Instant Reaction: Edmonton Oilers beat up on Vegas Golden Knights in 5-1 win

Corey Perry Edmonton Oilers
Photo credit:Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
Ryley Delaney
25 days ago
Oh yeah, the Edmonton Oilers are going for a deep run. On Wednesday night, they defeated the reigning Stanley Cup champions 5-1 to surpass the 100-point mark for the third consecutive season.
Cody “Coffey” Ceci opened the scoring for the game. He blindly fired a shot towards the net and got a fortunate deflection for his fourth goal of the season and his 24th point overall. Since the trade rumours died down, he’s played quite well. 
Mattias Ekholm is this generation’s Chris Pronger for the Oilers. He scored his career-high 11th goal of the season with a beautiful slap shot that went in and out of the net. He absolutely deserves Norris votes, and the trade for Ekholm is easily the best since the Pronger deal.
Just over two minutes later, Zach Hyman scored his 53rd goal of the season as he picked up a loose rebound and tucked it past Adin Hill. It doesn’t seem like 60 goals is a possibility for Hyman, but he at the very least, can match or even surpass Leon Draisaitl’s career high of 55 goals.
Speaking of Draisaitl, he scored his 41st goal of the season from his office on the power play, after two pretty bad penalties from Vegas. It’s been a bit of a downseason for Draisaitl, who has 41 goals and 104 points, but all that matters is the playoffs at this point, where he was a goal per game last season.
The Knights ruined Stuart Skinner’s bid for his third shutout of the season, as Noah Hanifin made a terrific pass to Keegan Kolesar, who buried it with a nice shot off the post on the short-handed breakaway. It’s not great defence, but this was really one of two of the Golden Knights’ only quality chances from this game.
Edmonton got it right back, though, as the freshly inserted Dylan Holloway made Hill pay for his error, tucking it on the wrap-around for his fourth goal of the season. He, Ryan McLeod, and Corey Perry are an excellent line, but I’d imagine Holloway will be the one sent down whenever Connor McDavid returns.
Things worth mentioning…
With Vegas’ loss and a St. Louis Blues win, the Golden Knights playoff cushion now just sits at three points with four games remaining, while the Blues have just three games remaining. It would be an epic collapse, but please let it happen, Hockey Gods.
Connor McDavid didn’t play in tonight’s game, which meant that he couldn’t dwindle down the nine point cushion Nikita Kucherov has on him. It’s looking unlikely that the best player of all time will win his fifth consecutive Hart Trophy, but the last time Kucherov won the Hart, McDavid won four straight, so who knows if this will anger him.
Stuart Skinner made quite a few key saves, including one on a breakaway when the Oilers were still 3-0. While he didn’t face a ton of shots and even fewer high-danger opportunities, he stopped 17 of 18 shots for a .944 save percentage. He needs to be on his A game for the playoffs.
Vancouver Canucks are in action as I write this against the Arizona Coyotes. Regardless of a win or loss, the Oilers will still control their own destiny when it comes to the Pacific Division crown. If the Canucks were to win, the Oilers would still be five points of the Canadian team, however, they will have two games in hand and a crack at the Canucks on Saturday.
Up next: The Oilers homestand will continue with a game against the Utah Coyotes on Friday, which is seemingly the last time they’ll ever play the team from Arizona, at least this iteration of the team. That game will start at 7:00 PM MT.
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