, I was completely distracted by it. As the first period wore on, I was fixated on wherever Nuge was and if he wasn’t on the ice I ended up daydreaming until he hopped back out there again. On the bright side, had it not been for RNH point watch, I probably would have been a lot more annoyed about the scoreless tie heading into the intermission.
Heading into the second period, the Oilers needed to do a better job of forcing their will upon the Ducks with puck pressure and smart offensive choices. Let’s be honest, Dallas Eakins’ crew doesn’t have anywhere near the skill that Edmonton does and that meant a lead was in the cards if our boys could just play their game. And exactly as hoped, the Oilers slowly started to take over the game and produce quality scoring chances that they weren’t getting earlier on. Once those started coming, it was only a matter of time before the boys would get something through Dostal. Then, in the span of just over three minutes, Klim Kostin and Nick Bjugstad found the back of the net to build the Oilers a two-goal lead that was going to be tough for Anaheim to overcome. Put another way, the Ducks were going to need a whole lot of luck if they had any hopes of coming back given the way Edmonton has played over the last month or so.
Up by two with 20 minutes left to play, the Oilers didn’t have to change much in their game apart from putting more pucks on net. Now that the dam had broken, I wanted the boys firing from the parking lot to try and push the Ducks further into a hole that they wouldn’t be able to climb out from. That was the plan, anyway. Instead, what we got was an Anaheim team that refused to roll over and die. And rather than having a clear path to victory, an early goal by Troy Terry less than five minutes in halved Edmonton’s lead and put our boys back on their heels. Thankfully, Terry’s goal was the only thing that would get past Jack Campbell as Soup shut the door down the stretch, backstopping his team to a sixth straight victory. It may not have been the prettiest win you’ll ever see, but dammit the two points are beautiful to me.
THE BRIGHT SIDE
- Klim Kostin opened the scoring midway through the second period (1-0) on a beautifully executed give-and-go with Mattias that resulted in a one-timer goal that broke the statement. Not to mention, Kostin was celebrating his 100th NHL game and I can’t think of a better memory from the night than a big goal when they needed one and an assist as the cherry on top.
- Nick Bjugstad extended the lead (2-0) after parking himself in front of the net and redirecting Kostin’s centering pass through the goaltender. I know some people weren’t too keen on Holland picking Bjugstad off, but I’ve gotta say that I like what he brings to the lineup. Make it 17 goals on the year for the big man.
- Zach Hyman put the game away with an empty-netter (3-1) after McDavid and Nugent-Hopkins moved the puck up ice before it was eventually drained into the open cage.
- How about 100 points for Ryan Nugent-Hopkins? I couldn’t be more proud of my guy than I am right now.
- After shutting the Ducks out last Saturday in Edmonton, I was intrigued about how Jack Campbell would follow it up because he was fantastic in that hockey game. Up for the challenge, Soup was great again in this one as he gave the Oilers the saves they needed to not only win the game but also to get out of trouble when they needed it. Make no mistake, this wasn’t a perfect evening for the Oilers but thankfully Campbell was there to cover up any mistakes that were made. Without him, there’s no way the Oilers win this game and I wanted to give Soup some love for the effort. Campbell finished the night with 27 saves and a .964 save%.
- Big shout out to the third line for providing the depth scoring we needed to lock in the win. It can’t always be the stars that carry the mail and that’s why I love when the third line pops in a pair like that.
- Darnell Nurse played a team-high 23:00 to go along with five shots on goal, two hits, and a block. Darryl has looked so much better since Ekholm showed up.
- The Oilers PK was only tested once, but they handled the situation beautifully.
- Make it nine straight losses for the Anaheim Ducks, and for the second time in under a week, the Oilers weren’t the ones to end the streak. Great success
- If you’re a fan of shots on goal then you’ll be happy to learn that the Oilers outshot the Ducks by a 33-28 margin.
- Am I thrilled that the Oilers won 59% of the faceoffs? You know I am. You know it.
PRESENTED BY BETWAY
THE FACE PALMERS
- Troy Terry halved the lead early in the third period (2-1) after a failed clearing attempt allowed Anaheim some additional zone time that they used to get themselves on the board. There wasn’t much Campbell could do about this one as Terry’s shot was a snipe from in tight that should have been avoided in the first place.
- Lukas Dostal has been annoying a few times this season and I think that’s ridiculous given that I forget he exists between games.
- I thought the Oilers were too sloppy with their puck choices and it led to giveaways they weren’t making last night. Thankfully, it didn’t matter in the end but that sloppiness is something they’ll want to clean up.
- Twas not the Oilers’ night on the power play as the squad went 0-for-1 with the man advantage. That said, I think there were a few missed calls that should have resulted in additional power play chances, but it was not meant to be because the NHL rulebook is more of a guideline than anything.
- The NHL site had the giveaways listed at 14 for the Oilers but I’m thinking that’s a little bit light, no?
No Goals Scored
|9:36||Oilers||Klim Kostin (11)|
Assists: Mattias Janmark (15)
|12:46||Oilers||Nick Bjugstad (17)|
Assists: Klim Kostin (10)
|4:56||Ducks||Troy Terry (22)|
Assists: Simon Benoit (7), Adam Henrique (15)
|18:18||Oilers||Zach Hyman (35) (Empty Net)|
Assists: Connor McDavid (86), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (64)
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 hitting 100 points, Leon Draisaitl getting 50 goals for the third time, took your voicemails, and a whole lot more.
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