Penalties Cost Oilers Game One

Photo credit:Walter Tychnowicz-USA TODAY Sports
Jason Gregor
1 year ago
The Edmonton Oilers were in complete control of game one, for the first 40 minutes, but gave up a two-goal lead twice in the third period before losing in overtime.
They beat themselves by taking too many penalties.
Edmonton had a great start. Even when they took too many penalties, their penalty kill was perfect going four-for-four.
Edmonton had complete control of the game. They’d given the Kings very little, outshooting them 23-16 and the shots from the slot were 13-3. But then they lost the third period.
Adrien Kempe scored 52 seconds into the third. The Oilers weren’t strong enough on the puck off a face off and allowed Kempe to score off a broken play.
The Oilers let Quinton Byfield poke it free to Kempe. They needed to be stronger on the puck.
Even in the third period, Edmonton was solid at 5×5. They allowed a goal 4×4 and on a 6-on-4 power play. It wasn’t 5×5 that cost them the game. They simply took too many penalties and didn’t pick up their man off a face off.
“We have to be more mature,” said Leon Draisaitl. “We played good hockey for the most part, but leading 3-1 with eight minutes, or whatever time was left, to go we need to lock that down.”
Draisaitl was the Oilers’ best player. He continues to produce in the playoffs. He scored two goals giving him 61 playoff points in 38 career games. Only Wayne Gretzky (26 games) and Mario Lemieux (34) reached 60 points quicker than Draisaitl.
The most frustrating aspect of this loss for the Oilers was that all four lines controlled the play at 5×5.
McDavid’s line outshot the Kings 12-5. They didn’t finish their chances and allowed one goal against, but they had the puck more often.
Draisaitl’s line outscored the Kings 1-0 and outshot them 10-6.
Nick Bjugstad’s line outshot the Kings 3-1.
Ryan McLeod’s line outshot the Kings 6-1.
Warren Foegele and Mattias Janmark were around the puck all game. Janmark and Kailer Yamamoto were very solid on the penalty kill as well.
For the majority of the game, the Oilers were in control, but they took too many penalties. They need to be more disciplined in game two. LA has a very good power play and they scored two huge goals to tie the game and win it in overtime. Evan Bouchard’s crosscheck was a clear penalty late in the game. It was obvious. Vincent Desharnais did trip Blake Lizotte in overtime, however, I understand the frustration from fans on the non-call on Foegele earlier in the shift. If you are going to call the Desharnais penalty, you likely should have called the first one.
But the Oilers shouldn’t have been in that position. They controlled the game through 40 minutes. Every aspect of their game, other than taking penalties, was better than LA, but give the Kings credit, they didn’t fold. They kept coming and ultimately earned a huge victory.
Edmonton was 34-1-5 when leading after 40 minutes in the regular season. LA was 4-18-2 when trailing after 40 minutes.  The odds were in the Oilers’ favour to win, but nothing is guaranteed in the playoffs, and for the 6th consecutive series the Oilers find themselves trailing 1-0 heading into game two.
The playoffs are about staying composed. Last season’s series v. the Kings was up and down. LA won game one, the Oilers won games two and three, got blown out in game four, lost game five in OT, on home ice, and then won games six and seven. There were numerous momentum swings, and now the Oilers need to rebound tomorrow night.
They just need to be more mature and disciplined.

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