GDB +8.0 Wrap Up: Oilers tie series with Golden Knights after dominant 5-1 victory in Game 2
Photo credit:Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
By Cam Lewis24 days ago
That was one hell of a response.
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After a frustrating 6-4 loss in which the Golden Knights skated them into the ground, the Oilers came back in Game 2 and did the exact same thing.
Everything was clicking for the Oilers early on and every line that they threw over the boards dominated the Golden Knights in the early going. Vegas took two penalties in the first half of the first frame and the Oilers capitalized on both of them. Connor McDavid then scored on the penalty kill and Leon Draisaitl added another goal to make the score 4-0 heading into the first intermission.
McDavid added another in the second frame and the Golden Knights broke up Stuart Skinner’s shutout bid in the third period but this game was never close. The Oilers came out and took control of the game immediately and never let go.
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Oilersnation’s player of the game: Leon Draisaitl
It wasn’t quite the same as his four-goal performance in Game 1 but Leon Draisaitl was the driving force behind Edmonton’s series-tying win. He opened the scoring a few minutes into the game and put the Oilers up 4-0 with an even-strength tally late in the first period.
Draisaitl has scored 13 goals in the playoffs thus far. To put that into context, his next goal will match the number of goals that Fernando Pisani had during the team’s run to the Stanley Cup Final in 2006. The most goals ever scored in a single playoff is 19, a record shared by Reggie Leach and Oilers legend Jari Kurri.
Things worth mentioning…
The Oilers came flying out of the gates and earned themselves an early lead but it really felt like they were going to run away with this game after the short-handed goal from Connor McDavid made the score 3-0.
After a fairly quiet showing in Game 1, McDavid was all over the puck in the first period. He scored two goals, the sh0rt-handed one in the first frame and a power-play goal in the second period, and he picked up an assist on Draisaitl’s first goal.
At the end of the first period, McDavid was hauled down while going in on a breakaway and he was favouring his leg as he stood up after the play. He continued to play the rest of the game and there didn’t appear to be any glaring issue but Jay Woodcroft limited McDavid’s minutes as the game started to get testy.
The power play was a huge factor in this game. The Golden Knights gave Edmonton’s lethal power play six opportunities and they scored on three of them. During the regular season, Vegas’ penalty kill was below average, but they took by far the fewest penalties in the league. Their inability to stay out of the penalty box in Game 2 helped the Oilers completely take control of the game in the first period and run away with things early.
Stuart Skinner had a strong performance for the Oilers between the pipes. He stopped 24 of 25 shots and the only goal that Vegas scored was a weird one. Mark Stone threw the puck into the slot and it bounced off of a stick and into the air and Ivan Barbashev batted it in while Skinner was screened.
The two teams will now head back to Edmonton for Games 3 and 4 on Monday and Wednesday. If the Oilers can keep up that effort and pace, this series won’t last very long.
Things got testy pretty quickly in this game. Brett Kulak dropped the gloves in the second period, Zach Hyman tried to get into it after a big hit from Brayden McNabb, and Evander Kane got himself into the heads of multiple different Golden Knights.
Kane and Nick Bjugstad were both given 10-minute misconduct penalties in the dying moments of the game while Nick Hague, Keegan Kolesar, Nicolas Roy, and William Carrier of the Golden Knights were all given 10-minute majors.
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