Instant Reaction: Leon Draisaitl, Stuart Skinner lift Oilers to 2-1 victory over Seattle Kraken

Photo credit:© Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports
Ryley Delaney
4 months ago
That’s three wins in a row now for the Edmonton Oilers, as they defeated the Seattle Kraken 2-1 in a tightly contested game between Pacific Division foes.
After a three-game losing streak, the Oilers have flipped the script. They’re now on a three-game winning streak and have momentarily moved into the second spot in the Pacific Division, pending the result of the Vegas Golden Knights game against Buffalo.
It started off slow, as the game remained scoreless after the first period with nothing interesting to write about. However, things picked up in the second period, as Connor McDavid found Leon Draisaitl on the back door for Draisaitl’s 30th goal of the season. This is Draisaitl’s sixth-straight season with 30 or more goals and he’s also hit the 75-point plateau in six straight seasons.
Before the end of the first period, defenceman Vincent Desharnais laid a huge hit on the reigning Calder Trophy winner, Matty Beniers, who gave him a shot back moments later. No fisticuffs came of it, but it was easily the hit of the game.
The Oilers had a bit of a defensive breakdown about a quarter of the way through the third period, as former Oiler Jordan Eberle found one-time 40-goal scorer Jared McCann all alone in front of the net. Thankfully, Stuart Skinner was there to make the save and preserve the Oilers’ lead.
Maybe it sparked the Oilers, but just two minutes later, Brett Kulak’s shot had eyes of its own and found its way into the back of the net for the left-shot defenceman’s third goal and 10th point of the season. Draisaitl and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins picked up assists on the play.
That goal turned out to be the game-winner, as the Kraken got a fairly weak call and headed to the power play. Eeli Tolvanen found the back of the net as his shot from the faceoff dot bounced off Darnell Nurse and into the back of the net, breaking up Stuart Skinner’s bid for his third shutout of the season.
Despite not picking up the shutout, this was one of Skinner’s best performances of the season, and there’s no better example of that than the final minute of action. Skinner made three huge stops on the 6-on-4 advantage, and you can watch the video of the edge-of-your-seat hockey in the video below.


Things worth mentioning…

Stuart Skinner has been real streaky this season and had six straight games with a save percentage below .900 before the Oilers win against Los Angeles. Since then, he’s allowed five goals on 99 shots for a .949 save percentage. When Skinner does well, so does the team.
Leon Draisaitl opened the scoring in the second period with his 30th goal of the season, making it six consecutive campaigns he’s reached the 30-goal mark now. There’s plenty of time for Draisaitl to reach the 40-goal mark for the fifth time in his career but getting to 50 goals again will be difficult.
Prior to Edmonton’s first long win streak where they won eight games in a row, they had lost three games in a row.. It was the same case before their 16-game win streak, as they lost their three games before that. The pattern tells us that since they lost the three straight games, they’ll win 32 games in a row. Will they? Absolutely not, but it’s a good indication that this team is able to bounce back. It’d be cool to see another eight-game win streak, though.
Connor McDavid picked up an assist on Draisaitl’s goal, giving him at least one point in 10 consecutive games. He now has 22 goals and 95 points this season, nine points back of Nikita Kucherov of the Tampa Bay Lightning (104 points) for the league’ scoring lead. 
Up next… It’s a fast turnaround for the Oilers, as they’ll host the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday. Thankfully, the Oilers aren’t at a disadvantage because the Penguins will be on the second leg of a back-to-back of their own, as they’ll play the Calgary Flames on Saturday night before heading up to play in Edmonton on Sunday. 

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