Photo credit:Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
The Day After 15.0: The tides are turning for the Edmonton Oilers
By Cam Lewis3 months ago
That looked like a script for a game we’ve seen before this season.
The Edmonton Oilers scored first to take a 1-0 lead and then their opponents responded with two quick goals shortly after and another one later on to pad their lead. The Seattle Kraken appeared to be cruising to a 3-1 win until Evander Kane flipped the game on its head in the latter part of the third period.
Kane made the score 3-2 with just over six minutes left to play and he then tied the game and forced overtime with another goal in the final minute of play. He completed the natural hat trick in the extra frame to lead Edmonton to a 4-3 win and their third victory in a row.
Resilience after falling behind, clutch late-game goals, reliable goaltending — these are the things we didn’t see from the Oilers during the first month of the season.
THE DAY AFTER IS PRESENTED BY BETWAY
While Kane’s three goals in under 10 minutes made him the star of the game, a big reason why the Oilers were able to mount a comeback was the play of goaltender Stuart Skinner, who stopped 32 of the 35 shots that Seattle threw his way.
“I try to just stick to the script, do my job and make every save that I can,” Skinner said. “And from there, it’s the guys in front of me that just did a great job being able to battle back. Obviously, if you get down 4-1, it’s a little bit tougher to get by. But again, the guys in front of me, they stuck to it. We didn’t change anything even though we were down two goals and that was massive.”
After a scoreless first frame, Connor McDavid opened the scoring for the Oilers, but the Kraken responded with three goals of their own in the second frame. Skinner made a few big saves to keep Edmonton within striking distance as the ice tiled in Seattle’s favour but the Oilers found their game in the third.
“That last twelve minutes of second period was almost rock bottom in my opinion,” head coach Kris Knoblauch said. “I didn’t think we played well at all, but in the third period, we just showed a lot of passion and perseverance to stick with it.”
This is the second game in a row that the Oilers have won thanks to a big third-period effort. Against the New York Islanders on Monday, Edmonton went down early, knotted things up, and then ran away with three unanswered goals in the third. Kane noted that the team talked during the second intermission about how to flip the switch and find some energy and how Skinner’s strong play contributed.
“We talked about it in the second intermission. We’ve got to create some energy, we got to flick the switch, and I thought we did a pretty good job,” Kane said. “These last couple of games we’ve had big third periods and they’ve propelled us to wins, and I think we’re starting to find our groove a little bit here.“We got into little penalty trouble in that first half of the third period, and our penalty did a great job. Stu was big and made the saves he had to, and Nursey saving that empty net goal off the face-off, that was a huge play to help us win the game. So that was a great play.”
The Oilers got the job done with back-to-back wins during their two-game homestand and they’ll now hit the road for a four-game set with teams from the old Southeast Division. The trip will see the Oilers face the Tampa Bay Lighting, Florida Panthers, Carolina Hurricanes, and Washington Capitals.
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